This post is a contribution to February Synchroblog. The subject for this month is ‘Renewal’. You will find a list of the posts of other contributors at the end of this post.
The word renewal reminds me of subscriptions. Subscription reminds me of magazines, cable TV, mobile phone services, anti-virus etc. When you have a subscription, it is not unusual to receive calls, text messages and even calls to remind you to make a commitment to keep enjoying the product or service. These reminders are helpful. We get alerted about expiration dates or get reminded to extend our enjoyment of the product or service. Renewal is the decision to extend usage.
Yet these alerts and reminders can be very annoying when they become incessant. I remember the distaste with which I deleted the many e-mails I received reminding me to extend the subscription of the anti-virus I use. I started receiving alerts since November, 2014, for a subscription that ended this February.
The Christian life is a lot like making and maintaining the subscription for an anti-virus.
Here are the highlights of the analogy.
- Making the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is like subscribing for an anti-virus. Jesus Christ is the anti-virus that saves, you are the device to be protected or saved. This subscription is for life! Not for one year or two. Also, it is a single user package. Your decision to accept Jesus is just for yourself. No ‘multiple-user packages.’
- Though you are protected, you still have to be wary of malicious sites, harmful downloads and infected removable media (memory sticks). In the same way a Christian must, guard his/ her heart (Proverbs 4:23) against sin and flee from it (1 Timothy 6:11 & 1 Corinthians 6:18). Viruses and malware are meant to steal your information, corrupt your data and crash your computer. In the same way the devil seeks to steal from, and kill and destroy you (John 10:10A).
- Just as an anti-virus needs regular updates which is only possible with an Internet connection, a Christian must consistently be connected to God to do regular updates through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, personal Bible study, fellowship with other believers, evangelism and discipleship etc. Though unlike the automatic update setting usually recommended for an anti-viruses, you must intentionally choose to do a manual update regularly as a Christian. Also, unlike the anti-virus where updates are different from subscription renewal, for a Christian the updates is the renewal process. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Roman 12:2)
- Just as we get alerts of the presence of a virus and reminders for updates and renewal, the Holy Spirit makes us aware of sin in our lives and helps us deal with it. He also reminds and helps us to renew our commitment to Jesus on a daily basis.
- Different anti-virus packages cannot run simultaneously on a device. In the same way, you cannot operate two salvation packages. No straddling – you cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24); Salvation is found in no one else (Acts 4:12).
- One major difference though is, where anti-viruses have both free and paid packages (full options), Jesus offers salvation free and full (John 10:10B). No need for upgrades.
What can you add?
The following are other contributions to February Synchroblog.
Abbie Waters – It is Well with My Soul
Done With Religion – Renewal
Mark Votova – 30 Ways the Church Can Find Renewal
Jeremy Myers – I am Dying … (So I Can Live Again)
Phil Lancanster – The Parable of the Classic Car
Susan Schiller – Renewal by Design
Glenn Hager – Repurposed
Wesley Rostoll – Why I no longer pray for revival
Clara Ogwuazor-Mbamalu – Renewal of the Spirit
K.W. Leslie – Those who wait on the Lord
Lisa Brown – Momma’s Kick Off Your Shoes and Stay For A While!
Jenom Makama – …Like An Antivirus
Leah – Renewal!