Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

 

Unfriended.jpg

Psalms 1:1 – UNFRIENDING

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.” 

1. GO TO THAT PERSON’S PROFILE

If David was on facebook he would have unfriended them. Brothers Abishai and Joab are as wicked as they come. King David battled with their dispositions as well as their actions. After Joab killed Abner, David said, “And even though I am the anointed king, these two sons of Zeruiah—Joab and Abishai—are too strong for me to control. So may the Lord repay these evil men for their evil deeds.” (2 Samuel 3:39 NLT)

When David speaks of the wicked (or ungodly), the sinners and the mockers in Psalm 1, was he thinking of unfriending Zeruiah’s sons?

Or was David talking about others who were following him? He regretted Saul following him, who tried to murder him on several occasions, and Amnon who raped his daughter, Tamar. Perhaps he was looking at Absalom’s profile, his handsome, power hungry son who waited years to kill Amnon and then conspired on his timeline against David, causing a civil war? Is he talking about Ahithophel, his trusted follower and advisor who unfriended him by becoming a traitor?

Perhaps he is talking about unfriending bullies like Goliath and other Philistine enemies who served false gods and threatened his life? Is David talking about Shimei who threw stones and abuse at David, or perhaps Sheba and Adonijah who rebelled against David’s leadership?

Or was he simply thinking of unfriending me or people with whom I keep company every day? People like us. Oh, maybe we have not killed or threatened to kill anyone, conspired to create war, abused or rebelled or expressed traitorous intent to anyone, but surprisingly, the wicked are not always those who commit outwardly sinful acts. They are not always outwardly immoral or evil, not just the mass murderers or those involved in bikie wars, terrorist bombings, stabbings, drive-by shootings or any overt criminal behavior.

In the Bible, the wicked, sinners and mockers can be simply those who have unfriended God; forsaken God’s counsel, advice, guidance, purposes, plans and desires. It refers to anyone, overtly criminal in behavior or not in our eyes, who has blocked and discarded the purposes for which they were created and thus live in opposition to any intervention of God into their lives. Forsaking God can lead us in many directions, and not simply those we consider as being outwardly wicked. Conversely, people we consider befriending because we consider having acceptable behavior may well be wicked in God’s eyes.

2. SELECT UNFRIEND

“Walking in the counsel of the Ungodly” is following advice or guidance and making plans for our behavior in everyday life which is in keeping with those who have cut themselves off from God (un-Godly), those who have no inclination to follow, acknowledge or heed God’s Word. Determine to block their messages of potential-limiting advice. Refuse their News Feed, don’t go to their homepage. Turn off notifications to their updates.

Mocking God has joyless consequences.

Proverbs 13:19-21 (NLT) says “It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them. Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.”  

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NLT) says “…bad company corrupts good character.”

With all the supposed social networks that we have in our world today, all the news feed of biased social media and those self-appointed experts on morality, justice and social norms, the Bible says there is still only one pathway for us to God. Through following Christ.

3. NEW FRIEND REQUEST

Perhaps that is why some have looked at this Psalm as a reference to the One who was the descendant of the author; the Lord Jesus Christ; One who never listened to the counsel of the wicked, never followed them, One who was free of sin and One who never regarded God’s will with cynicism or scorn. Son of David, Son of God.

God became man. There’s a message in your news feed. Top story. Trending, “good news of great joy”. Jesus goes to sinners to save them not conform Himself to their lifestyle. His perfect life opens the door to the Psalms as an example of his intentions for us. 1 Peter 2:21 (NLT) says, “…He is your example, and you must follow in His steps.” The Search tool is the Bible where you will find Him, His posts, apps, and events of His life, His viral reach. Become an engaged user.

Jesus is the only man who has completely lived a life which does not conform to the world around Him. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) says that Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses as “… One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” Jesus, in John 17:15-16 (NLT) prays for believers. “I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.”

4. POKE

God is trying to get your attention. His invitation is to experience Joy and Blessing in life. The word “joys” as used in Psalm 1 is a plural word giving the idea of multiplied happiness, experiencing the full measure of joy with nothing withheld, contentment, ongoing peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, protection, assurance, provision and prosperity. It is a joy, peace, and assurance that transcends circumstances even when we encounter suffering.

5. LIKE

This joyful blessing is a gift from God. It results from His approval, His acceptance and favor. His likes are heart-shaped. His love is unconditional. But your Joy IS conditional on who you follow. Joyfulness is not simply a spontaneous response to circumstances but arises from an intentional choice to separate from those who extrude our enjoyment of life because they exclude the Way, the Truth and the Life. Two ways to live, two kinds of people, two roads, two destinies.

The invitation of the Bible is not to WALK in their way, STAND in their influence, SIT in their lifestyle, but to SIT in heavenly places in Christ, STAND firm in the faith and WALK with wisdom,…

“…for He raised us from the dead along with Christ and SEATED us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6 NLT), so “STAND firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT), and “be careful how you WALK, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 NASB).

Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God TRANSFORM YOU INTO A NEW PERSON by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Now that’s a milestone worth reviewing.

Pastor Ross

Related Article

https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/category/psalms/psalm-1/

 

Matthew 16:13-17 – AN INSTAGRAM IMAGE OF JESUS

Narcissis  Today

Narcissus
Today – Photo created by Ross Cochrane with Paint.net and Filter Forge from a painting by Caravaggio

“Enough about me. Tell me what you think about me.” Narcissus, a young man in Greek mythology, fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool. Now, instead of a pool, Narcissus looks into the screen of an iPhone and takes Instagram Selfies. He documents his day from the food he eats to the songs he listens to, to the fleeting thoughts he has. He uploads his images and comments about himself to social media sites. Nothing is out of bounds. Nothing too ordinary to share. What if in the middle of posting his ego he received a post from God Himself? Would he notice?

Rampant in our social media Narcissus demands “Follow Me!” In his numerous self-aggrandizing conversations on Twitter he brags about expertise and exaggerates personal achievements. He sends endless Selfies; ingrown images, craving the admiration of others and by-passes the warm and caring interpersonal relationships so that personal acclaim can visit.

When Jesus comes to Caesarea Philippi in the North, a city of idols, and sends out a Tweet to His disciples “What are others saying about me?” (Matthew 16:13 NLT) He is not hungry for others to affirm His sense of self-worth. He doesn’t need to! He is not simply looking for praise though He deserves it. He is not sending a Selfie with a peace sign and duck lips? “IAG (I am God) HOW GOOD AM I? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ME?!!!!” He is not pridefully blaspheming His own image in order to get our feedback? He doesn’t need us to prop Him up! He is not even wanting to attract followers; He sternly warns the disciples NOT to tell anyone about who He really is? (Matthew 16:20 NLT). He knows who He is. The question is – do we?

His question ripples the water of the pool and my Narcissistic gaze is broken long enough to see His reflection instead of mine. How would I answer? What would you say?

“Well, Jesus,” we say, “others are saying that You are obviously a very spiritual person with a depth of belief that is uncomfortably confronting at times. They know You as a powerful speaker who stirs them to think deeply about their relationship with God and others. You have certainly made Your mark with Your miracles. They admire You as an excellent leader. You attract followers willing to die for You. Some think that You’re a bit radical, and that You have a holy air about You. You are morally good, lifting the bar beyond what most of them want even though they secretly aspire to these things. Most people think of You as a prophet figure who is making a big impact on the world with Your philosophy. Obviously intelligent, influential, persuasive, You are movie-star like as You entertain and teach them with Your story telling abilities.”

He turns to you and me and with personal intent written in His gaze He asks us the same question “Who do YOU say that I am?”

I remember when He asked me that question. I can see it now. I am standing in a gathering of believers. The preacher has called for a response. There is an awkward silence inside, yet the songs of life relentlessly continue to play all around me. I must choose my words carefully to reflect what is in my heart because the eyes of God are piercing my soul and yet somehow the words don’t seem to exist that would adequately express what I want to say. What can I say? My throat is suddenly dry and I try to swallow. I find that I am shaking, standing alone yet in a crowd, knowing that somehow my life hangs in the balance based on how I answer…

And then the words flow, God prompted, clear, courageous and eloquent, declaring a depth of trust that is beyond my understanding, and declaring a breadth of faith that rings crystal clear in eternity’s hallways, and invites heaven’s celebration.

I responded that day to Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord. God asked me the most demanding and important question of my life! I didn’t understand the full implications of my response, but it changed my life, forever. 

“Who do people say I am?” Son of a carpenter or creator of the world. Purveyor of wisdom or omniscient? Miracle worker or lifechanger? Storyteller or History maker? This question has echoed through the centuries, testing the hearts and minds of millions. Astounding!

Jesus doesn’t need the religious trapping and positive affirmations, the warm fuzzies we so often crave, to make Him feel better about Himself. That’s not what He’s fishing for. Not at all! He’s fishing for the response of your human spirit as it gasps for it’s first breath of life in an amazing revelation of new birth. The only real answer to His question is the answer Peter blurts out “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” (Matthew 16:16 NLT). 

Pastor Ross