We were able to call in and listen to a sermon at our home congregation in the States this morning. The message was on being conformed into the image of Jesus.
The preacher took his text from Romans 12:3, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
He reminded us that the greatest command is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He went over various scriptures teaching this, going all the way back to the first of the Ten Commandments.
He challenged us to consider what we’re doing with our extra time forced on us by lockdown. He suggested that if you look at how you’ve been spending your extra time, you’ll discover what sort of character you have and to what degree you actually love the Lord. Is it with all your heart?
He showed from the Bible how anything that takes the place of God or takes higher precedence than God is idolatry. Of course, even a cursory reading of the Bible gives us a clear picture of how God hates idolatry and how He jealously guards His rightful place in our hearts.
One challenge the preacher gave us was to ask ourselves if we love our Bibles as much as we love our phones. He asked how our lives might be if we treated our Bibles with the same anxious attention as we do our social media feeds or entertainment, etc. Would you be ashamed to let others know how many minutes you spent with God last week as compared to the total number of minutes you spent lost in your phone?
He shared the story of two brothers who fought each other to gain the throne. The younger brother lost and was imprisoned in a room in the older brother’s castle. A standard-sized door was built into the wall, trapping him in, though it was always left open.
You see, the younger brother was an over-eater. Thus, he was too large to fit through the door. His captor kept him imprisoned with the door open for years by having large quantities of delicious foods brought into the room each day. The prisoner could have escaped anytime, had he chosen to exercise self-control. Sadly, he died a victim of his own excess and addiction.
The preacher likened that imprisoned man to those who are enslaved by the phone in their pockets. The door is left open. They could be free anytime they choose, but they remain bound to a cycle of excess technology.
They? Or we?