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Why You Shouldn't Quit Facebook

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A stand-up comedian I like recently said he took Facebook off his phone because it's too extreme: everyone is either having the worst day of their life, or the best day. Either their house is burning down, or it's their wedding day. 

 

Quitting social media has gained a lot of steam over the last few years. More and more people are leaving Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, and the reasons for leaving are justifiably good ones. 

 

They are all very easy to become addicted to, and the extreme, polarizing positions online are exhausting to try to  sift through. But instead of leaving them cold turkey, I believe we as Christians should use social media to shine the light of Christ. I want to encourage you not to leave  social media behind like we did our MySpace profiles and AIM screen names… because like it or not, social media isn’t going away any time soon.

 

 But instead of leaving them cold turkey, I believe we as Christians should use social media to shine the light of Christ.

 

  In 2016, 78% of the U.S. population had a social media profile. Worldwide, there are 1.96 billion people on social media, and that number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018.

People are on social media.  And as Christians, we are called to take the Gospel to people.

Acts 13:47 says: "For this is what the Lord has commanded us:  ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Technology has made it easier and more efficient than ever to be a light in the darkness. 

For the most part, social media is about ME.  It’s about ME posting MY pictures and MY thoughts and MY comments and whatever else comes to MY mind.

But instead of focusing our social media use on ME, let’s shift to focus it on others. When we start to use social media to look at how we can influence other people for the Gospel, the drain of keeping up with the Zuckerbergs by having our digital life be perfect starts to fade away.  

The main thing I see on my feeds lately are people searching for  answers. They look to celebrities, politicians, and their peers for the answers to life’s challenges. When they go to Facebook for answers, I want to be the person in their life who can help them find the only thing that can truly satisfy them: the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

Instead of scrolling through your feed like a sprinter, take a moment to look for those who are hurting and broken, and speak kind, loving truth into their life. Don’t beat them up, encourage them! [Side note: no one’s mind has EVER been changed by a Facebook argument. Please don’t argue online.]  

The world is desperate for a savior. It’s easy to see that watching about 30 seconds of any news coverage. And right or wrong, like it or not, the majority of the population uses their phone to express their elation or despair online. When they do, will you be there to remind them of the hope we have through the grace of Christ? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts below on how you’ve used social media for good. Share them and let’s learn how to be more effective for the gospel together!

Posted by Andrew Carr with

Do You Have a Monster under Your Bed?

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FEAR OF REAL DANGER IS A GOOD IDEA. FEAR OF IMAGINARY DANGER DRIVES YOU CRAZY.

 

Do you have a figurative "monster under the bed"--that fear that keeps you up at night? 

 

I had a monster under my bed as a child. It was terrifying...and smart. It knew when my mother was coming and was sure to make itself scarce when she arrived. But after she left, I knew it would be back. 

My mother had a clever solution to my problem. She told me I could use my teddy bear as a powerful machine gun that would destroy that meddling monster for good. I would dutifully point my teddy bear under the bed (at the very least he could be bait!), make those great machine gun sounds little boys are so good at, and shortly go to sleep, confident that my mother's solution had worked.

Monsters under the bed are supposed to be a childhood problem that we gratefully outgrow. But the truth is, we don't outgrow our monsters. They only evolve  over time into adult monsters, equally fearful and troublesome if not more so.

Under-the-bed monsters can seem eerily real as we lie awake in the middle of night, anxious thoughts running wild and stealing our precious sleep. They whisper scary "what-ifs" like: What if I won't have enough for retirement? What if something happens to my teenager while he's out with friends? What if this mysterious pain turns out to be something serious? What if I don't get the promotion? Adept at preying on our worst fears and deepest concerns, these monsters seem to know us too well.

But they're not real. These monsters actually live in the realm of possibility, which can seem an awful lot like probability or even reality in the middle of the night. They often vanish by the time the alarm clock goes off but can stubbornly reappear at the most inopportune times, whispering those "what-ifs" and stealing our joy.  What are we to do with these fears?

God's Word has a surprising solution: "godliness with contentment."

 

1 Timothy 6:6:

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.

Hebrews 13:5-6:

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?'

 

How  many of your "monsters"  have  a money issue as their root--a fear of not having or losing money or the things money can buy? Certainly not all monsters can be traced to a money issue, but you may be surprised at how many can.  

God's Word  says the solution to these types of fears is contentment: being okay with (and grateful for) what God has given us, and trusting Him to provide for our needs  (physical and otherwise) in the future.  

Contentment is not satisfaction, which is the fulfillment of desire, but rather a peace of mind that comes from a posture of trust in God's will and ways--even when desires go unfulfilled.

We don't have to have the things we want to be content. We don't even have to have the things we're afraid of removed. But we do have to pursue the right things.

Just a few verses later in 1 Timothy 6, Paul instructs us not just to flee from the love of money, but to " pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness" (v.11).  

It's not enough  to just flee from the wrong things; we must run to the right things.

[watch excerpt below; scroll down for tips for developing contentment ]

 

HOW DO WE DEVELOP CONTENTMENT?

1. Focus on character

Make godliness  your goal.  Don't compare yourself to who you could be, but look back to who you used to be and rejoice in how far God has brought you. Look to Jesus as your standard, not the seemingly perfect Christian you know. Seek to grow in Christ-likeness, but also be patient with the process. Sanctification happens over time as we spend time with God in the Word and in prayer and as we are obedient to His instructions.

2. Have a casual relationship with money & a serious relationship with God

It's so easy to get this backwards and instead have a serious relationship with money and a casual relationship with God. When we view ourselves as stewards of the physical and financial blessings God has given us, we remember that we are not the owners but only the managers.  A relationship with God, as with any relationship, is not about efficiency. Don't rush building your relationship with Him. Seek an effective relationship over an efficient one, and be willing to put in the time and effort to do so. 

3.  Let fear push you Godward

Fear and pain can drive us from God or push us toward Him. You don't have to like those seasons, but you can trust the good God who can bring you through  them. Seek for help and wisdom in God's Word and quote or read those verse when you find yourself unable to sleep. Claim the power of God through praying in Jesus' name and praying Scripture. Strive to turn more and more of your fear over to the Lord in faith.

 

TRY THIS  PRAYER

Download 

 

WATCH/LISTEN TO THE  MESSAGE

Posted by Dick Lincoln with

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