Summary: A look at the self-centeredness that is encouraged by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The message then details what the Biblical idea of servanthood and how that leads to a life of impact.
THE MOST COMMON "PRODUCT" OF FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND YOUTUBE: We are self-centered, endlessly focusing attention on ourselves.
- Let me acknowledge first that I am not saying that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are intrinsically evil. They’re not. I use each and there are positives that come with each. For instance, I’m thankful for the opportunity through Facebook to keep up old friends that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. That’s a positive thing.
- At the same time, there is a “product” at the center of Facebook. That “product” is me and you.
- It’s an easy thing to allow each of these technologies to push us in the direction of self-centeredness.
- Of course, there’s nothing wrong with telling friends with something that happened to us that day.
- But we’re showing signs in our society of becoming increasingly self-centered, and these technologies are part of that tendency.
BUT THE BIBLE SAYS: We are called to be servants.
- The antithesis of self-centeredness is having a servant heart.
- In this same book, Paul opens up his writing to the Philippians by calling himself a “servant.” It’s a primary way that he sees himself.
- Two things about a servant:
a. A servant is someone who is attuned to taking care of another person’s needs.
- We don’t feel comfortable with that image: we don’t like to think of ourselves as servants. We’re used to people attending to our needs. We’re used to companies jockeying to serve us so they can get our money.
- And yet Jesus calls us to be servants.
b. A servant is someone who acknowledges that someone else is in charge.
- We are called to know that Jesus is Lord. “Lord” isn’t just a nice phrase that we use – it’s a title with serious meaning. Part of that meaning is that He is in charge.
- “Lord” means boss, CEO. Jesus gets to call the shots.
- Many folks want Jesus as Savior; not as many want Him as Lord.
AN HONEST DESIRE, MISDIRECTED: There is nothing wrong with wanting to live a great life, but we’re being lied to about how to make it happen.
- Mark 9:35.
- The first half of this verse (and we’ll get to the second half in a moment) says, “If anyone wants to be first. . ..”
- There is something within most of us that desires to live a life of consequence. We want to leave a legacy behind and know that our life stood for something.
- That’s not a bad desire – it’s a good one. We are designed for significance.
- The problem is that we get misdirected about the best ways to live that life of consequence. What we’re talking about this morning is one of the most prevalent lies that are shared: you’ve got to focus on yourself and promote yourself. “Take care of #1.” “Look out for yourself.”
- We’re told that having people watching our videos on YouTube or “liking” our comments on Facebook or following us on Twitter is a sign that we’re making an impact. And while none of those are intrinsically wrong and under certain circumstances could be signs of genuine good things, for the most part those things are about an elevation of the self. We want all those things to happen in order to feel significant because other people have noticed us and praised us.
- We want them to (pay careful attention to the wording) look up to us.
- What’s that phrase mean? It means we’re above them. It means that we’re superior to them. It means that we’re on top.
- The second half of the verse is straightforward, but it’s so unlike the way we normally live that it’s hard for us to grasp.
- What does it mean that we “must be the very last, and the servant of all”?
- Also, another major question it raises is, “How exactly does that make the first half actually happen?” That is, how does doing that make us “first”?
- Well, let me see if I can explain it. [Next sermon point.]
GOD'S PATH: We humble ourselves in service and let God handle the lifting up.
a. God humbles the exalted and exalts the humble.
- Look up: Matthew 23:12.
- Repeatedly Jesus says that the way that God works in this is that we are to pursue humility and then He will lift us up.
- Let’s be clear about what “exalts” means.
- It doesn’t mean that He makes you into a YouTube sensation. It doesn’t mean that everyone is looking at you.