“…no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
-Jesus Christ (Luke 5:39)
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus loved people by remaining open and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, even when the Spirit was doing something new.
How to Love Like Jesus
I heard a sermon awhile back from a pastor I love and respect. In fact, in my opinion, he’s one of the best I’ve ever heard. But in this particular sermon, he railed against setting up a Facebook page: “A Facebook page — REALLY?” His motive is valid, he’s concerned about narcissism in the church — a valid concern if I ever heard one! But I believe he’s also missing out on new wine God is pouring upon the world today.
In order to obey Jesus’ instruction for us to, “…go and make disciples of all nations,” we used to have to travel to those nations, and of course, it’s still essential for missionaries to travel in person to carry out Jesus’ great commission.
It’s a fundamental principle of warfare that no matter how good the air cover, no war can be won without boots on the ground.
But let’s not miss the truth, we can be so much more effective if we have great air cover!
By God’s grace, today we have an ability to reach all the nations like never before. I heard on NPR the other day, Egypt’s population is so addicted to social media, whenever their government announces an event or policy, they announce it on Facebook. I’m amazed at the diversity of nations who are absolutely enthralled with Facebook, and ebooks, and Twitter, and other social media. What a gift from God that is! What an effective way to reach people around the planet with the message of Christ.
An interesting thing about social media is there’s this feeling of anonymity. Someone who would never ask questions about God and Jesus Christ in front of his or her group of friends will dive right in with a direct message on Twitter. Someone too embarrassed to reveal their personal problem will ask about it in the context of Christ on social media (again, typically in a DM).
Just as in face to face communication, to be effective in these conversations for Christ on social media, we must show people God’s grace and love at every opportunity. For a great example of how this works check out the guest post on ChurchMag titled Googling God.
Jesus loved people by responding to the Holy Spirit, unencumbered by any affinity for the old wine, or the traditions of men.
You should too.
[Image via KOREphotos, Creative Commons]
1) You and I are not the Christ: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you and I are not the Christ. (John 1:20) So yes, we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and completely open to anything He might choose to do that’s new. But anything and everything you and I do must be confirmed by the scriptures to ensure we’re in the flow of God’s will.
2) Prayerful and careful: While a rigid approach to “how we’ve always done it” can be contrary to God’s Holy Spirit, so can a reckless approach to doing the next new thing. As with every other aspect of life, proceed prayerfully. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
3) Love and respect: When following the leading of the Holy Spirit in a new direction, always present it in love. Respect your brothers and sisters, they’re your co-laborers in Christ. Whatever you do, do it in love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
4) Narcisism: It’s a real problem. The trap is to focus on promoting yourself. The solution is to promote the message of Christ. John the baptist is a great example. He was used by God because he recognized he was a nobody trying to point everybody to Jesus. He was passionate about promoting his message, but not about promoting himself. (see John 1:19-28)