A WORD for the Week | Archives 15
351. Slow the Scroll by Christine Wentzel
We’re a little over a week into Emily’s 30-day Philippians 4:8 Social Media Challenge devotion, and it’s given me food for thought. I’m zeroing in on the two social media areas Emily points out the need of a Philippians 4:8 filter.
[Emily Krill] “I want my in-person AND virtual run-ins with people to leave us both feeling encouraged and uplifted.”
In the world of virtual reality EVERYTHING is recorded—likes, shares, and comments are all saved as well as the time you linger on content without clicking on it! For the sinner saved by grace and walking through faith in Christ Jesus this is a merciful thing. Doing a slow scroll through our personal pages and activity logs will quickly show how encouraging and uplifting is our online faith walk. It’s a sobering and vital spiritual discipline we do well to exercise on a regular basis. [Jesus says] “Situations that cause people to lose their faith will arise. How horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith!” (Matthew 18:7 GWT)
[Emily Krill] “I don’t need any extra temptation in my life - if something is causing me to sin, God gives me permission to cut it out!”
Yep! We can control the content we don’t post but do see. I’ve had more disturbing images burned in my brain from casual scrolling than I have ever stumbled across prior to the Internet. The visuals that tempt my baser nature are only a click away from acting on the sin. I can’t undo the lasting memories, but in God’s mercy, they will fade. So let’s use the social media tools available to clean up our newsfeeds. [Jesus warns] "If your eye causes you to lose your faith, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire." (Matthew 18:9 GWT)
The reality is that wherever people are, souls need to be nourished with the living Gospel: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV) In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Please contact us if you need help learning the social media tools available to keep your virtual world in Christ-shape, or send us your tips on maintaining a God-pleasing online presence. We are praying for the Holy Spirit to bless our efforts according to his good and perfect will for our lives!
352. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words by Christine Wentzel
Two weeks ago, Emily Krill made her AW4W debut with a challenge using God’s inspired word from Philippians 4:8. The 30-day challenge (found here) is to focus our social media interactions “…on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.”
So what are some ways we can improve our social media presence using a Philippians 4:8 filter?
With A WORD for Women primarily being an online women’s ministry, we pray to provide biblical content that follows in the footsteps of Christ Jesus’ style of speaking through illustrations to large crowds of people.
AW4W is abundantly blessed with over a dozen talented and diverse women writers who consistently offer situational devotions to encourage the faith walk for all their sisters-in-Christ. The second blessing comes from God laying on our heart a desire to bring His Word on a daily basis to our social media platforms
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NIV)
Keeping this amazing work of the Lord our God in the forefront of our planning, we consistently ask the Holy Spirit to guide our bible-passage selection process. Those of us who belong to the same church body draw from the same worship-planning schedules they use. This ensures ALL of the Living Word is present for day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. The next step is to search for the “perfect” photo that visually “speaks” the corresponding text. More and more of these beautiful images are freely supplied by some of our own subscribers! Our Sovereign Lord makes sure every single picture verse will “achieve the purpose for which” He sends it. As an added bonus for those we share the same church membership, each one also serves as a preview for their upcoming worship services.
There are so many enriching and enlivening bible-based online Christian ministries and groups to help you enhance your online presence. Here are just a few of our favorites: Salty Earth Pictures, Kingdom Workers, and Time of Grace listed in our “Links” section of our website. Please use the “comments” section on our posts or contact us to share your favorites!
Our message is not about ourselves. It is about Jesus Christ as the Lord. We are your servants for his sake. We are his servants because the same God who said that light should shine out of darkness has given us light. For that reason we bring to light the knowledge about God’s glory which shines from Christ’s face. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6 GWT)
353. Prayers for Pastors by Julie Luetke
[Pastor Appreciation Day is October 11, 2020. In preparation for this day of appreciation for God’s faithful shepherds, we offer this devotion of prayer and thanksgiving.]
I have asked a number of my pastor friends what they want people to pray on their behalf. The answers varied. Oft repeated were wisdom, guidance, understanding, and for church members to be patient. All of these requests circle around love. Love from the pastors to their members, love from members for the pastor and each other, and love to those who do not yet know Jesus.
Pastors expressed the frustration of not being able to do ministry face to face, and of gatherings postponed or cancelled entirely. Pastors are carrying heavy loads right now. People who have lost loved ones have had to grieve alone. This pulls at your pastor’s heart. Young couples who have gone through premarital counseling cannot set a wedding date. The pastor feels their disappointment. So many people sick or shut in that cannot be seen. Not everyone can use the online services or hear over the phone. More technology to learn, more to purchase, more glitches in trying to do online worship. Bible classes are less satisfying to teach online and become a lecture. Truly, ministry is much more challenging than usual this summer.
Just like the rest of us, pastors have their own personal issues with the virus…
“Could I have it and be passing it on without knowing it?”
“Am I being patient and understanding, or judgmental?”
“Are my personal actions offending someone?”
Some people feel it unwise to be in church right now. With no contact, the pastor fears for their faith not knowing if the online options are being utilized. Yes, it is possible to see how many viewed, but not possible to know if they listened or even stayed in the room.
The bottom line: Pray for pastors!
Dear Father in heaven, spread your wings over your shepherds and calm their fears. Give them the gift of wisdom as you gave generously to Solomon. Instill patience and love into the hearts of your people and so lighten the load of ministry.
Dear Savior, Jesus, thank you for taking away the sins of our pastors and teaching them to love all whom you died for. Help pastors be fishers of men and women, the young and old. Give them endless ideas and means to reach out with the Gospel.
Dear Spirit, your pastors work to build faith in the hearts of their people. We ask you to build faith in pastors’ hearts too. Move us to pray for them often, and to comfort them with cards filled with Scripture and encouraging words of thanks for the sermons and ministry given.
Lord, open my eyes to ways I can be of help to our pastors. Open my eyes to the spiritual, emotional, physical and financial needs of the pastors. Forgive me for the times I have been critical or impatient. Forgive me for not appreciating the knowledge my pastor shares from Your Word.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.