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October 14, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ line bombardment.
We covet so much and so many different things. It never stops for us.
You know, we probably didn't even notice about when TV was invented they started doing commercials, all of a sudden you were being sold something all the time, became part of the American fabric of the American life. But we kept knowing it and it just kept coming, but now it is completely taken off new level of wanting something that somebody else has wanting something that we don't have this idea of coveting for something joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana that's going pastor go get her now once again he shows us how God's word. Our world I don't know about you but that I have a love-hate relationship with technology and that based on the reading that I was doing over the last couple months of apparently a lot of us do some of the conclusions of some of the things I read said that Americans are busy, but their board and therefore what their empty there connected but there lonelier than they've ever been.
We have more stuff cars and homes and closing gadgets and toys than any generation in the history of man. And yet we long for more were more connected online than we've ever been, but we often feel more alone than we can describe. We are bombarded with information and are struggling how to process it. The news the ads that commercials the blogs the tweets the pictures the soundbites, the music, the games and the apps. No generation comes close to us. We have a unique set of spiritual problems to deal with it.
No other generation of believers of ever had to deal with. It seems like guys some of the things that technology are just wonderful.
The idea that you can text a friend instantly anywhere in the world. That's an astounding benefit for family and friends that you can send pictures instantly of a baby or child and send them right to them. It's a wonderful thing, but I remember, for instance, when the first cell phones came out. I remember this thought. Why would anybody want that makes no sense to me whatsoever. All why would anyone want a cell phone.
Who would want to have a phone that you carry enough people want to reach you, they can call your house and you can talk to them but it didn't make sense at all.
Now I I have to admit this whenever I go upstairs in our house and I'm sitting there watching television or something and I realize I don't have my phone I have to go downstairs and get the phone bring it up and sit it right beside me. It has to be everywhere that I go the same thing is true with all of the benefits of all the online services that we have Facebook and twitter and Instagram and Snapchat and LinkedIn and Vine in Pinterest encumber. I'm not even sure what they are but they're all over the place. The irony is, if you're under 25.
It's your world it's the world you grew up in.
For example, 325 you might not realize this but that one of the great benefits of technology as we no longer have to make long distance phone calls to people that are young they never he would understand that that's something that we had to deal with, but you couldn't call anybody unless you're willing to pay and usually a lot of money long distance, but something's happening to us intuitively that we know that the technology in the social media is changing us is been backed up by an awful lot of folks how we receive information how do we relate to other people.
How do we see ourselves. All these things are changing, and is having an effect on the spiritual lives of believers as well just give you one example, take a word that always meant the same thing until the last 20 years, friend. When you said someone was a friend.
You knew exactly what someone meant when they said that persons my friend now if you send something out electronically through a poster, a pin or tweet you to send it out and someone says like they're your friend.
You now have friends hundreds of friends. Recent studies have shown that we are more connected to people online than anyone ever had been, but less compassionate about other people's needs in our real lives. It's affecting us. Carla said this, I used to think that I have a lot of friends, you know friends at work friends at church friends in the neighborhood would grab lunch or talk about it after our kids soccer practice after church on Sunday, or when we were out working in the yard. Then after Facebook I was able to connect with long distance friends and people I knew from high school and college, but everyone seems so busy now, I supposedly have over 300 friends on my pages and sites, but last week I couldn't find one friend who could meet me for coffee I've never felt this lonely in my entire life. Differences it affects us in another way, though the on line bombardment and technology bombardment. Our life is caused us to be the most coveting generation of believers ever. We covet so much and so many different things.
It never stops for us. You know, we probably didn't even notice about when TV was invented they started doing commercials, all of a sudden you were being sold something all the time. It became part of the American fabric of the American life.
But we kept knowing it and it just kept coming, but now it is completely taken the whole new level of wanting something that somebody else has wanting something that we don't have this idea of coveting for something this past week I was online at that.
A great site, you know, Amazon.com, and because you can buy anything there and usually have it shipped free to your house but I was looking and and I can remember.
All I was I wasn't really going to buy something. I was just looking.
I was looking at pants and a shirt and I would look at a battery charger just just looking so never thought about it and then starting the next day I decided I wanted to read the news in a variety of newspapers Weatherby, USA Today, Lord Pittsburgh Tribune and the New Orleans paper here. I just want and every time I went online. There were my pants and my shirt and the battery charger every time. It's like they're talking about world news, and right there in front of me.
You want this battery charger you know you might really need that is, it makes you covet the whole idea but as you bombarded with this kind of thing. No one else had ever been like that. John K wrote this is my buddy Steve is the most competitive guy, no, he not only has the one up me and everything that I say or do but then he has to tweet about it and post the selfie of whatever award he won, and with a new jacket on, or the cool place to be a just visited I used to feel really good about my life and what I've been able to achieve. But I look at Steve and I feel like I can never catch up. I would never tell him or anyone I know.
But it makes me feel like a loser like him no good in anything.
It is arguable that this generation is struggling more with discontent in their own personal lives than any other every day of our lives is filled with convenience and opportunity and abundance, and yet because of the social media. According to the experts, we are completely dissatisfied sociologists write this, we are the first people in history. The first people in the history of the world to see inside the lives of countless others in real time. You see it instantly anywhere in the world that it happens. Steve Vertex said this, we compare our real lives with other people's highlight reels.
He said their lives have been Photoshop crop, filtered, edited, and then their versions and make our life seem extremely dull.
Research is being done because of the effect on people studies done in two major American universities, one social media and what it of how it affects her moods. They track students who are regulars on Facebook that type of thing and they gave them life satisfaction surveys of all different kinds five of them a day just to find a how satisfied they are with their lives.
Their conclusion was after time on Facebook. Universally students are less satisfied with their own lives is amazing. All they did was read something about something else doing their less satisfied with their own lives. One third of them said they felt significantly worse in their own lives after they looked at her face. You see, we were never designed by God to seek our image in the image of others. We were designed to seek him.
Would you open your Bibles to Philippians chapter 4 and verse 11. Philippians 411 just a couple verses here but talking about being contented. She is a very important question coveting and envying is the say it has a great deal to do with how content you are are you content person. The apostle Paul was written is from prison. It is called the epistle of joy. He doesn't know whether he is going to live or die. He doesn't know if Nero will give them thumbs up or thumbs down rewrites this and he says in verse 11 of chapter 4, Philippians, he said not that I speak from 14.
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am tremendous statement.
This is also that I don't speak from what I'm in prison I might live.
But I don't speak from one I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am notice what he said though he didn't say I was naturally content is that I have learned to be content is a process.
Contentment is a process. He said I have learned to be content.
He then says I know how to get along with humble means.
I also know how to live in prosperity. He said in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. Now he tells me something else. It's a secret is that I learned the secret of contentment. The implication is clear. Most people never find and certainly in our world. Most people never find they're not content with their lives. Just the way it is possible to have learned the secret and obviously that begs the question makes you when I look at its will. Paul what's the secret will for some of us you might be.
Might be a little more profound than you thought.
It's right there in front of us. Verse 13 I can do all things through him and strengthens me positive. Doesn't matter if I'm in a power surrender prison. It doesn't matter if they I'm getting treated to a banquet or their beating me with rods. It really doesn't matter to me. I'm content no matter what because I can do all things through him strengthens me. It's an interesting statement in his point.
He saying that Jesus Christ is a source's strength in a sustainer it's his joy in his contentment.
That's what Paul was saying Paul was saying when Christ is all you have you come to the realization that Christ is all you need, and once you have that you got the secret you see you'll be content.
And when you're content you won't find yourself coveting what somebody else has envying what somebody else has offered Nobel said that contentment is the only real wealth is right is the only thing that really gives you wealth. So Paul says that one how to do this, I run the secret of this scene where his contentment born. Why is it we find ourselves discontent.
It's always because of the comparative idea. Notice that Paul says my contentment is based on my relationship with Christ.
I can do all things through him is that I don't really need anything else.
It doesn't really matter to me now want to go with me to second Corinthians chapter 10 second Corinthians chapter 10 in one verse, verse 12 cost are diverse. 12 of chapter 12 of second Corinthians, with an interesting statement. He said, for we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some are stop right there. Paul says I never compare myself to anybody. I never in fact the Greek almost implies I wouldn't dare do that pulses I don't compare myself with other people.
My question to you is that you you compare yourself to other people because if you do the whole new technological world is made for you. You can be inundated every day by comparing your life or the lives of others.
Paul says we are not bold the class or compare ourselves with some he said of those who commend themselves but when they measure, he said themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves. He said there without understanding. He said there's a whole group of people out there that there contentment is based on how they compared other people see that's what it comes down to, and for some of us, there's almost a paranoia about this. You see, we have to live in a place where other people don't live you see that they can't let that's really good for us.
We have to drive a car that other people can't drive that makes you feel better about yourself. We were closer other people really can't look at this where it were a group here we constantly compare ourselves to each other and Paul says whatever you do that you like understanding because you get yourself on a treadmill you can get off it never stops for you. This idea that if you cover things and envy things you'll find yourself in an endless cycle. You know that from your own experience, you know, when you're young and you know is it's always an interesting thing, but you had a totally different emotional reaction to the first of anything. Remember, you got your my first car. There's never been a car quite like that. That was the first car. Another reason was admit you were growing up and admit you had freedom but the other ideas.
My last car infinitely better than my first car in every measurable way the joy lasted a very short time it becomes your car, your house is your house, your closer, your close in other words, when you try to covet other stuff you find the law of diminishing returns taking place doesn't last for long.
What you thought would make us feel so happy only keeps you happy for short time and now you're out the covet for something even more than that. He said that's what ends up happening when we compare ourselves with ourselves in first Corinthians 4. Paul said to me it's a very small thing that I be examined by you or by any human court. He said I don't even examine myself unconscious of nothing against myself. He said yet I'm not acquitted, but the one who examines me is the Lord pulses. The only person I care about who will be examines my life to see whether it's worthy is the Lord.
He said don't even examine myself because I'm biased myself is that of this letter that up to the Lord.
That's why Paul doesn't covet what is this coveting come from. Turn with me to James chapter 3 James chapter 3 in verse 13 and notice what he says. He said more money was wise and understanding let him show by his good behavior.
His deeds in gentleness and wisdom. He said, but if you have bitter jealousy or selfish ambition in your heart. Do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This idea of the jealousy and he says the ambition goes right with envy coveting is that if you have that in your heart.
He says do not be arrogant so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes not from above its earthly it's natural. It's demonic. So where's my coveting spirit come from. He said it done come from heaven doesn't come from God. He said it earthly it's natural that even goes one step further. It's demonic. By the way, if you think about it. What did Satan want it coveted the position of God. I will be like the most high.
I covet that he didn't accept the graciousness of God. He said for word jealousy and selfish ambition exist. There is disorder and every evil thing you see says when you were you are and envying, coveting, jealous person. You have disorder in your life in all your relationships never have peace you'll never have joy you'll never have hope, and it certainly doesn't come from God at all.
I guess the question would be what pushes your envying what you see, what is it that you envy what is it that you covet. Do you want in your life mean some of us are so shallow. It's just more stuff if I just had little more stuff just more stuff but a lot of us a lot of different things it's relationships. It's all kinds of things that we covet what we don't have an interesting thing you see the Scripture says stop exposing yourself 24 seven to the very things that make you covet, you need to do that. But there's another thing the Scripture said it's very important. Go with me to Romans chapter 12 in verse 15.
Now Romans 12 in verse 15.
This is a good test for us just one verse he says it in verse 15 he says rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. That's a pretty short verse, but here's a good question. It helps you with coveting do you celebrate other people's success. Do you celebrate it when other people succeed, people you know you celebrate with them dear. Rejoice with those who rejoice see have to ask yourself that if you ever noticed sometimes and I'm not saying you placed you in all situations, but in any situation. Have you ever find yourself in a situation where you hear some bad news about somebody and you never admitted to anybody but you kinda feel good about when is that that's comparing myself in my life. Somebody else has to do poorly for me to feel better about myself.
That's certainly not of the Lord. He said you need to rejoice with those who rejoice see the whole ideas. I don't want my life to be about me. That's the heart of Indian coveting my life is only about me. If that's how you view your life. I can almost promise you you will not be happy.
Maybe I can define it this way.
Envy is resenting God's goodness and other people's lives and ignoring God's goodness in your own life envy is resenting God's goodness and other people's lives and ignoring God's goodness in your own life that has an enormous effect is an attitude that you have pastor broke apart on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world.
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