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May 9, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit begins a series entitled “Technology and Entertainment” with a message titled “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God,” from Matthew 6:24-34.
Welcome to The Daily Platform or program preacher's sermons from travel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were beginning a series on how Christians should use technology and entertainment.
The first message will be preached by BG you president Dr. Steve Pettit asked to take your Bibles this morning in turn with me please to the book of Matthew Matthew chapter 6 this morning as our theme is really about technology this weekend. Dr. Mark Ward will be really expanding a number of those ideas tomorrow and on Wednesday. What I like to do today is just. Hopefully lay a foundation of fall as we think about the technology and especially in a practical way. The use of art be at the devices that we have in our life and how do we or how should we think about that especially the biblical worldview standpoint and how do we see it and apply it is almost a look this morning in a passage of Scripture where Jesus is addressing his own disciples in his day with about the things they think about and what they should pursue.
It is from this that will take a few moments this morning to talk about some elements of technology. We read in verse 25 of Matthew chapter 6 of these words.
Therefore, I Sandy you take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body which which what you shall put all is not the life more than meat in the body than raiment. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly father feet of them are you not much better than they. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature and why think he thought for raiment consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin.
Yet I Sandy you that even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is in tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying what we shall drink, or what shall we, what shall we eat or wherewithal shall we be clothed for after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly father know what that you have need of all these things but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take care, shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. There is always the danger for all of us to live in two worlds.
As Christians the world of the secular and the world of the sacred. The world of faith and the world of sight, or to make it real simple church on Sunday and Monday through the rest of the week are just two different worlds.
So the question I like to ask this morning is this, is there a difference for Christian between what we call is secular and what we call this sacred.
Let me ask you this way should I life be compartmentalized between what is religious and then everything else. Are there to life categories.
Are we to live in two separate worlds, the spiritual world and then the material physical, psychological, world, or let me ask you this way. Is there any part of our lives where we are to buy could say this way. Keep God out in one way we are believers in this area and in another way. We are very much atheists in this area will Matthew chapter 6 verses 24 through 34 Jesus addresses a problem that we all have the problem on the surface is stress, worry and anxiety as our good brother play pray today and I appreciate the honesty of your prayer that we are having to push forward. We we don't always feel like doing what were doing, we struggle with things we go through these problems. This is what Jesus is addressing any coverage to areas that are common to every body. We all have differences. Put these two things we all have in common.
Number one, we all eat food, and number two. We all wear clothes. This is a part of our commonality within the human family. So what he said, what is he saying here. How are we to view food and clothes are they something secular or is there a sacredness to them or they just simply material or is there a spiritual component is very interesting to me that the disciples secular job was fishing.
What are they fish for they fished for food and yet everything the disciples did, and fishing.
When Jesus showed up was touched by the divine weather in Jesus calming the storm while they are in the boat or Jesus walking on the water towards the fishing boat or Jesus bringing fish into the disciples empty nets or Jesus supplying a coin in a fish's mouth to help pay their taxes even when the disciples were worried about storms when they were in the boat. Jesus said their problem was not the size of the storm, but it was the size of their faith and Jesus brought the spiritual into everything, when Jesus enters into the common. He always makes it spiritual, whether therefore you eat or drink, or what so ever you do, do all to the glory of God. There are not two life core categories nothing and live should be outside the realm of my faith. It's not. Here's my faith in cheers my life everything to someone who is holy is holy to the pure all things are pure, so let me say in this way. There really is no difference between the sentence between the secular and the sacred in this case, even when we get naturally stressed out and anxious and worried that we all experience here. We all have this in common.
Whether we even worry about what were going to eat or what were going to wear the answer in the Bible is always to have it to the spiritual and to read redirect your care energy. That energy that you feel of worry and stress and anxiety is always to be written debt to be redirected back to God.
That is, in this passage three times Jesus gives us spiritual reasons why we should not be anxious about material things he says. First of all, don't stress out over food and close because your life is more valuable than these things. He says if God feeds the birds in God close the flowers.
I mean, he takes care of the birdseed. He makes the file flowers to be so beautiful not even Solomon could dress them out to be this beautiful. Why not take care of you, who are of more value to him. Listen to what he says in verse 25 therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life. Look at the birds of the air, they don't so they don't read. They don't go out in the field and harvest in the field, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they in which of you being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life.
You can even add an hour to your life. Why are you anxious about clothing.
Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow and yet they neither toil nor spin. They don't make their own clothes they don't sit and leave their close and yet I tell you, even Solomon in all all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven. Really not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith. If you're evil you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall the heavenly father give good things to them that asking what is he saying he is saying you should not worry because your father cares how many of you have a father that cares about you sure how many of you have a father that gives you money I made you have a father that you ask him for money and does he not care about you.
Now if he cares not issue question. Do you think your parents would be upset if we didn't feed you hear about me really do not think that I would get letters from your parents like you have not fit my child in three weeks. Like what you doing I'm not here to discuss the quality of food at Bob Jones University on this is make a point.
I just made a point why is it why are you stressing out does God not care about you and then he says, secondly, don't stress over food and close because you're under your father's care. He says don't be anxious, saying what we go to either what we got a drinker we go to where about the way Lenny Lenny, let me make a trajectory on that clothing and food is what you go to work for will talk about your jobs stressing about about the kind of job I'm going to have when I graduate in the notice. He says the Gentiles seek after all these things to her the Gentiles. They are those who have no hope, no God, no promise, no truth if I could just make it simple.
They have no father in heaven. And yeah, he says, God is going to take care of his own and then the third time he says don't stress out over food or close why because stress never goes away. Stress never goes away sufficient of the day is the evil thereof. Don't be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Every day has its own set of pressures and God is going to take care of you today. If he takes care of you today. He doesn't change his go take care of you. So what are you supposed to do what should be your pivot if I can say how do you realign your thinking and he tells us in verse 33 exactly what were all to do. He says, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Would you get that in your heart everything that we do in life. Everything that we do in life. Everything we do in life.
We are to first seek the rule in the reign of God.
God I want your will. First time I met my wife was in Sunday school. There are a lot of reasons why you should go to Sunday school and I remember meeting her and I thought that's the kind of girl I would like an over process of time I got to know her personally and I remember from the their restart in meeting her. I remember praying Lord, not my will but thine be done. I would as you question do you pray and seek the will of God over everything you do folks is no difference between the secular and the sacred. I'm amazed how some people can start talking with one another and yet never really talk about spiritual things and pursue a right foundation. What are we to do. We are to seek the rule and reign of the King in our life and we are to align ourselves with his standards. She is righteous purposes. What he wants to do in this world. And so what he deals with. Here is what we all have in common.
We all go through stress, we all stress out over stuff and it's constantly the command to come back in the seek first his kingdom and seek first his will and follow God in his righteous standards.
There's no difference between the secular and the sacred nap.
That's true of food and clock of clothing. Let's fast-forward 2000 years today and what is it that we all have in common here. What is everybody in this room have in common. One thing we have in common is that we are by moment by moment touched, influenced, benefited and affected by what we call technology.
Technology is almost to a degree, almost all night present everywhere you go. We mean by technology, and I'm I'm shifting because I would take that principle and apply it to technology what is technology by definition it is scientific knowledge put in the practical use. For example, it's something as practical as a washing machine or refrigerator or an automobile or electric window or an automatic sliding door there's technology involved in all of that scientific knowledge put into practical use is something as entertaining as a cable channel television or live streaming or an electric massage chair or anything along those live there are all examples of technology and just like food and clothing technology is a part of God's creation. It's man taking scientific knowledge and then putting it into practical use and more specifically, as we consider technology what is that one thing that we all have in common. In the realm of technology today like food and clothing. What is it that every body has every body has a smart phone.
Everybody does me. Okay, so maybe like you know like .01% doesn't but effectively that's everybody.
So let me then ask you a basic question about your smart phone and that is do you approach your cell phone from a spiritual or from a secular standpoint. Consider some basic truths about the cell phone on what you think about this. Number one. Consider that gives you unlimited access to information.
Yes, you can perpetually feed and stimulate 24 seven.
Two of your five major senses that is the ability to see and the ability to hear you have unlimited access to information literally all over the world. Secondly, consider that there are virtually no restrictions to what you can see in here one emphasizes there's virtually no restriction. I understand there something you can have access to the II get all that but I mean virtually there's no restriction to what you can see in here that is you can read, watch, stream here or play whatever you want whenever you want to do it and nobody can tell you know. Nobody consider that there is virtually no personal accountability to what you see and hear on your smart phone though. There's no accountability.
I mean, who's holding you accountable.
Your mother, your roommate someone in authority. Nobody can. Nobody has access to your smart phone you have your own username your own password is a world that you totally control every everyone is restricted, but you your parents your spouses your friends your authorities your employees know what, by the way, who knows what you're doing on yourself. Who knows, now who knows there are two basic we know this to. I don't want to say one is that one is a person because not number one algorithms no algorithms know exactly what you're doing because they figured out, and that's why they they put things up on your screen algorithms.
No. And secondly, God knows the eyes of the Lord are in every place.
Beholding the evil and the good that is.
You're safe I would you think about that. Nobody in the world can tell you no man that is like really dangerous. And since most sin comes to the eye gate in the ear gate what you see what you here consider the fact that unlimited, unrestricted, unrestrained, unfiltered, and I accountable information flowing to you to be a major stumbling block in which often times you fall into sin regularly. I would space. I would be as so bold to say that your smart phone is probably the chief stumbling block in your life that you sin on a regular basis and in many cases you don't even realize it because your heart is become hard considering the nature of the cell phone is a form of instant communication, it can become a tool for unrestrained or careless communication through text emails, DM's and calls it also allows communication to be impersonal and impatient. To be honest with you I'm often surprised by what people text to help him like wow and I'm not talking about students I'm talking about pastors and parents often times their disrespectful they actually treat me like I'm not a human being there very impatient. I got one last week I went do what is your problem was a too much Mexican food or something for lunch. You know, your stomach must be upset they were. They were snarky, and in some cases I haven't talked to them in a year in a year. I'm going could night I grew up in the South we learn how to treat people better.
We like gossip about you behind your back but never to your faith what in the world. I'm not saying that using all these things are wrong on just simply say that how often, how often, how do we live in the realm of the secular. There's no accountability and we know God is there, but we don't live in the fear of God and we stumble all the time. Consider that everything that you eat that anything consider this anything you use up to 8 to 10 hours a day, which is the average time people use her cell phone. That's an average workday anytime you use anything for 8 to 10 hours a day that feeds your impulsive responses is on the borderline of being an addiction that I know there's a debate over whether not a cell phone usage is an addiction.
I understand that but consider the signs of addiction, loss of control the behavior having difficulty limiting the behavior, the need to engage in the behavior more often to get the same feeling negative consequences stemming from the behavior, feelings of irritability and anxiety when the behavior is a practice anybody here ever freak out that you have and use your phone for a while picking up the habit again after periods of avoidance. We call that relapse. Now those are basically the qualities or characteristics of an addiction and all. I'm simply saying is I'm not saying the use of the cell phone is a sin. I'm just trying to for us to all be honest for the believer, the cell phone is not brought into the realm of the spiritual like we are to do with our common food and clothing.
If you don't pursue God's rule and reign in righteous standards over the use of the cell phone as it is being used up to the same amount of time people work during the day and if you're unlimited access to information is unrestricted, unfiltered, unaccountable, allowing you to gratify your own desires and of all this is done without the sense of the presence of the fear of God, which is foundational to pursuing wisdom that it is very possible that technology of a smart phone has become. In some ways the single greatest detriment to your personal life spiritually, I'm just saying is become a stumbling block and as a result, you become worldly. What is it mean to be worldly. It means that you feed your flash your eyes and your pride with this thing. This is what feeds your sin nature your eyes and your pride and to be one of the greatest losses is a loss of the sense of the fear of God was mean to fear God means to live in God's presence with the realization that God hates judges and fearing God is the foundation to wisdom because of fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
And you can't get wisdom if you don't fear God that I'm saying all that to say this as I go back and I look at Matthew chapter 6 verse 33. He says we are to seek first the kingdom of God. That's his rule and reign over lives and his righteous standards and righteousness is not just black-and-white right and wrong it's it's it's using it for right purposes so we can take the very thing that can be used for negative and use it for incredibly positive things, and that's what we want to do and we want to use it to advance the kingdom we want to use it to given education we are using it to get out the message around the world.
So all of those up are part of God's righteous purposes, righteous standards. In other words, we should be passionate about righteousness and using this for right calls us to get the message out to the world and so therefore it can be used in a glorious manner. It can be use it can be used as it was yesterday when I got five I got pictures of my five grandchildren and it delighted my heart, my grandsons are queued and my granddaughter is stunningly beautiful and I got that blessing.
That's a good thing or I found out that a brother of mine was just diagnosed with cancer and I texted him back and forth. We texted and he came to my office this morning at 10 o'clock and we prayed for all those things are advancing the kingdom, but for the people of God.
It's really easy to separate the secular from the sacred and become trapped in the world and suddenly we we end up living in a manner that is not pursuing the kingdom of God so wanted to lay this out this morning. Matthew 633 seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things, the things that we worry about things that were anxious over all of these things should be added under the tomorrow. I'm excited to have Mark here because I think he's gonna take some very practical things and useful things and how we can be advancing the kingdom of God through those things. And may the Lord grant us grace to live in is in it in his presence. Be humble before him, and use what we have for his glory. Father, thank you for your word.
Help us to be faithful to you in all things in Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to a message preached by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the series on technology and entertainment here on The Daily Platform