Social Network

It seems that when people get on Facebook they always reveal WHO they are.
It’s like they believe they’re somehow anonymous because no one is looking them in the eye. And thus, they don’t think anybody is really paying attention.

Now, some people are very nice folks in private… and so they’re nice on Facebook. But others – if they’re mean spirited, lewd, crude and generally despicable in private that’s how they behave on Facebook. And some of these people will post pictures on their Facebook they wouldn’t ordinarily want anybody to see, but they’ll put them online because they think they’re being funny.

I was sent a friend request from a lady that joined the Bible study I led.  At first it was just normal. But then, after a few weeks I noticed a disturbing pattern in her postings. What she wrote on HER Facebook (and thus shared with me) often had foul words, and she would talk about things a Christian shouldn’t be talking about.
So, I sent her a private message explaining that this wasn’t appropriate. She was remorseful and said it wouldn’t happen again. But it did. So I sent her another message… and she “unfriended” me. And that was ok.

You see, what she began to realize was – the things she thought were private – were being read by a Man of God. And she came to the conclusion that if she wanted to do what she wanted to do she had to make sure I didn’t know what she was doing. So she unfriended me. She cut me off from her Facebook page. Because (in her mind) if I didn’t KNOW what she was doing… she could keep on doing it.

Now, she can hide that from me… but she can’t hide those things from God
In Jeremiah God tells us “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.” Jeremiah 16:17, Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

That woman may have thought she’d gotten away with something by “unfriending” me, but she can’t hide anything from God. He sees it all. And in Luke 6 Jesus is essentially telling us that God has a Facebook page for each of us. On that Facebook page God sees exactly who you and I are. Every word we speak is recorded. Every action we do is shown
Because God sees us as we really are.

Now just to put your mind at ease – none of us come off looking all that good on the Facebook page God has for us. As Romans says – “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

But here in Luke 6 Jesus is telling His disciples that, while that may be true, they shouldn’t get real comfortable with that idea. While all of us do mess up in our lives on occasion, God Jesus is saying is this: what you say and what you do are reflections of what is inside of you. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.

How you and I TALK… and how you and I WALK are reflections of what we’ve stored in our hearts. In computer language they have a scientific description of that process. It’s called “Garbage in, garbage out.” If you put bad things in a computer… you’ll get bad things out.
And conversely, if you put good things in… you’ll get good things out

So, as Christians, what’s INSIDE of us?
Well, it’s supposed to be the Spirit of God.
And how do I know if I’m filled with the Spirit of God

If I’m filled with the Spirit of God… I’ll show the FRUIT of His being inside me.
Galatians 5:22-26 says “the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other, is looking to see what kind of fruit we’re bearing in our lives.

He says: “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.” Luke 6:43
Then Jesus points out what kind of fruit God looks at:

God looks at what we SAY
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth SPEAKS.” Luke 6:45
AND God looks at what we DO
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not DO what I say? Luke 6:46

What Jesus is saying is this: what you say and what you do are reflections of what is inside of you. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.

I want to look at Galatians 5 and ask you a series of questions:
· In the past 6 weeks have you been showing love to each other?
· In the past 6 weeks, have you been trying to create an atmosphere of joy?
· Have you been promoting peace?
· Have you been patient with one another?
 

“Or are you living according to the works of the flesh? Galatians 5:19- 21 which speaks of “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, etc.”
Verse 21: “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” What Paul is saying is, if you live like this you’re going to hell.”

What Jesus is saying in Luke 6 is that God EXPECTS the fruit of Galatians 5 to be IN us. God expects us to show love to each other, create an atmosphere of joy around us, promote peace , show kindness to others… etc.

THIS should be our objective as Christians. Because we know God is watching… He’s reading our Facebook page.

A man by the name of Larry Zinck told of making some purchases on Ebay.
“All of my transactions turned out okay in the end, but one seller did not communicate well with me and was very slow to deliver the used laptop I purchased. So when it came time to give feedback on eBay, I clicked on the button for negative feedback. I was quite surprised when I saw a message something like this:
CAUTION! DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS? THINK ABOUT ANY NEGATIVE
COMMENTS YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE, BEFORE THEY BECOME A MATTER OF
PUBLIC RECORD.
Zinck said: “I have to say that I was taken by surprise! That sounded like something right out of the pages of scripture. Here was a company was telling me to act like a Christian!”

Why did EBAY say people should act that way?
Because somebody would be watching!
Ebay warns people their comments would become a matter of public record. And they’re names would be attached to their comments – they would not be anonymous. Their words could/would be revealed to everyone.

And God is telling us exactly the same thing.

So, if God wants me to bear this fruit, and this fruit is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit… how do I accomplish that? How do I fill myself with the Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 5:15-21 says:
“Be very careful, then, how you live— not as unwise but as wise – making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Paul tells us here that there are a couple of things:
1st – the days are evil. All kinds of people are doing all kinds of things that aren’t nice.
Don’t you be one of them!
2nd – you are expected to understand what the Lord’s Will is. This is NOT optional. God expects you to know what His Will is.

So how do I know what God’s will is for my life?
Well, I need to fill myself with the right kind of Spirit.

There are people who fill themselves/get drunk with the Spirit of Alcohol.
Now, how do I know when someone is drunk? (Act/Think/ Walk/Talk)
Paul says – don’t be filled with that kind of Spirit… it leads to debauchery/lack of salvation

Then he says… instead be filled with the Spirit (Holy Spirit).
If you’re filled with the Spirit of God, you can tell that by how you Act, Think, Walk and Talk.
How do I do that? How do I fill my life with God’s Spirit? (He’s already there when I’m saved, but I continue to refill myself with His presence by the following actions).

I fill my life with God’s Spirit by being careful what I store in my heart.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart

So what good things should I store up in my heart?
1st, Music – “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord”

In 2005, researcher analyzed the lyrics of the top 279 songs. And they found that…

Nearly 80 percent of rap songs contained references to illicit drugs, alcohol or tobacco
· followed by country (37%),
· R&B (20%),
· rock (14%)
· and pop (9%).
That study didn’t include the references to immorality and illicit sex. If they had, the percentages would go up dramatically.
Jesus said: The evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
Garbage in – garbage out. Evil music will have an effect on my heart

BUT – if I fill my heart with songs that glorify God… that changes things
In fact, it changes ME.

Clarence Darrow, the famous atheist lawyer – once took part in a debate at a church in Chicago. In his attack on the Christian faith, he tried to play on the emotions of the black people who were there, and on their social misery. This was the heart of the depression he said – no money, jobs and little hope. He amplified their despair and frustrations. In one moment of eloquence Darrow said:
“I don’t understand it – you sing such great music – I have heard you singing here today – amid all the woes of life – how can you sing? What in the world do you have to sing about in the face of life like this?” Darrow had asked a rhetorical question, not expecting an answer; like a flash a woman stood up right in front of him and said,
“Why do we sing? What do we have to sing about? We have JESUS to sing about!”
They all shouted “amen”!

Secondly, Paul says we need to fill ourselves with Thanksgiving.
“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

There’s a reason why people in this world are depressed
There’s a reason why a lot of folks have trouble sleeping
There’s a reason why many face each day with a lack of hope.
They’re not thankful people.
They spend all their time thinking about what they don’t have/ rather than what have.

In Philippians 4, to rejoice in the Lord always. And then God tells us that when we learn to do that we end up having a peace that passes all understanding. It doesn’t even make any sense… but it’s there. 1Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Psalm 127:2 tells us God “grants sleep to those he loves.”

If we learn to be thankful people, the good stored up in our hearts because we’re grateful removes our anxiety, gives us peace, gives us sleep.

Lastly, Ephesians tells us to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Eph 5:21
To be filled with the Spirit you need to fill your heart with a priority that’s higher than you

Philippians puts it this way:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Most of the evil – in the lives of evil people – comes from their being focused on themselves.
Self-interest. Selfishness – I, ME, and MINE
Evil people do evil things because they want to take care of THEIR needs/not yours
So they fill themselves with themselves.

But Jesus said: Mat 23:11 “The greatest among you will be your servant.”
Thus, to bear the fruit of God’s Spirit… you and I need to fill ourselves…
· with the right music
· with the right attitudes
· with the right humility to serve others.

Lastly, and most importantly, we need to fill ourselves with Christ’s Spirit for salvation.
Without His Spirit inside of us we cannot be saved. Acts 2:38 we’re told we need to “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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