Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Devotion 5.18.16

One of my favorite commercials currently running is the "Settlers" series (ATT).  You know the ones, the family living the life of "settlers" in the middle of a modern neighborhood, the gist of which is that people who stay with cable "settle." I guess if the people who use cable are "settlers" then I was in a very primitive world on a black and white television with rabbit ears, boosted by foil (which didn't work).  The entertainment in the primitive system was my dad banging on the side, spending more time on his feet attempting to get the "perfect" black and white fuzzy picture.  Of course the black and white was premier technology because dad had nothing but radio after he was about 18 years old.  That was an era known as "cave drawings."

Yet here we are now.  Which do you use?  Cable, satellite, or move to the internet-based system watching internet channels like Netflix or Amazon Prime or some other?  The options, the choices, the headaches.  I have been told children adapt and move swiftly into technologies.  Maybe, but they adapt them to no real purpose other than it is the next piece of technology.  Having worked in education, every vendor who came through your door presented their technology as the next great solution to your problem.  I once looked at one throwing the "solution" word around and asked, "What problems do I have that you're solving?"

I think there is wisdom that comes from having traveled through the different eras.  The mind has been taught to solve problems in the methods that today's apps will use.  The apps may work more quickly and be more efficient, but a trained mind can also understand if the apps solution is viable.

This new frontier provides "solutions" as well in faith.  You can find a website or app that provide God's Word, devotions, solutions to family, marriage, and other life issues.  You can find people purporting why their teachings are wise and true.  In essence, they want you to listen and perhaps choose them as your "solution."  Do we have the wisdom necessary to discern if those solutions are built on solid scriptural truths?

We just confirmed 16 youth in the foundations of their faith, our faith.  The "solutions," if not already posing themselves to them, will.  These solutions, tests, are not from outside the faith, but they are from people presenting themselves as credible, who may sound credible, from "inside" the Christian faith.  My own came when I left the womb of my home and went to college, a good college, where we took theology classes from learned and credible people, who began to teach about myths on the bible, historical analysis of the bible, and the possibility that scripture was not necessarily the true Word of God.  Scripture, it turned out, was written by men and it had a purpose when it was written, but those rules and stories applied then.  Our job is to see how to filter those stories and determine what is relevant now.  That was overwhelming for an 18-year-old new to the discipline of "theology."

Paul writes, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you have learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (1 Timothy 3)

Tips:  Pray for wisdom when we or those we love are tested.  Pray for guidance, including from someone you respect.  Teach your children to learn the source and determine if it is trusted as well.  Learn to test the teaching.  Is it embedded in God's Word and supported by Scripture in its entirety?  Teach your loved ones how to discern between what is a hoax and what is the truth and seek that wisdom from those you respect and trust.

Hope Men's Ministry

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