December 6, 2018

CHRISTMAS UNPLUGGED

CHRISTMAS UNPLUGGED

Christmas is such a busy time of the year. With all the hustle and bustle of the season it seems like few take the time to really connect in relationships. Add to that social media and the distractions that come with the web based lives we live and true community seems out of reach. Here’s my suggestion: Unplug this Christmas. Unplug from modern culture and plug into Christ, the Church, and your family. Turn off your television. Shut down your computer. Silence your cell phone. Open your Bible. Turn on some light Christmas worship music. Sit down as a family. Read the Christmas passages, and connect with God and with each other.

UNPLUG FROM THE WORLD

The constant drive trying to find our identity in the stuff of this world is leaving many broken and afraid. The world markets narcissism and entitlement as if they lead the way to peace and happiness in life. However, these are in direct opposition to the message of the gospel. Scripture says Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), and that friendship with the world is hostility toward God (James 4:4). This doesn’t mean the people of the world, it’s talking about the thoughts and actions of the world. The world constantly promotes the lies of the enemy causing us to lose sight of God’s truth and grace. The only way to combat this is to unplug from the world. This starts in the morning by setting our mind of the Lord and His Word. Meditating on Scripture is the only way to defeat the lies of the enemy and walk in the truth of Jesus. When you open your Bible and read you find that Christ called for love and service to others as the way to find joy in life not through relentless promotion of and accumulation for yourself. What we need is the anti-thesis to the culture, and that is the counter-cultural message of the gospel. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “be still and know” that He is God. When do you take time to just be still, quiet your soul, open your Bible, and hear God speak into your life? This is essential for our growth as disciples of Christ. Unplugging from the world is a non-negotiable discipline of the faith. It puts us in position to hear God speak, and if we don’t hear His voice we cannot obey His will.

UNPLUG FROM THE WEB

There is so much mind-numbing junk on the internet. It’s easy to get caught up watching videos, reading timelines, viewing pictures, and replying to posts. Before you know it you’ve wasted precious time you could have spent with your spouse, children, or friends. Online gaming has become an addiction that immerses people in violent fantasies leading to the destruction of relationships and one’s work ethic. It’s really sad to hear people talk about binge watching their favorite television show or movie series for hours. This country wasn’t made great by men and women who stayed home all day or stayed up all hours of the night filling their minds with meaningless stuff. We enjoy the freedoms and prosperity we have because of the hard work, sacrifice, and faith of many who came before us. Marriages are not built through the internet. Children are not raised by instagram. Jobs are not done through snapchat. We don’t win others to Christ through twitter or facebook. You may facetime on your Iphone, but in actuality you’re missing face time by being on the phone. Instead of screen time we need more face to face time. Resist the temptation to give in to this internet culture and take time this Christmas to build real relationships.

This Christmas….unplug. Intentionally turn down the noise in your life so that you can hear God’s voice and the voice of those you claim to love the most. Christmas is all about Jesus leaving heaven and coming to us, showing us how to live, and dying for our sins on the cross. Let’s unplug from this self-absorbed world and plug into the love, peace, and joy of Jesus!