Teens and Social Media

My wife and I are probably asked every day by our children, “Can I get a phone, can I get Instagram, can I get on the internet, can I play with your phone?”  It has been easy for us to respond in extremes where we villainize Social Media as being evil, or mindlessly give ourselves and our children over to Social Media.

Over the last few months I have been reading up on how to engage this conversation with ourselves and our children, and wanted to provide some resources below.  This is not an endorsement for these authors, or a presciption on what you should do, but it is an encouragement to prayerfully consider how you and your children are interacting with Social Media:

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Yearly Focus: 2017

Every year the North Village Church Family rotates through one of 3 specific areas; Connecting with Jesus, Connecting with NVC, and Connecting with others.

In October 2017 our church family will be focusing on Connecting with Jesus!

We are all rallying around Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Our prayer is to see the following take place in our church family over the next 12-months:

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Drifting from the finished work of the cross

In Galatians 2:11-21 we see the Apostle Peter drift from the finished work of the cross, and if the Apostle Peter can drift then we can drift.

In the context of Galatians 2 the Apostle Peter is being persuaded by others to rely on OUTSIDE WORKS, and the Apostle presses in on Peter and asks, “Why are we, who admit we can’t keep the law, leading Gentiles to keep the law?

It is an easy passage to read and think, “What was Peter thinking?”  But, honestly, we are all able to drift from the finished work of the cross just as easy.  In the case of Peter in Galatians 2 he was doubting the righteousness of Christ that he had been freely given by grace, and he was looking to OUTSIDE WORKS so that he was showing partiality toward Gentile Christians.

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Matthew 6:26, “26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air.” Look at the Grackle. The boring looking, loud and annoying Grackle, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they?

Were you not created in the image of God in Genesis 1? In Psalm 139 were you not knit together in the womb of your mother? Did Jesus not take on flesh and become your sin so that you might know the righteousness of God? If God cares for the birds of the air, how much more will your Heavenly Father care for you?

Back in verse 25 Jesus isn’t saying, “Stop worrying, or I am gonna give you a knuckle sandwich, see.” No! Jesus is saying, “Do not worry, because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is utterly, eternally and completely committed to you!”

In verse 26 when you see the phrase, “Look at the birds” Jesus is teaching you to move your thoughts off of your worries, and on to His truth revealed in His Word.  In fact, the word “Look” in the original language means “look intently” or “consider” so as to “ponder” and stop thinking about your worries, but more so, start thinking about His Word. So, lets talk about it practically:

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One Another

This year our church family is focusing on “Building up our relationships with one another.”  These last few weeks we have been teaching through Matthew 5, “Sermon on the Mount.”  In our passage on Sunday we were reminded of 6 practical areas of our relationships with one another while we are living in Jesus’ heavenly kingdom on earth, and below is a quick outline to help us apply those truths to our lives

Relational Area (Anger): How can I be proactive in seeking reconciliation?

Gospel: When we do this we this we are uprooting anger in our soul and replacing it with the gospel. We are not giving anger a foothold in our soul, or our church family. We are putting anger to death through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are walking by faith that we are created in the image of God and our relationships with one another are important.

Reflection: What if we didn’t reconcile? Can you imagine how awkward it would be in our church family if this never happens?

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All of Scripture is Important

Matthew 5:18, “18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

In verse 18 Jesus is making a strong statement because when Jesus says, “Smallest letter or stroke” He is talking about commas and hyphens, which means every word on every page is important and will be accomplished.

This means Jesus is really committed to all of Scripture, and this is why our church family is really committed to Scripture.  It is the prayer of our elder team that our conversations would be shaped by the Scripture.  It is our hope that husbands and wives would be setting aside time every week to read Scripture together.

To be clear: We’re not trying to read the Bible just to read the Bible. In verse 17 Jesus says, “He came to fulfill the Scriptures” which means the more you know the Scriptures the more you know Jesus.

Naturally we push back and say, “But I don’t understand what I am reading.” That’s okay!  Just keep reading.  When we ignore parts of the Scripture because they are confusing, boring, or uncomfortable, then we are ignoring HUGE parts of Jesus, because in verses 17-18 Jesus is saying, “All of Scripture is IMPORTANT and all of Scripture will be ACCOMPLISHED.

  • Read Scripture every day
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to help you shape your conversations around Scripture throughout the day.
  • Humble yourself to ask others for help.
  • Build relationships with other men and women who want to read, study and learn about Jesus through the Scriptures.




Blessed are the pure in heart

Our church family is teaching through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.  On Sunday we looked at verses 7-12, and I just wanted to quickly share our insights around verse 8.

Matthew 5:8, “8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

When you see the phrase, “pure in heart” it could sound like a challenge of moral perfection, so that if you change your morality, your mind, and motives then you could attain a pure heart and see God.

But, Scripture makes it really clear that humanity is unable to make our hearts pure. I know this might sound odd because we have grown up in the Age of the Enlightenment where better education should make us more civil, but Jeremiah 17 says our hearts area deceitful and wicked.

  • In Matthew 7 Jesus calls our hearts evil. He says, “If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father?”
  • The heart is what you are when nobody knows but God. It is why 1 Samuel 16 says, “Man looks at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
  • The heart is the invisible root matters of our soul. It is why Matthew 15 says, “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart.”

Therefore, in verse 8 when Jesus teaches “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” He isn’t talking about moral platitudes. God didn’t take on flesh and enter human history to improve our bad habits.  No, if we want to see God then we need new hearts!

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