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This sermon series promotes using digital technologies in a way that honors God, based on Romans 12:1-2. It challenges believers to use discernment and recognize the negative effects of technology when used unwisely.
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Well, I invite you to take your Bible and turn to Romans chapter 12. We’re looking at a biblical worldview of technology. We’re trying to bring our theology to bear upon our technology, and Paul encourages us to do that. He encourages us to not allow the world to squeeze us into its image, but to always look at things with a renewed mind, a Bible informed, theological perspective on life. “I beseech you, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
On the front end of the technological revolution, in the days of fax machines, there was a conversation that took place between a daughter and a mother, and the daughter was encouraging her mother to embrace this new technology. She had access to a fax machine at work and the daughter lived in another part of the country. She said, “You know what, mother? I know you like to send your letters through the snail meal and send me parcels through the post, but I want you to know that there’s a new way to communicate. You can fax me messages. It’s faster and it’s cheaper.”
Well, initially the mother fought that. She liked the tradition of sending handwritten notes, but after time and after some pressure with her daughter, there came a Christmas when she submitted to the world of new technology. So she decided on that particular Christmas to fax her daughter a hundred dollar bill with a note. Merry Christmas, darling. You’re right. It’s cheaper and it’s faster. Love, Mom. I like that. Sending a hundred dollar bill by fax is certainly cheaper and faster. Here’s a woman who had learned to become tax savvy in a good and in a funny way. She had learned to use technology to her advantage.
As Christians, we certainly don’t want to be cultural Luddites. We want to embrace technology, because it certainly has made life faster and better, and in many ways, easier. There’s a lot of upside to technology. We’re communicating across vast distances. We’re given a window on the world. We’ve got technology and aircraft. We’ve got technology and medical science. We hold an iPhone or a smartphone in our hand and it’s changing our world and the world around us. That’s all good. That’s all to be celebrated. That’s man subduing the earth. That’s man meeting the image of the Creator, creating and initiating and being productive, and we celebrate all of that. We want to embrace technology and we want to understand its good uses, but while it has a bright side, it has a dark side.
There are good uses and there are bad abuses in the digital age, technology can be challenging and we have got to bring a renewed mind according to Romans 12, verses one to two, to this situation. We have got to think theologically, we’ve got to behave biblically, and we have got to bring every thought into captivity to Jesus Christ and his Gospel. So I want to remind you just quickly that we have had technology from the dawn of creation, from the first structure that we call a home from a bridge across a river, from a farming implement or a ply. Technology has been with us from the dawn of creation. Technology is not new. It’s taking on new forms, but technology is not new. I’ll tell you what is new about technology. The speed of change is new. It’s dizzying. It’s distracting. I think you and I who swim in these waters have forgotten that the first iPhone, the first smartphone that was put in our hand was in 2007.
In fact, in his book, John Dyer from Dallas Theological Seminary, a really good book called From the Garden to the City, he says this about technology. Because all this technology, our world has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, and he wants us to think about this. The biblical character Abraham of 2000 BC would probably have more in common with Abraham Lincoln in the early 1800s than Abraham Lincoln would have with us in the 21st century. Though Abraham and Abe are separated by 3,800 years and several important technological advances, our 16th president would likely find our world more incomprehensible than the ancient land of Ur of the Chaldees. That’s unbelievable. It gives you a measure of the change in these last centuries, in these last decades. We can’t ignore that You would have a ostrich with its head in the ground perspective on life if you don’t grasp that.
Technology’s not new, but this new technology is new in the speed of change. It’s changing our brain behavior. Any of the stuff that I’m reading is telling us that our use of technology is rewiring our brain. It’s dumbing us down in so many areas. We’re thinking slower, although we’re acting faster, and the medium has become the message. There’s social disruption going on. Remember what we said last week, this isn’t just additive, it’s ecological. Technology is changing us, rewiring our brains. It’s changing how we live in dramatic fashion. It’s changing how we interact, in some ways for good and in some ways not so good.
Think about AI, artificial intelligence, that’s beyond my pay grade, but I’ve grasped the basics of it, what we have got today with artificial intelligence and we’re only on the cusp as we’re only on the beginning stages of AI. We have machines now who are taking on human qualities, machines that can think for themselves. That’s both a wonder and a frightening prospect and we wonder how that merges. Will man lose his value and distinction in an age of the machine?
Then we’ve got corrupting influences, corrupting influences. This is the downside. This is the issues of online gambling, pornography, which is pervasive. There was a time when men and women had to go looking for pornographic material. Now pornographic material comes looking for you. It pops up unwelcomed on our smart devices and tablets and personal computers. The worldwide web from a moral point of view, from the issue of pornography alone, is just an open sewer being poured out into society. Anonymity, availability, affordability when it comes to pornography, deadly. We’ll touch on that issue the next time I preach on this, but you get it.
This is dangerous stuff. This is world changing history and you and I can’t be on the sidelines. We can’t be a spectator. We can’t show indifference. We’ve got to say, okay, what does God’s word say? How does this fit into a biblical worldview? Are there principles, paradigms, and patterns in the word of God I can lay over the digital world? I think there are, but I just want you to be weary.
For you young people, what some of the writers called digital natives, those who grew up with technology, to some degree it’s a world I’ve had to grow into. Remember, I told you in the very first sermon, I grew up in a world with no television. I don’t know. That makes me an old dinosaur, but I grew up in a world where I’ve grown into technology. My girls will tell you, I still don’t know the first thing about it, but you, young people and young families, you’ve grown up in a world where there is technology. You haven’t grown into it. You have grown up in it. It’s as natural to you to hold a phone in your hand as a coffee cup and that’s a wonderful thing and I celebrate all the good come from that, but you are in danger of being so comfortable with it that you don’t see it’s dangerous.
I’ll tell you about its dangers. Let me quote Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. In his book Them, Senator Ben Sasse talks about an interview that Steve Jobs gave to the New York Times. He told the New York Times that he refused to all allow his children to have an iPad. Think about that. The man that created the iPod didn’t give it to his children, and here’s what he said. “We think it’s too dangerous for them.” That’s wild. In fact, Ben Sasse in that book Them, says that as a senator in government, he has talked to several tech billionaires and the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and he has asked them how they interact with technology as a family, what their kids do, do they do their kids have unfettered access to smartphones?
Here’s what one of them said. This is a entrepreneur, a tech billionaire. “Heck, no. We know how powerful these things are.” They know they’re addictive. They create them to be addictive, but they don’t let their families mess with them, as much as you let your family mess with them. You know what Ben Sasse says in his book, having said those two things, he says, “You know what? The tech billionaires of Silicon Valley are like the drug paddlers in the streets of Los Angeles and New York. They never take their own product. They never take their own product. That’s one of the cardinal rules of drug dealing. Sell it, but don’t take it. It’s destructive. Allow it to destroy others but make sure it doesn’t destroy you.”
So I’m not trying to scaremonger. Again, celebrating technology, thankful I live today. I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t want to be born in any other generation than this generation, but let’s not be naive. We may be digital natives, but we don’t need to be digitally naive. So what we’ve been trying to do is address this issue. I said I to do it in one sermon. This is the third and I could see it being a fourth and a fifth and we still won’t have exhausted it. Hopefully, I won’t have exhausted you. I just want to create a series of messages that will be a tool to you, your family, and friends. Now, we have looked at this issue under several kind of headings. We’ve said that technology is a question of thanks. Technology is a question of time. Technology is a question of triviality. Technology is a question of truth, and where we’re picking up this morning is this, it’s a technology on a question of temptation, a question of temptation.
You see, we live in a world that’s not morally neutral. We live in a world that is morally bias. This is a world in rebellion against God. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that man is at enmity with God. Paul talks about the course or the mindset of this world that we were once part of until we were born again, made alive, and we no longer walk according to the mindset of the world. He tells us here in the passage we just read, don’t allow the mindset of the world, the philosophy raised up against God, the way of living and thinking, divorce from the glory of God, and the will of God, don’t allow that world to squeeze you into its mold. Fight, push back, renew your mind, think theologically, behave biblically, because the world is not neutral. It’s a moral minefield. It lies in the lap of the wicked one. We live every day of our Christian life behind enemy lines.
The Christian walk is not a walk in the park. It’s a dance through a moral minefield. Wasn’t it A. W. Tozer who said, “This world is not a playground. It is a battleground.” If that’s true, that’s true of technology. While technology on the one hand is a question of thanks, on the other hand it’s a question of temptation. It’s got upsides and it’s got downsides. We need to be aware of that, because there is a tempter. First Thessalonians three, verse five, And the tempter likes to tempt us. The original sinner wants us to sin. Temptation is common to all men. Temptation is a reality everywhere and every one in regard to everything. First Corinthians 10:13, temptation is common to all man. That means the phone in your hand, the tablet on your lap, and the computer at home is a temptation. It’s a common temptation.
Remember that there’s not only a tempter who is constantly tempting those in the world with the world. You and I are battling with our flesh to which the world appeals, sponsored by Satan. James one, verses 13 to 15, you know what? God tempts no man, but we are tempted when we are drawn away of our own desires. The temptation is the spark. We supply the fuel for the explosion of desire. So we need to be aware of the temptations that will come to us in the digital world. We need to be alert.
When I was in the police in Northern Ireland, when we were leaving the police station I worked out of in North Belfast on Dundonald Police station, we were going into a difficult area where the IRA was operating. As we left the weapons bay where we checked our weapons on our radios, always remember there was a plaque on the wall and it said, stay alert, stay alive. It was a good word. You got to remind yourself every day, stay alert, stay alive. Here’s the temptations. I’m going to look at three of them and we’ll pick it up the next time online.
The temptation of self-promotion, the temptation of self-promotion. Now remember, self-promotion is antithetical to the Gospel. The Gospel teaches us to humble ourselves. The Gospel teaches us to deny ourselves. The Gospel teaches us to have a proper measure of ourselves. In that great passage we’ll come to in a moment in Philippians two, the Gospel teaches us to not think of ourselves but to think of others more highly. The digital world, the world of Facebook, the world of digital platforms, it promotes self-promotion. We are given the ability to create a picture of ourselves that is of our own choosing. Often on these digital platforms, that picture we present, it’s not real. It is marked by self-interest and it’s often exaggerated.
We get to airbrush ourselves as they do with the models. We get to airbrush the blemishes out, our weaknesses out, our blind spots out. We get to present our best self and there’s an inherent danger with that. That’s not all evil. I’m not saying it’s evil to post a picture of yourself or take a selfie of yourself and keep people up to date of what’s going on in your life, but there are complete and inherent dangers in that where it spills over into self-interest, self-love, self-exultation, self-promotion.
That’s what marks the world. Man is a lover of self according to Second Timothy three, not a lover of God, a lover of self, and a lover of pleasure. If the world is in charge of the digital world, then that’s dangerous. It’s a world marked by self-promotion. Think about Facebook, some of the digital platforms where you get to edit out the stuff you don’t like about yourself, where you get to present yourself in a way where others will like you. You get to self create. It allows us to talk endlessly about ourselves, our interests, our joy, our family, our children, their accomplishments.
It just gets a bit much, and it certainly borders on self-promotion, where we flatter ourselves with pictures and posts where we become the actor in the melodrama of our life. We have our own little miniseries going on, on digital platforms, where people get to meet us in the morning, the afternoon and night. The latest restaurant we’ve visited, the latest thing we’ve done, the latest accomplishment, the latest place we’ve visited, really? I didn’t know you were that interesting. Maybe, but you get the point. I’m being a little facetious.
In fact, listen to Tim Chester. This is a little dated, but there’s some good stuff there. He makes a reference to Myspace, which is no longer the case, but what Myspace stood for is still to be found on digital platforms. Celebrity culture pours over the minutiae of the lives of the rich and the famous. Facebook, blogs, Twitter allow us all to be celebrities with our lives on show. It blurs the public and the private. The world becomes my audience. On Facebook, you do not have a conversation. You have an audience. That is worth thinking about. In Facebook, you do not have a conversation. You have an audience.
Your life takes place on a stage and you’re the playwright creating and recreating your own world, and yourself within it. This is the genius of Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking sites. Facebook enables me to have all my friends and all my family gathered in one place, something you couldn’t do physically. We can do it in cyberspace, bring everyone together in one place, but this is Myspace. The name Myspace is a clue. It suggests a space over which I have dominion. It’s my world and I’m the lead actor in it. That’s worth thinking about. I know it’s a little dated, but that’s the world of the digital world, where you dominate a space and you’re at the center of it, if you’re not careful. Be careful. That’s self-promotion and it’s antithetical to the Gospel. It’s pride and it’s arrogant, and it’s antithetical to the Gospel.
By the way, just as we talk about the digital world, I’ll come back to that, but think about as far as I’ve researched, when you do researching or searching, you go to certain websites, the digital companies begin to build algorithms that feeds what feeds you. They begin to send your way the things you’re looking for. Before you know it, you’re waking up online in a world that you have created and they have created for you that feeds your ego, that feeds your appetites and your taste.
No longer does the worldwide way become a window into the world, because that can be a good thing. It doesn’t become a window into the world, it becomes a mirror of you, what you want, what you like, and how you want to present yourself. That’s dangerous stuff. That’s intoxicating. That’s the stuff the Bible says, turn and run. Because the original sin is pride, isn’t it? This is the original sin of Satan, and that’s why Satan is being called by J. I. Packer, the original sinner. This is the original sin.
When Satan wanted to displace God at the center of the universe, when Satan wanted his will to trump God’s will, when Satan wanted to rise up against God and to climb up to God’s throne, and God threw him down and cast him down. That’s why in First Timothy three, verses six to seven, we’re told that elders should not be novice believers, not new, because they could get drunk on the publicity and the influence that comes with leadership and they would fall into the same snare as the devil. We’re warned against pride and arrogance and self-promotion, aren’t we? In Proverbs six, verse 18, in Proverbs eight, verse 13, Proverbs 11, verse two, pride comes before destruction. No, and as we’ve said, it’s antithetical to the Gospel. Most of all, it’s antithetical to the word Gospel.
Jesus was equal with God, but he didn’t hold on to that. He humbled himself, made himself nothing, added humanity to his deity, came in the likeness of man in the form of a servant, became obedient under the death of the cross. Humility and humiliation and horror, and that’s taught in a context where Paul says to the Philippians, “Don’t be marked by self conceit or self ambition, but I want you to prefer others more than yourself.” How does that fit into the world of digital platforms and postings that bait you to promote yourself? Because it’s a world of comparisons and it’s a world of contrast, and it’s a world of clicks and likes and dislikes and numbers. It’s personality by numbers. It’s engineered to encourage you to promote yourself in dangerous ways.
You know what the Bible says in Proverbs 27, verse two, “Let others praise you.” We’re certainly not saying that someone shouldn’t be appreciated and achievement shouldn’t be celebrated and gifts shouldn’t be rewarded. It’s not the point I’m making. The point I’m making is do you recognize that’s from God and therefore you glorify him? Do you recognize that, you know what, that doesn’t lead to pride, but to humility because it’s all a matter of grace? Do you remember what the proverb says? Let others praise you. Don’t blow your own trumpet. Let others do that.
Remember First Corinthians four, verse seven, that what you have you received. I don’t know if there’s leaves much to build on in terms of self-promotion, self exultation. Look at me. Be honest about yourself. Have a proper estimation of yourself, Romans 12, verse three, “Don’t think too highly of yourself,” says Paul. Have a proper estimation of your giftedness and your place within the body. Don’t try and be something you’re not. Don’t try and be another person. Accept yourself for who you are in Christ and develop yourself in relation to Christ, so that you take on his image and you promote him and you crucify yourself on the cross. It’s powerful.
More people are dying than ever before taking selfies. The numbers are climbing or people who are looking for that selfie on the edge of a building, on the edge of a canyon, on a massive bridge or something, so that it attracts attention. It’s something no one has seen before. So they want to look at it, and looking at it, they look at you. People are dying, literally dying. Have fallen into the Grand Canyon, have fallen off skyscrapers to get that selfie. There’s nothing evil about taking a photo of yourself, but the motive becomes evil and the end can become evil. At least in those deaths, we have a metaphor that absorption with self can blind you to the dangers around you. Those people become so absorbed with themselves that they forgot they were stepping back off a cliff or on the edge of danger. It’s a good metaphor.
Here’s another temptation. The temptation to seek human approval, the temptation to seek human approval. It’s the flip side of the point I just made so I’ll try and move through it a little bit quicker. The digital world, the world of Twitter and Facebook and the different platforms that are available for you and I to present ourselves and promote ourselves, it involves an unhealthy desire to be liked. Liked. Look at every YouTube, look at every Twitter feed, look at every Facebook posting, and you get the thumbs up and the thumbs down. That’s the world in which we’re living.
Listen to this word from a former Instagram model by the name of Essena O’Neill. She’s very honest. She left the social media world and Instagram, and here’s what you said. “Social media as the current system of numbers and money dictates is not genuine life. It’s purely contrived images. It’s edited clips ranked against each other. It’s a system based on social approval, likes and dislikes, validation and views, success and followers. It’s purely and perfectly orchestrated judgment.” Think about that. That’s a model on Instagram and she’s admitting it’s about personality by numbers. It’s about approval by consensus. It’s scary, and we can all fall into that trap, that unhealthy desire to be approved and accepted by others to measure our self-worth, to consider identity in relation to others like us or love us or to the contrary.
Remember David fell into that trap. We won’t go there. Write it down if you’re taking notes, Second Samuel 24 and we have got First Chronicles 21. In those passages you have the story of David taking a census of the armies of Israel, the number of troops at his disposal, and God censored him for the census. It wasn’t because counting troops is a sin. David did it to feel better about himself, to promote himself, to give him a sense of importance and also less dependence upon God. He put greater trust in his army given the increased numbers perhaps, and it’s the same with us. It’s the same with anyone.
We want to be approved and we want to be accepted. We want to gauge our self-worth and our identity gets wrapped up in clicks and likes and what others think about us. Again, that’s not biblical. Again, and if I have to say it, I’ll just say it. I’m not saying it’s not right to want to feel part of something if that’s what acceptance means. We’re made to be social beings. What others think of us is important, and when it’s right and in the right place, that’s a good thing. I want to know what my parents think of me, what my wife thinks of me, what my daughters think of me, what you think of me, but I’m not going to find my identity there.
I’m not going to lose my joy if I fall in someone’s eyes. Because you see, as a Christian, fundamentally, I use the word fundamentally proportionately, my identity is in Christ. My sense of self-worth comes from being made in his image. My sense of value comes from the fact that God sets his love on me and I’m the apple of his eye and he was willing to give up his own son to purchase my never dying soul. That’s the stuff of identity and value and estimation. It comes from the God side of things, not the human side of things. The world in which we live is a world that’s geared for judgment based on numbers and likes and social acceptance.
Let’s waken up, folks. Young people are killing themselves. Instagram models and influencers are killing themselves when they’re not liked, when they’re not approved. Their whole lives are bind up in this stuff and when the meter starts going down in the wrong direction, they don’t know who they are. They don’t know why they’re here. It’s tragic. It breaks my heart. It should burden our souls. As parents and as believers, we should be alert to this with our young people and with our friends. We’ve got to give them a self-image and a sense of identity related to the Gospel and the creation, but that’s not the world of the digital world and you know it.
So fight this temptation for self-promotion. Fight this temptation for human approval. Remember Ephesians One, verse six, we’re accepted in the beloved. What a beautiful phrase accepted in Jesus Christ. Remember what Paul said in Galatians One, verse 10, “If I was the servant of Christ, I wouldn’t seek the approval of man.” He tells us that, right? He says, “I didn’t seek man’s approval. If I did that, I wouldn’t be the servant of Christ.” I wouldn’t be able to preach the Gospel. I won’t be able to fulfill the will of God. I won’t be able to complete my mission if I’m beholding to society and people’s approval of me or the religious leaders acceptance of me. No, the servant of Christ doesn’t care when that is an opposition to the glory of God and the kingdom of Christ. Where our acceptance is in Christ, we don’t seek human approval.
In fact, it’s a small thing. First Corinthians four, three to four, what does Paul say? “It’s a small thing that I should be judged by you.” He’s speaking to the Corinthians. It’s not that he doesn’t care about what they think. If they’re judging him, if they’re judging the quality of his ministry, when his conscience is clear, it’s a small thing to him that they should judge him. It should be a small thing to us. If we’re in Christ, loved by the Father, remade in the image of the Son, it’s a small thing that the world doesn’t like us, doesn’t approve us. If someone unfriends you, haven’t you got the friendship of Jesus Christ, my friend?
If you go to Romans two, verses six to 11, we’re also told that we await the final approval. We’re not looking for approval now. We are waiting for it. I’m not looking for it on the internet. I don’t need it from this culture or my peers. Listen to what Paul says, speaking about judgment that’s coming. “Eternal life will come to those who by patience and continuance and doing good, seek for glory, honor and immortality.” Our approval’s going to come at the judgment we’re seeking for the glory and the honor that comes when Jesus comes in glory and honor.
I love what Tony Reinke says in his book, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. Here’s what he says, “Such a desire will kill us spiritually.” Speaking about approval, “Such a desire will kill us spiritually and Paul signaled why. In God’s economy, approval is something we must wait for. Those who feed on little nibbles of immediate approval from man will eternally starve.” Listen to that young people. Are you seeking little nibbles that come in likes on your Instagram or your Facebook? Are you seeking little nibbles of human approval, or are you seeking eternal glory and honor and immortality?
Love the story of G. Campbell Morgan. He applied for the Methodist ministry in 1888. He had passed the test theologically. He was then to do a trial sermon in this large auditorium before three ministers and 75 people just happened to come and listen. He laid a goose egg. He bombed out. It was flat. It was not good. He got a rejection slip. He wrote to his father. In fact, he wired his father, telegrammed his father, one word, rejected. In short shrift, his father wired back, “Rejected on Earth, accepted in heaven, love Dad.” It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Rejected on Earth, accepted in heaven.
Last temptation. I know time’s gone, but I’ve got to fit this in. This is where I finished in first service, temptation to covetousness and envy. I’ll try and collapse this. The worldwide web is one big shop window. It’s the largest mall in the world and it’s always baiting us and tempting us with stuff. It wants stuff to define our lives. The cut of our clothes, the brand we wear, the things we have. Do we have iPhone Eight, Nine or 10, or whatever it is now? Maybe it’s up to 25. I have no idea, but here’s the issue. You get the point.
It’s always appealing to our flesh. Our desires, it’s trying to inflame our desires for more. Now, more of the world, not more of God, more of the world and the passing fashions of this world. It’s continually reminding us what we don’t have, what we can have, what we wish we had and what others have more than us. Frankly, it decreases contentment and it increases covetousness. It has us going in the wrong direction, because the Bible wants us to increase contentment and decrease covetousness.
I could give you examples and quotes I have. I’m just going to trust that you by this point, that every mall and every visit to the worldwide web, which is the world’s largest mall, it all conspires to tempt us with envy and covetousness. It pours gasoline on the sin of covetousness more than any other time in history. It’s in our homes. We can’t escape it. It’s on the end of our hands. We can’t escape it. It’s inviting us to go after stuff. It’s inviting us to define our lies by the things we possess. The very phone itself is that. It’s a thing that’s defining our lies regarding possessions just like it. Scary and it appeals to the eye, which is the seat of covetousness.
Remember how Eve looked at the forbidden fruit in the tree in the center of the garden, and she knew it wasn’t for her, but she kept looking. She kept lingering, because it was pleasant to her eyes, and then she took it. The spectacle of the world and the things of the world, which is antithetical to the love of the Father. It’s in our phone. It’s in our tablet. It’s on our home computer. It’s on the television screen. You get the point. You’ve got to fight that.
Can I give you a few things, just quickly? Remember, covetousness is forbidden. It’s a sin. It’s a grievous act of lawlessness and treachery. Exodus 20:17, “Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife or your neighbor’s house or your neighbor’s servant. It’s the mark of the unregenerate.” First Corinthians six, verse nine, you and I have got to resist comparing ourselves. In Second Corinthians 10, verse 12, Paul says that. He says, I’m not going to compare myself with you or with anyone else because you see the Corinthians were always comparing and it led to division and it led to a lifestyle that wasn’t like Christ and lovelessness. He says, I’m not doing that, but we do it and the digital world does it all the time. Where it has us comparing ourselves with others, where it tempts us to say, I want what they have and it looks like I can get it if I’ll do this. Sometimes we hurt ourselves, according to First Timothy six, by going after riches.
We’ve got to promote Godly contentment because godliness with contentment is great gain, isn’t it? First Timothy six, “Having food and clothing, be content.” Be content with what you have. We must count eternal blessings more than physical blessings, and we must remember that God is enough. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. In that whole passage on riches in First Timothy six, Paul says, “Don’t trust on certain riches and lay hold of eternal life.” God’s enough, isn’t Christ enough? Christ is all in all. He’s our righteousness and our wisdom and our sanctification. No wonder the old Puritan bowed his head at the dinner table and said to the Father, all this and Jesus too. That’s contentment. Whatever this is for you, all this, and Jesus too.
Father, thank you for our time in the Word. Thank you for the reminder of bringing theology to technology. We pray indeed that we would renew our minds, that we would fight the temptation to promote oneself, to take an exaggerated look at self and love of self. Help us to fight the temptation to find our approval in culture. Our friends, or our peer group or our school group, help us to find our identity in Christ and our worth, in our creation by the creator.
Lord, help us to fight covetousness. The world is constantly trying to make us dissatisfied. We realize that the eye of man is never satisfied and we have tools and technology in our hand that baits the eye, which is never satisfied, which means if that’s the path we take, we’ll never be content. We thank you for what we have in Christ and what will never be taken away, because it’s eternally secure. We thank you all this, and Jesus too. These things we pray in His name. Amen.