Tuesday, January 15, 2013

social media & acknowledging Jesus before men

Did you know that you are right where you are supposed to be?

You live in the most extraordinary time.

You live in the age of media- of instant communication.

It's amazing.

You have been given some of the greatest tools to communicate the Gospel in the history of mankind.

You.

How many generations could say that they could instantly send out a sentence to hundreds of people?

And yet, we don't even think twice about it. It's so easy for us to use these incredible tools we've been given to please ourselves.

If you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or even a Pinterest account, you are living a life online- one that speaks volumes to your friends and followers.

And I'm not even talking about blogging. Just the sentence you occasionally type on Facebook represents the person you are.

God wanted you to live right here, and right now, and He made you for a purpose: to bring Him glory.

Sweet friend, how are you using the tools you've been given?

Are you using them for God's glory?

Are you confessing God before men? Are you living a life that is sold out for Jesus?

Your online life counts too.

Facebook reveals more than you'd think about a person. The comments you leave, the pages you like, the articles you read, the pictures you post; you don't even have to write a single status to communicate who you are. 

Who would your Facebook friends or Instagram followers say you are?

We rarely consider it, but social media is one of the most powerful ways we have to communicate the Gospel today.

It should never be fake, by any means. It's not about having an agenda, or only posting Scriptures, or religious articles. Everyone can see right through that.

It's about loving Jesus with all your heart, and living for Him in every aspect of your life.

You should be a real person, with a real story.

When your heart is so affected by Jesus, the words you speak change. And the stories you share, the jokes you tell, and even the sites you visit online should change too, because you love and want to obey Jesus.

You are responsible to God for every deed you have done in this life. Including what you do on the internet.

Does that scare you like it does me?

It scares me because I know who I am and all the time I have wasted on serving myself. And I know I can't change a single thing in my heart or an ounce of my behavior without the mercy of Jesus.

He has given us a purpose- to live for His glory, and to be the light of the world.

Are we doing that when we are online?

Would your friends on Facebook say that you love Jesus with everything? Or would they say that you look and sound just like everyone else?

Are you afraid of what they'll think about you if you post too many things about Jesus? Or talk too much about what God has done for you?

I know I have been. It wasn't that I didn't love Jesus, it was more that I wasn't sure I wanted to be seen as that kind of person. I began to buy into the lie that you need to blend in with culture first and just love them in order to be accepted by those around you, so you had a platform to share the Gospel later.

The problem with that {very common} theory, is that in reality, the time for you to share never comes. Because you have looked so much like everyone else for so long, saying something becomes embarrassing, and that much harder to do. And no one really believes you've been changed, because you've looked {or posted or talked} just like everyone else. What's so different about you?

How can you tell them you've been different all along, when you've looked just like them? How could you have kept such a great thing a secret for so long?

It just doesn't work.

If God has changed your heart, you want to talk about it. 

If God has changed your life, your life will reflect that. Both offline and online.

You've been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. You've been given the most incredible gift in the entire world: salvation and a new heart.

Do your actions tell that story?

Do your words tell that story?

You've been given a tool that no generation has ever had before. Even if you don't use Facebook or Twitter, or Pinterest, you probably have a phone and a computer. You can talk with people thousands of miles away. You can email, you can text, you can encourage, you can even pray with others across the world.

Do you see that as a tool for serving Jesus? It so is! :D

The apostles had to walk for days to reach other people with the truth, and you can do it from your recliner!! That's crazy, isn't it?

Oh, but I can't say it enough- I don't think that using media for God's glory is about forcing the knowledge of Him on others in an artificial way. It's about being genuinely changed by knowing Jesus personally.

I think that sharing your testimony- what God has done for you- is the most effective way to share the Gospel, no matter what means you use to share it. Being changed doesn't come from just knowing who God is- it comes from experiencing Him! 

I loved this article my friend Luann sent me by Kelly Minter.

Kelly puts it so beautifully:
If I can’t connect to His personal love then the faith-story I tell others will be forced and awkward, saddled with inaccessible doctrines that may be true, but they won’t be life. 
and I loved, loved, loved this quote too:
We will talk about Him to the degree we experience Him.
Do you see it? It's not about being someone you're not, or trying to "get people saved"- it's about loving Jesus with everything you have, and being so changed by it that you want to share it with others!! :D

It's not about posting articles about faith to make your profile seem more Christian- it's about wanting to share the truth with others because you know they're hurting like you were, and you know who can heal them. It's because your heart has been so changed by the truth, that you want to set others free with it too.

Social media is so powerful. How are you using it?

Will you confess Jesus before man with it?

Don't be afraid to tell others about Jesus. They can't do anything to you, sweet friend, and you are responsible to God himself for what you do with your time here on this earth.

Don't worry about what they'll think- they will know the truth in the end:

Matthew 10:26-33
26“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.f 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?g And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

It's a serious charge, and one I pray we will all take seriously- both in our real lives, and our online lives.

What He tells you in the dark, say in the light. What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

And don't be afraid to use the tools you've been given to do it.

God, give us the courage to shout the truth from the rooftops- to not fear man, but to fear you instead, because you have so greatly loved us and saved us. Please help us to live for you in every aspect of our lives. I know we fail you on a daily basis, and we are so bad at this, but we are so grateful that your mercies are new every morning!! Oh, Jesus, please take every part of us and change us. Holy Spirit, please tell us when to speak boldly for you, and give us what we should say so that we might share the truth, and not our own words. Thank you, thank you, thank you Father for giving us a new heart, because we know we could never change on our own. We love you, God!
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