Reboot :: By Grant Phillips

I do not consider myself to be computer literate. On the other hand, I am not totally computer challenged either. I do alright in the areas I am familiar with, but call for help when a problem gets over my head. My magical “fix” is to REBOOT. I’m sure the computer techies out there snickered at that one, thinking, “Yeah, he ain’t too bright!” However, it often works, and as long as it works, I’ll keep rebooting. When it doesn’t, I’ll call the expert.

Okay, this really isn’t about computers. I have just exhausted my knowledge with you on that subject. I would like to talk about us, you and me. So here goes.

Have you ever wished you could “reboot” at certain times in your life? There are so many, many times in my life I’ve wished I could take back something I said or did. There were times, as I look back, that I must have seemed stupid, silly, mean, or whatever. For example, the Bible has so much to say about the tongue, but I’ll share just one verse.

“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:” (Romans 3:13)

One thing I am noticing more and more with each passing day is that the tongue of so many people is in “attack” mode almost constantly. People say things to other people, even strangers, that should never be thought, let alone spoken. People are fast becoming rude, crude and downright mean. Vitriolic is a word that would fit well here. Synonyms are spiteful, venomous, hurtful, bitter, cruel, rancorous and malicious.

Have any of you ever had a problem with that snake in your mouth? Sure you have. We all have. No instrument of our body can cause as much damage as our tongue. It can destroy lives, reputations, and relationships for starters. We may not have ever said anything that would cause that much devastation, but we still have to keep the reins tight on that slippery beast.

By now, some of you are wondering, “Where is he going with this?” Is he going to berate those who have a loose tongue? Not really, remember, the title of this article is “Reboot,” so let’s think about, “Can I take anything back once it’s out there?” Has anyone reading this ever looked back on their life and wished they had taken “the other road,” or “made the other decision?” I’m sure there are many in prison or are in bad marriages who would agree. There are many addicted to drugs and alcohol who would agree. There are many who have hurt others with their tongue who would agree. And the list goes on for miles. The point is many have made bad decisions and those decisions have resulted in consequences. Is there any hope in being able to start over?

If we mean, “Can I undo what has been said or done,” the answer is, “No.” Once we have said it, and once we’ve done it, it’s there to stay. Let me provide an example.

An innocent pedestrian is killed by a drunk driver. The drunk driver would, and should, pay the consequences. Can the innocent person be brought back to life? No. That cannot be changed. Can the clock be turned back, to avoid this awful tragedy? No. However, in this heartbreaking tragedy, there is light. The drunk driver can come to Jesus and be saved and receive new life in Him. The consequences remain, but there is new life in the saving power of Christ.

Every person who has come to Jesus Christ and been born again knows, or they should know, that only Jesus can give us a new life, no matter how rotten we have been in the past.

Keep in mind that Jesus is not going to erase the minds of those we have spoken badly to. He is not going to change the circumstances of our actions, but He will not just “reboot” our life, He will give us a completely new life in Him.

All of these bad things we say and do are caused by the old sin nature that is within us all. Those who are lost can have a new life in Jesus, but what about Christians? Christians have the new life, but we still sin. We still do things and say things we shouldn’t. What then? The Lord told us to confess our sins to Him and He will forgive us. Why would He say that? Do we lose our salvation? No, but we interrupt our fellowship with Him when we sin. Confessing our sins to Him restores the fellowship between us and God.

Jesus gave us an example of this in the following verses.

“After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.” (John 13:5-11)

This passage is not about washing feet, as some have mistakenly assumed, it is about restoring fellowship. To be totally washed is a picture of salvation. Jesus washing their feet is a picture of restoring fellowship.

Using the same “drunk driver” scenario shown above, what if the driver was a Christian? The consequences are the same, but if the Christian drunk driver asks the Lord’s forgiveness, they will be forgiven.

Friends, we can’t just reboot our life and eliminate those bad things we have said and done, but if we want it, God will give us a new life through Jesus Christ. My driving point is that no matter how badly we have failed in our lives, Jesus Christ can save anyone who wants to be saved and He will always forgive His own and restore fellowship when we just ask Him.

No, we cannot reboot and start over, eliminating what we have said and done, be it good or bad. Nevertheless, we can start afresh with God each and every day. Even if we are one of those who have totally ruined their life and is swimming in the sewer, Jesus Christ can and will clean us up and give us a new life in Him that is really worth living, a life not without problems, but with His assurance that He is always there for us.

God said through the apostle Peter, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Perhaps we should, figuratively, tape this verse on our foreheads.

Grant Phillips


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