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What is social media doing to you?

Imagine this commercial: Our product will give you access to the most stressful, anxiety-inducing, anger-arousing events going on both near and far! You will know more than you ever wanted to know and be powerless to do anything about it! Sign up for free today so that we can stalk and monetize your online behavior! Who wants to sign up? Apparently 2.6 billion of us. This is the basic experience and business model of social media. Why do we do this? Humanity is an utter mystery sometimes. I’m not going to do some deep dive on how social media works, I want to do an ultra-practical exercise together. Let’s examine what social media is doing to us. Examining the Fruit How often are the following characteristics produced in your heart based on your use of social media? Answer each item with this simple scale: Rarely, Sometimes, Often Good Fruit Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness Self-control Bad Fruit Now let’s do that again but with a second set of charact
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Waiting on the Lord

These are some beautiful passages from the Bible about waiting on the Lord. They blessed me and I wanted to share. I put them in something of an order: from the promises to the prayers to the self-exhortation to the sweet final reality. Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Psalm 25:3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; ... Psalm 39:7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Genesis 49:18 I wait for your salvation, O Lord . Isaiah 33:2 O Lord , be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord , my soul waits, and in his word I hope; Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord ! Isaiah 25:9 It will be

Don’t forget to look in the mirror

“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.” (Proverbs 26:15, ESV) Oh that silly sluggard… This is a funny proverb. I am never too tired to pick up food in front of me and eat, so therefore this is a proverb that allows me to laugh at other people. Oh those “other people” who bury their Bible on the shelf and can’t be bothered to read it. And those “other people” whose God is always faithfully listening, but they forget to pray. Then there are those “other people” who finally found a faithful church, but they find it too demanding to really participate in it.  Silly sluggard.

Already exhausted?

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Philippians 3:12, ESV) Doesn't the daily battle get exhausting? If only the struggle were merely external, that would be one thing. But the battle rages in my heart before I can even get out of bed. Why do I still make a mess of things like I do? Why is my heart still so conflicted and torn? Why is simply trusting God still so difficult? Why is my life such a work in progress when I've already labored so long? Sometimes the questions are good, sometimes the questions are pure despair. Sometimes the questions boil down to a broken and gasping cry to the heavens: Why should I even keep going? "...because Christ Jesus has made me his own." Long ago my Savior knew the despair. Long ago he knew the choice between pressing on and giving up. In the face of the world's fiercest opposition, he pressed on. He didn't

Communion Thoughts

I was meditating on communion in light of my sermon on Luke 2:1-7. I hope you are blessed, today and tomorrow! The birth of Christ has everything to do with the Lord’s Supper. Jesus was born with a purpose. His purpose was not to reach his potential nor was his purpose to live a happy life. Jesus was born to die. That’s not saying that he was born knowing that human beings get old and die. He had no intent of reaching old age. Jesus came to pay the debt his people owed. Jesus came to die. We can only separate Jesus’ birth from his death if we forget why he came. And the Lord’s Table refuses to let us do that. Moreover, the Lord’s Table doesn’t just remind us why he came, it reminds us of what he did. He accomplished what he intended. He paid the redemption price for his people. He satisfied justice so that his people might escape judgement. The manger scene bore awe-filled witness to the newly born Savior’s first cries. Yet in those infant cries, calvary’s echo replies: “I

What would you choose over God?

“Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.” (Zechariah 11:12–13, ESV) What would you choose over God? If you asked us point-blank, the answer would be, “Nothing! There’s nothing more important than God!” But if you look at our lives, the story might be different. We choose a lot of things over God. We choose lovers and long weekends, we choose paychecks and playing video games. We choose another drink and we choose another helping of dessert. We choose another white lie and we choose a better Facebook post. We choose recreation. We choose retail. Sin's tragic question is this: What wouldn't we choose over God? But God's joyous response is this: He wouldn

What kind of a God is this?

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5, ESV) The God of this psalm bewilders me. What kind of God prepares a table for his subjects? What kind of God fills their cups to overflowing? This God plays host to the broken and the unwanted. He welcomes the people no one else would tolerate. He’s not some austere God of stone and obligation. He is generous, He is abundant, He is lavish. He’s more than the Good Shepherd, He’s the Good Host. When David wrote this psalm, he couldn’t imagine the depths of hospitality this Good Host would show. He couldn’t imagine that the Lord would set the table with living bread. He couldn’t fathom the cup the Son would drink to fill our cup to overflowing. He couldn’t have ever dreamt of the Holy Spirit poured out upon all the children of God. And here we are, recipients of the surpassing fulfillment of promises made long ago. Delight your soul in our lavish Go