Month: April 2017

Journeying with Jesus in a Selfie-Centred World: Part 2

Journeying with Jesus in a Selfie-Centred World: Part 2

#Challenges of Likes: Discovering Intimacy

Sunday,February 5, 2017

 

My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem.  But they don’t really know me.”

—Garry Shandling

 

#unintended negative consequences

The more time and energy invested in social media the more we lose on real human intimacy.  We may be “connected” with many people through various social media links, but we are at the same time detaching from interpersonal relationships.

 

“We have to make sure technology is enhancing our relationships, not replacing them.”

—Craig Groeschel

 

#changing understanding of friendship

Definition of friendship: shared interests, common bonds, enjoy personal company, etc.

 

Social media understanding of friendship:  followers on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Family relationship changing (Stats Canada):

  • Workers are spending less time with family than they did 20 years ago.
  • In 1986, workers spent, on average, 4.2 hours, or 250 minutes, engaged in various activities with their spouse, their children or other family members. The nature of these activities varied, and could have included helping the children with their homework, watching television with their spouse and having dinner as a family. Nearly 20 years later, by 2005, this average number of hours had dropped to 3.4 hours, or 206 minutes, an average decline of about 45 minutes.
  • Time spent alone has been continually increasing for the last 20 years
  • (U.S. studies) average American has 338 Facebook friends but has only 2 close friends
  • 25% of Americans have 0 close friends; no one to call on for help

 

#immediate affirmation addiction (number of likes)

Losing the benefits of the motivation (from feeling alone) for developing real human friendship, real intimacy, with God and other people.

 

“We’re living for Likes, but we’re longing for love.”

—Craig Groeschel

 

#ability to control friendship on our terms

Social media allows us to control friendships as to the “who” and “how” from an online distance.

 

John 13:1-17, p. 763

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.

 

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.  So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

 

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

 

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

 

“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

 

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

 

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

 

Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

 

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.  I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.  Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

 

#put down the phone and pick up the towel

Get real; get close; get humble; demonstrate love.

 

John 13:34-35, p. 763

“A new command I give you; Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Hebrews 10:24-25, p. 851

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.” 

 

“That’s how we will know if technology is in its proper place in our lives:  by how well we love one another.  It’s hard to wash someone’s feet with a phone in your hand.”

—Craig Groeschel

 

#power of presence

Philippians 2:5-8, p. 831

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

 

Matthew 18:20, p. 695

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” 

 

“God didn’t shout his love from heaven.  He showed his love on earth.”

—Craig Groeschel

Journeying with Jesus in a Selfie-Centred World: Part 1

Journeying with Jesus in a Selfie-Centred World: Part 1

#Challenges of Comparison: Discovering Contentment

Sunday, January 29, 2017

“My buddy Steve is the most competitive guy I know.  He not only has to one-up anything I say or do, but then he has to tweet about it.  And post a selfie with whatever award he won…or the cool place he just visited.

 

I used to feel really good about my life and what I’ve been able to achieve.  But I look at Steve and feel like I can never catch up.  I would never tell him-or anyone I know-this, but it makes me feel like a loser, like I’m no good at anything.”

—John K.

 

#Challenge of Social Media

The challenge of being discontent marks the social media generation.  We live in a world of abundance, comfort and convenience.  Social scientists recognize that technology plays a pivotal role in our constant unhappiness.  When we see the lives of others being more exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling than our own-we feel we are missing out.

 

We often don’t realize that the majority of people put “their best foot forward” only revealing what they only want others to see.

 

“We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.”

—Pastor and Author Steen Furtick

 

#Self-evaluation: 3 Areas of envy (discover which might be relevant to you)

Financial Envy: Do I get financial/material envy of others? 

Relational Envy: Do I get sad/disappointed at seeing others enjoying their relationships?

Circumstantial Envy: Do I get restless with my situation when seeing the ‘success’ of others?

 

Philippians 4:12-13, p. 832

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  

 

“Content” (Greek) autarkes means “self-sufficient.”

 

The Stoics (Greek Philosophy) used this word (only occurs here in the New Testament) to mean human self-reliance and perseverance, a calm acceptance of life’s pressures, but Paul uses this word to a “divinely” bestowed sufficiency—whatever the circumstances.

 

#Everything in this world fades

Things.  Places.  People (relationships): they will never bring complete contentment.

 

#Only Jesus Christ

Only Christ will fill the emptiness inside.

 

#Overcoming Comparing

2 Corinthians 10:12

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 

 

James 3:14-16

“But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” 

 

Overcome comparing (envy)

  1. Removing the stimulus/trigger

        If it is a particular facebook page stop viewing it

 

  1. Celebrating the other person’s success

        Taking our eyes off ourselves and onto others.

        “Celebration sends a kill shot right to the heart of envy.”  —Pastor Craig Groeschel

 

  1. Overcome comparing (envy) by cultivating gratitude

        Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives and ignoring God’s goodness in your own life

 

Proverbs 15:15

“For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” 

Being Bold for Christ

Being Bold for Christ

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Romans 1:16, p. 796

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Living Boldly means living an undistracted obedient life for Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:13-14, p. 832

…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Living Boldly means loving others wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ.

Matthew 22:37-39, p. 699

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 

Living Boldly means sharing the gospel clearly and without hesitation for Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:14, p. 802 (NLT)

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

The Boldness of Peter in Acts 4:

… Enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness…after they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.  (Verses 29, 31, p. 773)

 

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