Monday, July 18, 2016

Church devotion - A New Way - 1 Timothy 6:20-21

1 Timothy 6:20-21      Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.

            Like most people, I use the Internet every day to keep in contact with my church family, relatives, working colleagues, and friends. One of the best ways of doing this is via Facebook because I get to connect with a lot of church folks who share photographs, requests, messages, events, and prayers. At a recent conference on ministry, which I attended in Atlanta, all of the speakers emphasized how important Facebook has become in linking people together. Every presenter stated that any church or pastor who doesn’t use Facebook is going to be culturally unaware of what things are actually important and relevant in the lives of most of their congregants.

            Thankfully, I’ve been using Facebook as a vehicle for faith connections for several years. I’ve learned a lot about the people under my care, as well as the struggles they face in their work, with their families, and during local, national, and international crises. This knowledge actually helps me to prepare devotionals and studies, lessons and sermons which may connect with the current situations that most of the church members are experiencing.

            However, as much as Facebook can provide valuable insights and information, it can also spread false knowledge and godless chatter. In these troubled times, good folks can be duped into passing on posts, stories, or articles that seem genuine, but are actually entirely untrue. These false fabrications are used to divide people, upset others, and cause major disconnects between families, friends, and acquaintances. Just because it is on the Internet or posted on Facebook does not make it true. As Christians, we are meant to spread the Gospel and God’s truth; however, if we are emailing or posting false stories, then we are not only sharing lies, we’re also dishonoring Christ.

            So the challenge for all of us today is this: let’s be circumspect about what we share, send, or post on the Internet and Facebook. If we’re using it to upset others, it’s wrong; if we’re posting something alarming, scandalous, or belligerent, then we should double-check the facts behind it, and also ask ourselves: is this just godless chatter? We all want a better world, which starts with each of us – if we can be better people, then the world will become a better place.

Questions for personal reflection

What kind of things do I pass on via Facebook? Would I send such things to Christ?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we live in amazing times and have surrounded ourselves with wonderful new inventions which have changed all of our lives. Remind us that we are Your servants with special responsibilities of sharing the Gospel and promoting God’s Truth. Bless us with Your wisdom, guidance, and discernment. In Your Holy Name, we post and pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or comment on today’s message, please send him an email to: Traqair@aol.com.

Today’s image is one of John’s recent Pentecost drawings called “Breakthrough.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Breakthrough.

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