I’m not asking you WHETHER you are live streaming, or if you would LIKE to live stream.
My question is, WHAT are you live streaming…because all of us have been livestreaming something ever since we were born.
Even through the silence we are streaming. Paul puts it in extreme terms, of life and death.
Romans 14:7–8 7For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Each of us comes with a personality, which develops as we grow up, and which we—hopefully—take control of as we reach mature years.
As we go along, our likes and dislikes get more defined, along with our interests and values and what we will and will not do.
The term “livestreaming” may be new in our vocabulary, but it is only another way of looking at our influence. We have been doing it all our lives.
Whether by voice, or in-person, or by email, or phone, we are connected. Even if the connection is only between myself and what I look at, or myself and what I read, or myself and what I think about, it is a connection. Each of these connections become part of my thinking, part of my inner “world,” part of my life record before God. And down the road, somewhere, sometime, it will be transmitted to others, whether I realize it or not.
Everywhere we go, what we are INSIDE goes with us, and is disclosed to others, even when we are not aware of it. Are we streaming a selfish, greedy, rebel-at-heart spirit, or are we streaming a generous, kind and Christ-like love?
What are we livestreaming?
We don’t wonder about Paul. Wherever he went, he was livestreaming Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:14–15 14Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
Everywhere he was diffusing “the fragrance of Christ’s knowledge”—wasn’t that livestreaming?
15For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
Was Paul’s livestreaming a benefit to those receiving it” That was beyond his control. The result was determined by what they accepted, whether they were serious about working to be saved or whether they were “perishing.” But whatever use they made of it, Paul kept livestreaming. This was his God-assigned task.
2 Corinthians 2:16 16To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
Christ-like living is all about WHAT we are streaming, in other words, the influence we are spreading.
Paul kept at the streaming, and he also received it—gratefully. Hear him tell about the streaming he received—and needed—from a dear friend in Christ named Onesiphorus. This faithful brother was livestreaming spiritual refreshment, even to Paul when Paul was in prison.
2 Timothy 1:16–18 16The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
What a loving, courageous brother Onesiphorus was to Paul!
Paul said more about streaming virtue in his letter to the Ephesians. It was about how they were to “walk,” in everyday life. And it was real LIVE streaming because Paul himself was streaming it. Paul set the pattern: “I the prisoner of the Lord appeal to you….”
Ephesians 4:1–3 1I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Aren’t those the qualities WE want to be streaming: lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, love, unity, peace. What a beautiful stream of virtue!
Paul sent the same livestreaming advice to the brethren in Colosee.
Colossians 3:12–13 12Therefore, as the elect of God…
Paul addresses them as “the elect,” chosen, select ones..
12…as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
It is almost identical to the passage in Ephesians. He is streaming tender mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing and forebearing with one another—if any has a complaint against another. Yes, they were human, there would naturally be complaints. “I don’t like the way he did this…” or “Why did she say that?” and so on. They were “normal” people like us, who had to fight these natural traits and overcome them. That is why they (and we) need the livestreaming, to keep us reminded, so that we can be streaming goodness, not strife or complaints. Because what we think and what we feel is going to reach out in streaming to others. That is why Paul says we must be…
Colossians 3:13 13bearing with one another, and forgiving one another [forgiving in the sense of goodness, grace, as the courtesy of “pardon me” or “excuse me”] if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you [forgiving in the sense of goodness, grace, courtesy ], so you also must do.
If the grace of the forgiving spirit is lacking, there will be strife and contentious feelings.
The livestreaming of goodness is the beauty of Christ-like agape love, the overruling peace of God and the spirit of thankfulness.
Colossians 3:14–15 14…above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
This livestreaming of peace and harmony is helping one another in a Christ-like way. Not domineering, not a spirit of “I wouldn’t think of doing that!” but a spirit of true, compassionate, brotherly concern, as Paul wrote to the Galatians:
Galatians 6:1 1Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
None of us are beyond the reach of temptation. Any one of us CAN fall. That is why we need each other. That is why we need to be both giving and receiving the livestream of virtue all the time.
Paul put it specifically to the brothers. Keep that attitude of prayer:
1 Timothy 2:8 8I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
Streaming holiness and virtue, not wrath and doubting.
Then there is a command for the women:
1 Timothy 2:9–10 9in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
The tone of the streaming is the same: not bold and flaunting themselves, but as is proper
10… for women professing godliness, with good works.
One final statement from Paul to Timothy about livestreaming goodness:
2 Timothy 2:24–25 24And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25in humility correcting those who are in opposition.
Peter advised the same, in answering questions about our faith to others. He said,
1 Peter 3:15–16 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Notice again the same spirit of humility: “with meekness and fear.” Verse 16:
16having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
It is the spirit Peter puts forth as the ultimate in apparel—heart-apparel—for the sisters in the faith.
1 Peter 3:3–4 3Do not let your adornment be merely outward…4rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
The “incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.” It what makes “heart” beauty in God’s sight.
Peter said it again, still livestreaming humility:
1 Peter 5:5 5Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Peter is livestreaming humility all the way through his little epistle. It is the right spirit for all of us. It is not a being a “know-it-all” but showing a genuine spirit of being always willing to learn, willing to follow, willing to obey, willing to submit to one another.
Because any one can stumble! any one can fall! That is why we need to help one another. Remember,
1 Corinthians 10:12 12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Let us conclude with a short verse from a Megiddo Message of many years ago:
Oh that my tongue could so possess
The secret of His tenderness
That every word I breathed would bless!
For those who mourn, a word of cheer,
A word of love for those who fear,
And truth to all both far and near!
Oh that it might be said of me
“Surely thy speech betrayeth thee
As friend of Christ of Galilee”!