An Easter Thought With a Difference
I’ve been a Facebook user for a while now… primarily I signed up as we moved from Tasmania to Bundaberg so I could keep in touch with family and friends not only in Tassie but in other places as well. It’s great for that! And indeed it has many useful features. But over time I am growing less and less fond of it all… on Facebook, you can hide, you can create even a ‘false’ you, you can self-promote rather than trust God, or even criticise and be negative about anyone and anything (way too much of that!)… you can even find yourself ‘fearful of missing out’ – YES FOMO is a condition they tell me. Even in this day of world-wide social media, people are finding themselves more and more lonely…. The British government even now has a ‘minister for loneliness’ with other countries set to follow suit… so in a day of supposed better connectedness, people are actually more lonely!
Well, what would happen as a Christian if we all decided to keep our social media to a minimum and instead return to Biblical ways of living in community, doing life together with Jesus at the centre, and yes, even without as much ‘world’ knowledge as we now have. After all, it wasn’t that long ago, in 1999/2000 when we first stepped into ministry in a local church that there was no internet… we weren’t up with world events as much as we are now, there wasn’t as much distraction either and we certainly couldn’t get prophetic words etc from other nations rather than seek the Lord for ourselves as a community of people to hear what the Lord is saying to us right here. (Better put a disclaimer in here, in case someone misinterprets what I am trying to say 😊 As a Christian, reading prophetic words from around the globe can be quite encouraging or even confirming and yes God can use that… BUT hear my heart… have we substituted hearing from other people, instead of hearing from Him ourselves as a community… are we living off other people’s revelation rather than getting fresh manna ourselves which comes as a cost? Have we turned into takeaway Christians rather than cooking up a banquet?) Anyway… hope you hear my heart… moving on… Back in 99/2000 we were a people who sought the Lord, pressed into Him, did life together, loved one another in all kinds of practical ways and spread the message of the Gospel into the local community through different means. Change was taking place and all this without social media. We have to be soooo careful we don’t spend so much time online in all different kinds of forms that we miss the value, blessing and indeed life that is meant to be as we live life with others and love as Jesus loves us. You CANNOT separate the love of God and loving God, from loving others and living in community – that is not Biblical. I totally understand that some have been hurt, others misunderstood, but it’s time… time to connect, be blessed and be a blessing for this is Father God’s heart! It is time for local regions to be touched by the love, grace, mercy and power of God!!!
Now please don’t mishear me… yes I am using Facebook to communicate this 😊, and yes we can use this for good (rather than all the rubbish), and yes it’s not bad to be connected worldwide etc… BUT have we put this kind of living before living in community with the people around us? Certainly governments are beginning to think so… people are more lonely and disconnected than ever. So this Easter, remembering that Jesus gave His life for us, so that as we repent, are baptised and begin to follow Him we indeed receive eternal life. Biblically (Jn.17:3) this LIFE is from the moment you are ‘born again’ (Jn.3:3)… this LIFE is about knowing (relationally) Him (Jn.17:3) and this LIFE is also ABUNDANT life (Jn.10:10)!!! Let’s make a decision to begin to love the way Jesus loved, and let a love revival begin in each centre, each region as people begin to put Jesus back in the centre, seeking Him, and indeed prioritise relationships… both with God and one another! After all, Jesus did say BY THIS LOVE, people will know that we are His disciples (Jn.13:34-35)! Let’s drop the patterns of this world and return to the ancient paths… the tried, tested and true ways of God… it is time!