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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FACE THE BOOK

Last year, during one of the weeks of summer Bible camp, one of the sessions had for their theme, "Face the Book".  It was a play on the social media mogul "Facebook", but actually meant to get the campers to "FACE THE BOOK"....the BIBLE.

I really liked that theme and have thought about Facebook's attributes and how it can relate to the life of a Christian.  Let's look at these findings:

facebook vs. FACE "THE" BOOK

THE CREATOR: Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerburg and some of his college buddies.  It has grown to where millions and millions (if not billions) of people are active users of the website.  The world, the animals, all of the people, and all of the beautiful things of nature - all of this was created by God.  Nothing and no one can compare to God.  Nothing or no one can compare to His awesomeness!

SIGNING UP/CONTRACTS: First of all, when you sign up join Facebook, you must put your real name (or it's supposed to be your real name).  To that, you add a password that is only for you to know.  It's like a contract between you and Facebook that you enter into when signing up.

When one becomes a Christian, he/she must be real. Being real is the only way one can come to Jesus. Being real as a Christian doesn't include signing up or joining.  God adds to the church those who are saved.  He writes the names of the saved in the book of life.  (see verses below.)And, instead of the password, think of this "contract" being a covenant - a promise - between you and God.  You've allowed Him to work in your life and started this wonderful walk as a Christian.

FRIENDS/BEING ADDED: The next thing a new Facebook user would do, is get "friends".  People can "add" you as a friend, too. As a Christian, you've already made a friend - the best friend you could ever have!  When you are a Christian, you are a friend of Jesus!  Can you invite other friends, like you do on Facebook?  Absolutely!  In fact, it's an obligation to God to tell others about Him and invite them to know Jesus as their friend, too.  But, it is God who does the adding, not us.  We can invite, but He adds.

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (verse 41) And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (verse 47b)
Acts 2:41, 47b

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 21:27
STATUSES/NETWORKS: Facebook friends post statuses and comments.  Other friends can "like" those comments and statuses and post their own, too.  That's the whole point of the social media network - to connect with each other and learn more about each other.  The Christian's social network is the church.  When you and I choose not to gather together with other brothers and sisters in Christ, we are making the choice that can lead to discouragement in others.  Maybe for you missing an occasional gathering together doesn't seem to matter, but have you ever thought about how it affects your fellow Christians??

An example of this fact is this:  For the past two weeks, our elders have canceled mid-week Bible classes.  For my family, we still did our nightly devotional like we usually do.  Last Wednesday, we even invited people to our home to sing songs and pray together.  We still had the connection with fellow Christians.  But, I recall reading a few of the statuses on Facebook as they read about the cancelled services.  They were sad.  They were disappointed.  They were truly going to miss that mid-week "pick-me-up" and didn't want to miss it!  If I act like those times don't matter and if they indeed don't matter to me, what am I telling my Christian brothers and sisters?  What am I telling my children if that is my attitude?  Hmmmmm......

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another (underlined for emphasis)—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25
STATUSES/PRAYER: About those Facebook statuses.....many times they tell how we're feeling...what we're thinking....something that is bothering us.  Prayer with God is this way, too. In our prayers to God we can tell him exactly what we are feeling and what we are feeling.  We can ask for prayer requests on Facebook.  We can ask for help from God to make it through the day. We can talk to him, just like a friend.

STATUSES/RELATIONSHIPS: Probably one of the most amusing things about Facebook is seeing the relationship statuses of teenagers.  Daily many are in and out of relationships (like getting a new pair of shoes and throwing out the old ones!)  The down side of this is when an adults relationship status changes.  Some changes in relationships are really tough.  Some are heartbreaking.  There are good changes some times and bad changes at other times.  I've written about this before, but when we have Jesus in our lives, our status changes from unsaved to saved.  No other status is more important in our life.  What is your relationship status with Jesus?  It matters!

FANS/FOLLOWERS: Facebook has things called "pages" where one can become a fan of a business or a group.  Many in the world are fans of Jesus. They may talk about Him from time to time.  They may worship Him occasionally.  Being a fan of Jesus isn't necessarily bad, but, Jesus doesn't just want a "fan" that comes and goes. He doesn't want a fair-weathered-fan who is only interested in Him only at certain times...like when things are going bad.  He wants a follower who walks with Him...Every... Day.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9:23

CONTACTS: Facebook is fun in lots of ways.  It's nice keeping in contact with friends in a way that otherwise wouldn't be possible.  But, Facebook is nothing compared to the Bible.  It's nothing compared to the relationships we have when we are bonded together through the blood of Christ. 

When we "Face that Book" - the Only Book that is the source for what is true and what is right, we'll get away from all of the worldly ideas of life.  We'll get away from the drama and insecurities. We'll get focused on what is real.  When we "Face THE Book", we'll be focused on God and on His Son Jesus.

Nothing. Else. Matters. 
 
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