Summary: We need to keep logged in to God. Here I share a mantra based on Philippians 4:6-7 to help keep us connected.
Today we finish our message series about learning what we can about our faith through facebook. facebook was created to help you share and connect with the people in your life. To get into your facebook account you need to enter your email address and your password. And you can do this each time you want to get into your facebook account.
However there is also a little box you can mark so that you do not have to reenter your information every time you want to get into facebook. By marking this box your computer remembers your email and password and gets you right into your account when you go to the facebook homepage. This little box says, “Keep me logged in.”
You would not want to mark that box if you were checking your account from someone else’s computer or from a public computer because then whoever uses that computer after you can get into your account. But it sure is nice to click that box on my home computer, and yes, my work computer. Then I just go to facebook and it takes me right to my account.
Now this does not mean I am on facebook continuously like 24/7, but only when I go to that page.
So staying logged in on facebook is a nice little feature. And I believe that staying logged in, staying connected to God is vital in our faith. The worst times in my life have been times I have felt distant from God. Times that I felt disconnected from my faith. And if we can discover ways to remain connected, remain logged into God and our faith, then we can live the life God wants for us better.
So how do we remain connected to God? I think there are many ways. Reading your Bible on a regular basis. This helps you to connect with God through His Word. The Scriptures should challenge you, convict you and encourage you. We remain connected through small groups. Meeting with other Christians to share about our faith can help us be accountable and recognize God’s presence. We also remain connected through worship, whether that is private worship or communal worship like this morning. Worship brings us into awareness of God’s presence. You need to find your way to keep logged in.
What I want to offer you as a way to remain logged in is something I learned from Leonard Sweet. I have to give him credit. He was the preacher at Helen’s family reunion this summer. I have several of his books and even preached on one of them a few years ago called the Gospel According to Starbucks.
He shared with us his mantra. It is a phrase he repeats several times a day to keep his connection to God. It comes from the two verses I read for you this morning from Philippians 4. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And as I thought about these verses I also searched through the Scriptures for verses on prayer and found the idea of this verse said several ways by Paul, which made me think maybe this was his mantra also.
Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
This may not be a complete list, but when Paul says something three times in a similar fashion then it must have been something regularly on his heart and mind.
So you can work to memorize these verses, or if you want to just remember 7 words then you will have the idea of these verses. And I believe these 7 words can help you stay logged into the Spirit of God. These 7 words can connect with you as God’s Word in the midst of whatever you are facing. I will give you the words and then we will touch on them.
Anxious…nothing. Prayerful…everything. Thankful…anything. Peace. Say that with me. Anxious…nothing. Prayerful…everything. Thankful…anything. Peace. And when you say peace you have to feel that word. It is not just peace, but peace. The peace that comes from these words is that connection to God. It is God’s peace that remains with us as we are logged in.
The first phrase is anxious…nothing. This reminds us that we do not need to be anxious about anything. Nothing needs to overwhelm us with worry or fear. I know that is easier said than done. Actually most of this idea is easier said than done. It is a goal to lead us, an ideal to place before us. We are not going to be able to do each of these perfectly, so don’t feel bad if one phrase is more difficult than another. For most of us, each of these should challenge and encourage us.