Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Of Mobile Technology

What is the one mobile app you use the most? (phone or tablet)

No really.... Think about it for a minute..

Better yet, what are the top 3 apps?

If you have something to write with/on, I ask that you go ahead and take a serious whack at this little exercise and actually write down your top 3 (if you want to be an overachiever, go for the top 5 apps). Otherwise, keep that list in the back of your mind for later because we're going to come back to it.

In the last few years we have grown to be a society where we all have a computer in our pockets wherever we go. Granted, the clamshell phones with the physical buttons were pretty cool and better than we ever hoped for, but the advent of the touch screen device was a game changer. In so many ways we are no longer chained to a laptop/desktop, we end up doing most things on the go. As long as you haven't lived under a rock the past few years, I probably haven't told you anything you don't already know.

Meaningful advancement of the gospel has often coincided with meaningful advances in technology. Have you ever thought about that? The reformation might not have been able to challenge the status quo of the Catholic Church if not for the advent of the Gutenberg printing press 80-ish years prior. Radio, audio/video recordings, sound amplification, the Internet... you name it... the Good News of the Lord has benefitted from secular advances in technology. Even the coming of the Messiah, God the Son in flesh, came after the Roman Empire was in a place of dominion and wealth to build/pave roads and tie together just over one million square miles. The time in which God chose to display his faithfulness/righteousness (fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant as a leg of his bigger plan) happened at a time when that good news would be better able to be spread. Today sermons can be passed or broadcast in audio or video virtually anywhere you would need to go. Many thousands of hours of sermon recordings are available right in our pocket.

This being said.... how is that concept being reflected in our day-to-day lives?

Lets go back to the initial question.... What are they? Those "top 3" apps you use the most on your phone.

Are any of them a Bible app?

If your answer is no... is there a Bible app anywhere on the home screen?

Ever since I first got an iPhone, I've been a little (and by "a little" I mean, of course, very) particular on where all the apps go. There are certain "staple" apps that have to be right there on the home screen for easy access: Settings, Camera, Music, Texts, App Store, Notes, etc. While other apps that are rarely used or not needed as much are stored in folders on the next page. I even worked out a pretty good organization for some of them. For instance, I knew I would need Settings more than a bunch of other things, so it’s right there where my thumb would be 90% of the time I hold the phone. Suffice it to say.. I've put a little bit of thought into the rhyme and reason of my phone.

So you can see how one day it hit me as odd that of all the apps I "couldn't live without" there wasn't a SINGLE Bible app to be fou
nd on the homescreen. In fact, the only Bible app I had was off in a folder with the rest of the things I kept just in case I needed them. The rest of the stuff I didn't use all that often.

Let that thought sink in a bit.

I certainly needed Facebook and Twitter, but apparently didn't really need to have the Word of God readily available. To remedy the situation I moved things around so that I had the Bible easily accessible, right there on the homescreen. And I'll admit, for the first few days it just sat there untouched. But every time I checked my phone, it was right there staring me in the face. I was that much more aware of the fact that I wasn't reading the Bible as regularly as I should have been. But it did stand as a reminder that I needed to be in the Word far more. And that's exactly what I think we could ALL benefit from. This technology has come from nowhere in the span of my lifetime, far surpassing what anyone dreamt of even a decade before. And I've got to wonder if we are letting it properly impact our spiritual lives. All these technological leaps have lead to an enhanced ability for the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah to be passed on to new ears for growth of His earthly kingdom (church), but we are doing ourselves an extreme disservice if we aren't aiming to see that same growth potential in our own Faith and in our own dependence on "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."


The thing is, we all need to be reading the Bible more.  It is through the inspired scriptures of the Bible that the righteous, faithful God speaks to us and it is through the scriptures that His Spirit works in us. Not only do we need to be dwelling in the text daily, it should be something we are constantly going to throughout the day rather than just once a day, once a week, once a month, as needed, or just to reload your KJV-47 to fire off at someone who disagrees with you. With all the technological advances that are available to us, how are you using them to benefit your spiritual walk? This is just barely touching on the tip of the subject, but we need to be redeeming the earthly benefits like technology in ways that boost our desire for the next life. One of the best ways this can be done is by making sure that our mobile devices put God's word at easy, visible access.

“If you want to live for, glorify, and enjoy God, then you must read and understand the Bible. It is the  primary means God provides for us to know him better through Christ. It  is God’s special revelation for us.”   —Mark Driscoll 
“I am sorry for me who do not read the Bible every day. I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and pleasure.”    —Woodow Wilson

Dan lives in Texas with his wife Carah and their obnoxious collie Kirra.

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