Does Your Faith Affect Your Use of Social Media?

social media

As Christians, our faith in Christ should affect every part of our lives. Did you ever consider how it should affect your social media interaction? Next time you’re using a social media app or site, such Facebook or Twitter, as yourself these questions –

How do the books, movies, bands, and celebrities I’ve liked or followed reflect upon me as a believer? What you spend time watching and listening to, and who you support, has a lot to say about what you value. What do the pages you’ve liked or followed say about you, and who you are as a Christian?

What am I really posting? What are the songs you’re sharing really saying? Is the language you are using honoring to God? Are you posting jokes with questionable humor? Make sure your statuses line up with the kind of thing Philippians 4:8 says we should be thinking about!

Do I show God’s love when I interact with others on social media sites? Is what you’re posting going to hurt someone else, or make them feel left out? Ask God to help you to show His love to others, even on social media!

How will what I’m posting influence others who may look up to me? Chances are you have someone in your life who looks up to you. What kind of an example are you setting for them online?

Here are a few ways you can social media in an encouraging manner –

  • Post a favorite Bible verse you come across.
  • Loved a worship song at church this weekend? Share it!
  • Share something you are thankful for.

In God’s Army

army again

You are in an army – God’s army! Like soldier in the army, you have an enemy. Ephesians 6:12 describes that enemy. It says that we fight not against other people, but rather against the powers of darkness in the heavenly realms. In other words, our enemy is the devil – the one who deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, leading to their sin of disobeying God by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The devil loves to deceive us still, to this day. Maybe you’re familiar with his lies – that you’re not good enough, that no one cares about you, or that you don’t really matter all that much to God. The lies he uses vary from person to person, but they are all lies, just the same.

The good news??? Like any soldier, you have been given armor and weapons to use against the enemy. They are listed in Ephesians 6:13-18, and they come from knowing what Christ has done for you, and who you are in Him! Further good news???  The devil is a defeated foe!

Colossians 2:15 says that Christ disarmed principalities and powers, and that He triumphed over them at the cross! Jesus won the victory over the devil over 2,o00 years ago when He gave His life for us, and rose again. Because we belong to Him, the victory He won is ours as well!

The devil likes to try and act like he hasn’t really been conquered. He wants to deceive anyone and everyone who will listen (which is where the weapons and armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:13-18 come in). When your enemy tries to lie to you, remember that he has already ben defated, and no loner has any right to do so.

You’re in an army. You have an enemy. The victory over that enemy is already yours, because of what Christ has done!

Hearing from God

Hearing from God

Have you ever wondered if God really wants to speak to you? If so, why doesn’t He do it more often? And how does one begin to actually hear His voice?

Jeremiah 33:3 tells us that God will answer us when we call upon Him, showing us things we don’t know, and John 10:27 says that His sheep hear His voice. As these verses make clear, God really does want to speak to you! He wants to guide you, give you wisdom, and show you things that you need to know when you need to know them. To really begin to hear His voice, however, you need to take the time to listen to Him!

How often do we get so caught up in our busy lives that we neglect to spend time with God? And when we do spend time with Him, how often do we pause, just sit there for a while, and listen for His voice? Think about it like this – if a friend kept on trying to call you but you never picked up the phone, or if you were talking to them and never let them get a word in edgewise, how would you ever hear what they were trying to say to you? It’s the same with hearing from God. If we want Him to speak to us, we have to take the time to quiet ourselves and actually listen to what He is trying to say.

Do you want to hear God’s voice? If so, I challenge you to ask Him to speak to you, then take even just 5 or 10 minutes by yourself to just be quiet, and listen for what He has to say.  If you have a difficult time with this, try turning on some worship music to help you to focus on God, and what He wants to say to you.The more you listen, the more you’ll begin to hear His voice, and experience His guidance in your life!

Become Good at Receiving from God!

Become Good at Receiving from God

Are you good at receiving? Or do you have a difficult time accepting something as a free gift?

Sometimes, it can be hard for us to allow others to do things just to bless us. When we go out for coffee with a friend and they want to pay the bill, we insist that we must pay for our own beverage. When someone we know tries to give us a gift, we tell them that they really didn’t have to get one for us. We make the simple task of receiving what is freely given to us into a complicated matter involving lots of going back and forth. Our acceptance is more grudging that gracious, because we feel awkward simply taking what we are being offered, thanking the giver for their kindness, and allowing them to have the joy of blessing someone they care about.

This difficulty in receiving can easily transfer over into our relationship with God. He has so many good things He wants to give us, that Jesus paid the price for us to be able to have, but there’s one catch – He offers them to us as free gifts, which must be received, not earned. This is actually good news for us, because we can never be good enough to earn God’s blessings anyways. However, we still like to try. We have a hard time accepting God’s good gifts as freely as they are given. We come up with all kinds of excuses of why they can’t be for us, when all the while the only thing God is asking of us is that we would just receive what He is offering to us.

God loves seeing His children enjoy all that He has for them. It brings Him joy when you receive His blessings as the free gift He intends them to be. You can’t earn them, so to receive them is the only way they are ever going to be yours. Overcome your difficulty in accepting what He offers you with a thank you, and become good at receiving from Him!

Linked this post up with Thriving Thursdays at Serving Joyfully.

God’s Supply Is Greater Than Your Need!

supply

What are you in need of today? In what area do you need God’s supply? Don’t be afraid to come to Him with your request. His supply is far greater than any need that you may be facing!

In Luke 9:10-17, the people Jesus was teaching were in need of food. There was only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish available to them at the time. This was not near enough food to feed the 5,000 or more that were present. Jesus had the people sit down anyway. He gave thanks for the food, distributed it, and there was enough for all of them to eat until they were satisfied, with 12 basketsful left over.

In this situation, it look impossible for the people’s need to be met. After all, who ever heard of feeding a whole crowd with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish? Jesus did the impossible anyway, providing more than enough for all who were present. Though their need was great, God’s supply was greater still!

The same holds true in our lives today. No matter what our need, regardless of how great or small it may be, God is more than willing and able to supply it. When you present your request to Him, ask in faith, knowing that you will receive what you are lacking!

What God Has to Say About Our Financial Success

Financial Success

Earlier, we discussed whether or not it’s ok for Christians to prosper financially. We talked about how it’s the love of money, not money itself, that is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10), and how it’s not so much about how much we have, but whether or not it has us. Now, let’s look at what God’s Word has to say about our financial success.

  • Proverbs 10:22 – His blessing brings wealth, and adds no sorrow with it.
  • Isaiah 60:5 – To you shall come the wealth of nations!
  • Philippians 4:19 – He will supply all your needs.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:11 – He will enrich you in every way so that on all occasions, you can be generous.
  • Psalm 1:2-3 – Those who meditate on and delight in God’s Word shall prosper in all they do.
  • Isaiah 61:6 – On the wealth of nations you will feed, and you will boast in their riches.
  • Deuteronomy 30:9 – He will make you prosperous in the work of your hands – He will delight in you, and make you prosperous. (This was a blessing given for obedience. We can never obey perfectly, but Jesus lived the perfect life for us. Because we are in Him, His perfection covers us, and we have access to this blessing!)

This is what God’s Word promises regarding your finances! Trust in His promises. Take Him at His Word, and see what He will accomplish in your life financially!

Believe God for Miracles!

DYB_540x300banner

Recently, the movie Do You Believe? came out in theaters, featuring the Newsboy’s hit song “We Believe.” One of my favorite scenes was where Joe is in the hospital and flatlines, only to come back to life, totally healed and restored, just a short time later. This miracle really impacts his nurse, prompting her to devote her life more fully to God. It gives her confidence that God really can do anything – even work in the situation of an unfair law suit her husband is facing. It also deeply impacts Lily’s mother, who had been with Joe both when he died, and when he came back to life.

That whole situation in the movie really caused me to think about what would happen if we would dare to ask God for the things that seem impossible to us, believing that He would grant our requests. God desires for miracles coming to pass to be more than just an inspiring scene in a movie. He wants to do that kind of thing in real life, but He needs someone to be willing to step out and ask Him in faith.

In the Bible, Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, and so much more. People flocked to Jesus because of the miracles He performed. Guess what?!? God never changes! It is still His desire to do these kinds of things today, THROUGH YOU! Jesus says in John 14:12 that the same works He did, you also shall do also. Imagine how many people would be impacted for God if they saw His miracle-working power operating in your life, and flowing through you to touch others!

Mark 11:24 says that if we believe, we will receive WHATEVER we ask for in prayer! Mark 19:26 says that with God, ALL things are possible. Know that there is no situation to big for God to handle. No matter how desperate things may seem, He is willing and able to help. Don’t be afraid to trust Him for big things. Make your request in confidence, knowing that you will see what you’ve asked for come to pass, because of God’s love for you!

Do You Believe?, and the Most Important Question

DYB_540x300banner

(Note – Do You Believe? is rated PG-13. It contains some violence, and addresses a number of more grown up topics. For a thorough review and breakdown of the movie and its content, visit http://www.pluggedin.)

Featuring Newsboys’ hit song “We Believe,” the movie Do You Believe? brings us face to face with a very important question – “Do you believe in the cross of Christ,” and if so, “what are you going to do about it?”

Do You Believe? tells the story of 12 different people from various walks of life, each dealing with their own set of circumstances, who share one thing in common – they must each answer in their own way the question given above. For the pastor and his wife, as well as a couple that has lost their daughter, it means taking in struggling people the Lord places in their paths. For others, it means taking the step to either commit or more fully commit their lives to Him. Some must take a risk to stand up for and live out their faith. At the end of the day, however, they all discover that God is ready and willing to meet them right where they’re at.

The question the movie asks – do you believe in the cross – is the most important question we’ll ever answer. This one choice – to place our trust in Jesus, and accept Him as our Savior – both settles where we will spend eternity, and also has a life-changing impact on us here and now. If you believe in Him, then you are a child of God, with the right to have a close, intimate relationship with Him that will extend on into eternity. Refusal to receive Christ is THE ONE AND ONLY thing we do that prevents us from someday living with Him forever.

Once we have accepted Christ, God wants to use us to impact others for Him. As the movie shows, He can do so in a variety of ways in each of our lives. What’s important is that we are willing to listen to His voice, and allow Him to lead and guide us.

How will you answer the question the movie presents – the most important one you’ll ever be asked? “Do YOU believe in the cross of Christ,” and if so “what are YOU going to do about it?”

God’s Not Dead, and a Question Asked by Many

God's Not Dead

One year ago, the movie God’s Not Dead was released in theaters. Last summer, it came out on dvd. The movie is all about a college student, Josh Wheaton, standing up for his faith on campus against a professor who demands that he signs a paper stating that God is dead. I recently rewatched the movie, and there was something that really stuck out to me.

This scene is Josh’s final classroom argument to prove that God’s not dead. Pay attention especially to Professor Radisson’s response to a question Josh poses –

As the movie progresses, it becomes apparent that there’s more to the story of the professors’ unbelief than meets the eye. During the last debate, Josh asks the professor point blank why he hates God. The professor responds by saying it’s because God took everything away from him. Earlier in the movie, we find out that Radisson’s mother died of cancer when he was 12 years old, despite his prayers that God would spare her life. Therefore, he holds God responsible for his mother’s death. He also says something very interesting. He comments that the most committed athiests were originally Christians who awoke to what life really was like.

People all over the world every day are asking the question of why bad things happen if God is so good. It deeply saddens me to know that the response they often receive, and what many Christians believe to be true, makes it sound like it’s God’s fault – that He causes or allows negative things to happen for our good, because He has reasons we don’t always understand. This causes many people to turn directly away from God, or feel bitterly towards Him. Who can blame them? After all, who would really want to serve a God that is behind all of life’s tragedies – all the different things insurance clauses describe as “acts of God?” And are they really acts of God?

To say that God is good, and then to point things back to Him that are clearly bad just doesn’t make sense. John 10:10 clearly states that it is NOT God who steals, kills, and destroys, but rather that He sent His Son to give us life. Therefore, how could things like sickness, disease, death, and natural disasters possibly be good, or be from Him?

The truth of the matter? God is good. The trials and tragedies of life are not from Him. Sometimes they come as a result of people’s bad choices, and other times, it’s simply because we live in a fallen world where all is not as God originally designed it. The good news is that whatever we’re facing, God is both willing and able to help us, but when we ask, we HAVE TO BELIEVE that He will, and that it is His desire to do so. This is hard to do when we’re blaming Him for what we’re going through, or thinking that He caused or allowed our situation to teach us something.

What about you? What do you believe about tragedy, and whether or not God causes or allows it? Instead of blaming Him, are you willing to believe that He is ready and waiting to rescue you in any and all circumstances that you face?

The Greatest Love Of All

The Greatest Love Of All C&C

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Valentine’s is all about love. We buy gifts – flowers, candy, and more – for the ones we love. We give out valentines with messages of friendship and love to those who are special to us. On this day celebrating love, let’s take time to remember and give thanks for the greatest love of all – God’s love for us!

God’s love is greater than any other love we’ll ever encounter. He showed just how much He loves us by performing the greatest act of love ever to be done. He sent His own Son to give His life for us, taking our punishment for the wrong things we’ve done, so that we could have a relationship with Him!

Everything Jesus suffered – ridicule, beating, a crown of thorns shoved upon His head, nails being driven through His hands and feet, crucifixion, a spear jab through His side – it was all for us. The extent of what He bore on our behalf shows just how extreme His love for us really is. This kind of love has no comparison!

This Valentine’s Day, thank God for His incredible love for you! Want to dive deeper into understanding His affection for you? He’s left many love notes scattered throughout His Word for you to find! To help you discover them, check out the Love Notes From God devotional, which takes scriptures about God’s love, turns them into love note form, and breaks down what they reveal about God’s love. To purchase the pdf file of Love Notes From God, click here!

Wising you all a blessed and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day C&C