Social Media Is Not Usually Something I Spend Alot Of Time On, But . . . .

Social Media is not something that I typically spend a lot of time on. I rarely spend much time scrolling through social media posts, but I do typically take time to post some things throughout the day. I typically post some of my early morning Daily Bible Reading scriptures (to help friends and family members who are not daily reading God’s Word), and I wish people a “Happy Birthday”. I also praise the Lord for good things that happen to me and to others, I share prayer requests (yesterday I asked people to pray for the people of Jackson, Mississippi who are without water), and I affirm family members or friends. And I post either spiritual comments or quotes, and I sometimes post funny memes about life or I post about funny episodes from my life. Also, I rarely go back to see how many “likes” or “comments” that those posts receive. However, I noticed something unusual from two of last week’s social media posts that have caused me to think more deeply about those who follow me on social media.

Last Friday, I posted the following comment, “Pray for me. Vicki has me trapped in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond store. I may need for someone who loves their Pastor to come in and rescue me.” I was just being funny, but amazingly to me, 389 people “liked” the post, and 85 people responded to the post. And some of the responses were hilarious. Responses like:

  • “Pastor Dennis, we all have crosses to bear.”

  • “Just start jumping on their display beds. Takes care of everything and it’s fun.”

  • “If we were there, we could pass you a coupon.”

  • “That was the one store where I would say, ‘Honey, I don’t mind waiting in the car.’”

  • “You married her for better or for worse.”

  • “Do your time Dennis.”

I contrasted that post with one I had shared earlier in the week, which was a challenging quote from the Christian author Watchman Nee, a Chinese Pastor in the earlier part of the 20th century. In “The Normal Christian Life,” Watchman Nee wrote: “A day must come in our lives, as definite as the day of our conversion when we give up all right to ourselves and submit to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ.” And then I asked the question, “Has this day come for you?” To my surprise, there were only 8 “likes” about the quote and question and only 3 comments.

Now, I know most of the people who commented on my funny Bed, Bath and Beyond post, and I know they are people who love the Lord and live for Him. And I know that oftentimes the social media algorithms determine to some degree how frequently a post is viewed by others. But just contrasting the two posts and the responses to them makes me wonder, “Are most people, even Christian people, a lot more focused on the lighthearted aspects of life than they are on “submitting to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ”? I know that the answer to that question is “Yes.” But I also believe that until we all (Dennis Watson included) come to the point that Watchman Nee challenged us to arrive at, we won’t experience the best kind of life that the Lord wants us to experience. And Jesus believed the same thing. That’s why He said the following words in Matthew 16:24-26, a passage we studied in our Sunday services on August 14.

  • Jesus – “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

It’s good to laugh at the funny things of life. Almost all of us need to be more lighthearted in our thinking and in our conversations with others. But we also need to be really serious about “giving up our own way, taking up our cross and following Jesus.” Because that’s the only way to obtain a “godly soul” and experience the life the Lord has called us to live.

WWL TV // READ SISTER SUELLEN TENNYSON STORY HERE

Someone who has given up her own way of life to follow what she believes is God’s call upon her life is Sister Suellen Tennyson, a Catholic Nun from New Orleans. Back in April I shared on social media and with our Church that this 83 year old Nun had been kidnapped in Burkino Faso, Africa, along with some other Catholic wokers, and that there was no word from her kidnappers. We began praying for her release and return. But quite honestly I had almost given up hope of that happening, because there had been no word about her for 4.5 months. But yesterday it was reported in our local news that Sister Tennyson was safe in Niamey, the capital of the Niger Republic in northern Africa. We rejoice in that news, and attribute the return of Sister Tennyson and her co-workers to God answering the prayers of His people. This incident reminds us that the Lord is still in the prayer-answering, miracle-working business.

Another evidence that the Lord is still in the prayer-answering, miracle-working business is the responses we are seeing at Celebration in our weekend services. In recent weeks we’ve seen a big upsurge in attendance in our Sunday services at our Celebration Campuses, and we’ve have powerful worship services that have included a profound sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence, many first time guests, great responses to THE NEXT LEVEL sermons, and lots of people reporting that their hearts have been touched and they are in the process of being transformed because of their attendance at our Sunday services.

This past Sunday our Pastors and I preached about NEXT LEVEL FAITH, and the sermon was based on an incredible story found in Matthew 17:24-30, where Jesus healed and freed from demonic oppression a demonized boy. You can view the message by clicking here.

In the message we challenged our people to write the word Freedom on their Communication Card if they or people they knew needed to be freed from addictions, negative emotions, bad habits or demonic oppression. In regards to those responses, our Pastors and I are praying for those individuals and the ones they mentioned, and we’re also sending resources to help people and families. If you know of someone who needs some type of freedom in their lives, contact your Campus Pastor and let them know what type of help that you or they need. Here at Celebration we have thousands of testimonies that confirm that Dr Jesus is still in the healing and freeing business, and we have ministries like Celebrate Recovery that help people find help, hope, healing and freedom for their lives.

We love you at Celebration, and we’re here to pray for you, to help you, and to lead you to experience the blessings of the Lord upon your life and family. Contact your Life Group Leader, Campus Pastor, Campus Staff or email us at info@celebrationchurch.org to let us know of how we can be of help to you or to others.

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at Celebration as we continue our THE NEXT LEVEL Sermon series.