Just so there is no confusion, I am not preaching today because Andrew has been banned from the pulpit for his message last week, I just get the chance about every few weeks to preach and give Andrew a break. It is a grueling task to preach week in and week out and take care of leading a growing church like Spring Run. It takes an incredible amount of focus and commitment to do what Andrew does.

Introduction: Watching 5 people sit in a circle waiting for their kids to get out of karate class, no one speaking to each other only looking down at their smartphones. No one asking how anyone is doing or even talking about the weather.

Our BIG IDEA this morning in technology. This is a huge topic and so I decided to narrow it down to a more manageable area of SOCIAL MEDIA and how it affects our lives. I believe it is important for us to understand that God cares about technology and social media and that our Christian worldview should impact how we use it and interact with it. As a matter of fact, I am not alone, Mark Mountan sent an email with the following quote from George Barna who is the founder of The Barna Group, a market research firm specializing in studying the religious beliefs and behavior of Americans, and the intersection of faith and culture.

I would like to get to this issue by first looking at this passage in 1 Corinthians. For the last several weeks we have been looking at Big Ideas from a Christian Worldview or another way is to say a Biblical Perspective. The three questions we are using to identify any worldview are:
1. Where did we come from? Which leads us to ask what it the meaning to life?
2. What is wrong with the world? Because everyone knows things are really messed up.
3. How do we fix it? What is the solution to our problems and the mess we have created?

1. We came from God
2. Everyone is sinful and has rebelled against God
3. Only God can fix this mess and He did it by sending Jesus to die for us and redeem back to Himself.

Exegesis of passage:
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. But HOW?

1. By not offending others (v32). Present the gospel effectively, tactful, with courtesy and persistence. We do have to understand that the message of the gospel is offensive to some people. Our culture does not like being told that they are screwed up because it is their fault and their fault alone, and the only way, the only way to fix it, is to trust in Jesus as their Savior. But we are challenged to lovingly confront our friends, neighbors and our culture with the gospel, which, contrary to popular opinion, is actually good news.

2. By trying to please everyone (v33). Not in the sense that we hold back truth to avoid offending others but in the sense that we love our neighbors as much as ourselves. The apostle Paul new that each person, each city, each ethnic group or race that he preached the gospel to was going to be different. And he wanted to be ready to preach the gospel in a way that related to different people.

3. By not seeking our own advantage (v33). The benefit is for the salvation of others. Paul’s life was an example of how he could glorify God by living sacrificially so others could hear the gospel. How are you living sacrificially so that others may hear and know the truth of the gospel? Life is not about you.

4. By being imitators of Christ (v1). We are to conform to the image of Christ. We are to be restored back into the image of God that we were originally created into. Paul calls the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ.
People watch you and listen to you and take notice that you consider yourself a christian and then act or speak in a certain way. Actions and beliefs must be congruent or else we are held up only as hypocrites, which is what most of the watching world thinks of Christians.
But when we are trying with all humility and selflessness to imitate Christ, people find that attractive, they get to see Jesus lived out in our lives.

Take time to evaluate how media is affecting your life, your family, your work.
– How much time per day do you spend on social media and tv?
– How is media affecting your mind, your thought life, your attitudes?
– How is media and technology affecting your spiritual life?
– When was the last time social media created conflict based on something someone said or something you said?
– When was the last time you were encouraged through social media by someone?
– Are you really connecting relationally with people or are you defaulting to social media, like emailing or texting someone when a phone call was really needed?
– Discuss these questions and evaluate this with your family. Pinterest, tmblr and other social media that you may not even be aware of.
– Do you and your spouse have ”full disclosure” over your social media outlets?

1. Put Technology to work in RELATIONSHIPS
We all know that the cell phone has revolutionized our lives in countless ways, both good and bad. I would say that they have allowed us to communicate much more quickly and easily with one another.
– Always have it with you to call someone or to get a call. (this really annoys some people though)
– Texting allows you to simply send someone a message. For instance, if your kid is a new driver and you want to know when they get to their destination, they can text you once they get there. It provides lots of peace of mind for the parents.
– We also know the dangers of texting in being able to send inappropriate pictures or messages that can hurt others.
– You can quickly send encouraging texts to let people know you are thinking about them or praying for them.
– Facebook can be a great place to put technology to work in relationships. Again, it’s a form of socializing with people you may not be able to see face to face, especially family and friends who live far away.
– I have seen so many people encourage one another on Facebook. However, I also someone who was in tears on the Wednesday morning after the election because they were so saddened by how people were treating one another with hurtful words.
– Facebook seems to give you the chance to speak your mind, promotes authenticity, say things on fb you might not to someone’s face.
– If you notice that someone is overwhelmed by their facebook status then get off your computer and go and help them. Maybe one of your friends needs a free babysitter so they can go on a date with their spouse. Maybe they need a morning to themselves and you can have their kids over for a playdate to give them a break.
– Glorify God with the information instead of using it for gossip or just to be idle in other people’s lives.

2. Put Technology to work in COMMUNICATING THE GOSPEL
Words are important and they can communicate truth, namely the truth of the gospel. Take advantage of the audience you have with social media. Not to cram the Bible or Christianity down anyone’s throat, but rather to speak truth.
– Post about how God has been working in your life, what the Scriptures have been teaching you lately.
– Most of the information and IDEAS we get come from the internet. Some of you are voracious readers of online content, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos. Some of that content is actually useful in communicating the truth of the gospel. It can give you insights into our culture and what people are thinking, it can give you a venue to respond to them, or to pass on helpful content to others.
– write your own blogs, post your own videos, create your own podcasts. (ex. Liveforchristresources.com)

3. Put Technology to work in helping you CONFORM TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST
– Search for ways to utilize technology, online media to encourage yourself in your walk with Christ.
– There are tons of excellent podcasts and YouTube videos of gospel centered teachers and preachers. There are resources and websites galore to help you understand just about anything there is to know about Christianity. Of course, you have to be careful as to which ones you trust, but they are out there.
– Tim Keller, John Piper, Matt Chandler, RC Sproul, Andrew Conrad. Some of you listen to our sermons online if you were unable to make it to church.
– You can download seminary classes, counseling courses, Bible study tools all for free.
– While the internet really is an endless stream of information being updated every minute I want to encourage to not ”gorge yourself”. Knowledge is good, but knowledge can puff up while love builds up.

”So whether you tweet or post on facebook, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”

Does Facebook have more Friends than Jesus?
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About The Author

I love to develop and create resources. It’s just a passion for me. I have an intense desire to help people understand the gospel and its implications in every area of our lives. I’m currently on staff at a vibrant, authentic church in Midlothian, VA, Spring Run Presbyterian (PCA). I became a Christian through Young Life in high school and was on staff with YL for 14 years. I have one gorgeous wife who is gifted and talented way beyond me and 3 unbelievably awesome kids who all have a heart for ministry. I received a Bachelors Degree in History from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary.

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