What do my social media posts say about who God is?

What do my social media posts say about who God is?

It’s one question I don’t think I ask enough.

I spend so much time online that sometimes I feel like I live inside the Internet. I am swept along with each wave of happiness, outrage, hilarity, disgust, and heartbreak that happen across the headlines every day.

And then a year in review pops up. I thought I was safe in His arms, secure, and savoring His Presence. I patted myself on the back for all my goodness. In actuality, rarely do I ever post except when exceptionally indignant or proud of my opinion. Everyone else sees a snarky, sarcastic and scathing “Christian”?  This should not be.

So am I saying that you should care what people think of you based on my online presence?

Yes. And No.

As a believer in Jesus, I say YES. We need to be constantly aware of how we are perceived by others. There is the obvious like hateful words, swearing, crude humor, grumbling. And the more subtle things too, like the things we may say with good intentions? Like choosing to respond to a controversial post in which Jesus’s opinion would be in the minority. When we are unkind people think God is unkind.

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way.[a] Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

1 Peter 3:15-16 NLT

And in doing just that: responding as Jesus would, we should NOT care what they think. Because we are safe in a Just God’s arms. We have been blessed and chosen by God. As such, we now have the freedom from man’s judgement to share this beauty of freedom with everyone. 

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

Hebrews 6:19 NLT

I started collecting inspiring images with wisdom written across in beautiful wide strokes. There is an abundance of them online, just waiting to speak some truth into someone’s day and then it occurred to me that maybe other people might appreciate them too. That’s why I started faith curator. It’s just a simple collection of faithful images I think are awesome and glorifying to God. Most images are taken straight from various places online, but I make my own from time to time too. Credit given where it is due.

So now, every time I post something, the question I ask myself is, not how do I look, but to whom do I look? I’m hoping you’ll see Jesus every time.

The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

Want to read Proverbs with us?

Want to read Proverbs with us?

Dear friends,

The beginning of the year can really feel like a drag sometimes. To me January feels like the Monday of months.  No more parties, no more presents, no more excuses to double on christmas cookies. It’s back to reality and it’s oh-so-bleak.

That’s why we wanted to do something extra special for our readers, to encourage and equip each other in the power of God’s Word.

So throughout the month of January, we will be reading a chapter a day in the book of Proverbs, together as a community.

Here’s how it will work:

  1. Read 1 chapter a day starting on January 1
  2. Select 1 verse that stands out to you
  3. Post that verse on Puredisciple’s Facebook page

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Now I know what you’re thinking… Allow me to explain why your participation will not only be worth the time, you might actually see yourself transformed in the process.

Reasons you should join us

  1. It’s easy. Only 1 chapter a day. So what if you miss a day? You can return to it any time.
  2. It’s good for you. We need God’s Word like we need oxygen (Mat 4:4).
  3. We’re all in it together. As the body of Christ we are meant to build each other up (1 Thess 5:11). There will be fellowship!
  4. By the end of the month, you’ll have read an entire book written by the wisest man who ever lived. How’s that for a conversation starter?

All are welcome and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this January!

Love,

The Pure Disciple Team

Is it a sin not to go to church?

Is it a sin not to go to church?

The convenience of a streaming church service is a double-edged sword. Indispensable to those who cannot leave their bed, but a tool of temptation for the devil.

I heard that whisper this morning: Why get up so early? It’s cold and you deserve a break, and who will notice you anyway? Whether you go or stay won’t make a difference. You’re still going to watch the sermon online, it’s not a sin to miss one week…

It got me thinking about why it’s important to go to church. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that it’s an outright sin not to go, nor does the Bible specifically say which day we are to worship.

So why should I go?

Tradition?

To see my friends?

Because Starbucks is on the way and I can get a treat?

Well, what does the Bible say about going to church? There are several reasons from scripture:

To encourage one another:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

To meet with God together:

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

Friendship with other believers:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

To mature in faith:

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13

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As for whether it’s a sin or not, “sin” is a deliberate rebellion against God. That’s between Creature and Creator. Far be it for me to say yes or no on behalf of someone else, I’ll humbly say that in my case, I believe it would have been considered a sin. The reason being that I understand and agree with the importance of church attendance. As mere laziness, I’d be a hearer only and not a doer of the word. (James 1:22).

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I went anyway. And instead of losing comfort, energy, and time, I unexpectedly gained something even better: peace that my obedience meant something to God. I think he is proud of my response. And I can’t wait to obey again next week.

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How would you answer that question?  Bring the question of church attendance before the throne in prayer and ask God for his wisdom in the matter.

Sharing A Seed

Sharing A Seed

Tonight I met up with a dear friend who lives abroad, but with whom things never seem to change no matter how long between visits. We shared the stories of the past 8 years of our lives over two enormous vanilla lattes. (I’m convinced that I could die happily in a cozy corner of a coffee house sipping a latte with a friend.)

As we chatted, the conversation organically turned to faith. While she’s not a believer, she was a genuine and ready listener. I silently asked Jesus to give me His words wherever the conversation went.

She wanted to know why Christians follow some parts of the Bible like Jesus’s commands in the new testament, but other parts were ignored, like the temple laws in Leviticus. Amazingly, I was able to launch into an explanation of the difference between old and new covenants, and how Jesus changed the game upon his arrival. And consequently, very fitting for the Christmas season!)

Afterward, I was astounded by how much I actually understood. As much as we downplay our abilities to “got out and make disciples”, we often know more than we think we know. Most of the apostles were simply ordinary guys. Jesus proved to us that you don’t need to hold a degree in Biblical Studies in order to share God’s truth.

Tonight I shared a tiny seed of truth into God’s purpose and plan with a friend. Even if I never get to see it, I know for certain that it will not fail to produce fruit somewhere, somehow.

Read

10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Isaiah 55:10-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

Think

Have you ever shared the gospel of Jesus with anyone?

Did you leave feeling satisfied that God would use your efforts?

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

Pray

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the opportunity to share your truth with another one of your children. I pray that as we go out into the world “ready to give a reason for the hope that we have”, we would always remember that it is YOUR words, not our human ideas, that are being communicated. Help us to keep your word in reverence and to immerse ourselves in it daily. We love you and praise you because you are. Amen.

 

A writer’s food for thought

Won’t you take a moment and read Proverbs 4 with me?

My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil. ~Proverbs 4:20-27

I’ve always wanted to be a writer of short stories but never before have I had such an opportunity and a reason.

I think, but I don’t know for sure, that God has called me to reach people through the written word. But I am having trouble coming up with what I want to say. The question isn’t just, who will this target, and will they want to read it, but am I able to say what God would have me say, and still say it in a creative and compelling narrative? I don’t want to write for the existing Christian Fiction section, although there certainly is a market for it.

Gingham dresses and prarie romance  aside, I want to write more like C.S. Lewis or Tolkein (lofty goals, I know) but their fiction has so much depth and meaning in every layer, without sounding “holier-than-thou”. How can this even be possible to do for an ignoramus like me?

God’s whisper seems to keep bringing me back to the fact that I was set aside for Glory.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. ~Colossians 3:1-2

In this excellent lecture by Ray Bradbury he implores budding writers to “stuff” their minds with short stories and poems and essays on every subject imaginable. He knows that you can’t learn to write unless you read, read, read. But as I took down notes on what he was saying, and subsequently went searching for his recommended material, I had to steer clear of many books because of the content.

I’m a mature adult. I’m also trying to be a mature Christian. So what I techically could handle, I decide that I won’t because it’s not God-honoring. That’s why, sad as I was, I had to put the David Sedaris and Roald Dahl and Jules Verne back.

Proverbs 4 says that if you want to be wise, you have to “get” wisdom, “get” insight. Do not turn away from God’s word or forget about it. So while other aspiring writers try to “get” wisdom by reading anything and everything they can get their hands on in the world, I must be more selective in what I stuff my mind with.

So I’ll start with the Bible and Church fathers, and stuff my head with exclusively Christian content. Only then will I be able to be confident that I’m not overstepping the boundaries of my freedom in Christ.