John Telgren

Sometimes as I am working at my computer, it gradually gets slower and slower. The only thing left to do is reboot and start over again. With a fresh start, everything is working well once again.

As I reflect on this, it occurs to me that this is a reflection of God. In a sense, he allows us to "reboot." There are those, like Jacob, whose life has become such a mess. Yet God calls people like Jacob, and allows them to "reboot." Jacob's life is rebooted by God, and he becomes Israe (Gen 35:10)l. Abram's life is "rebooted" when he follows God from Ur to Canaan, and Abram becomes Abraham (Gen 17:5). Saul's life is rebooted from a zealous Jew and Pharisee who persecuted Christians, to an apostle of Christ, called by God to suffer with Christ through his ministry to the Gentiles. After he begins his mission, he is known as Paul (Acts 13:9). Then there are countless others whose lives were "rebooted," renewed, and transformed by the God who called them into his marvelous light.

Some think of the new year as a time to "reboot." It is a time for another chance. God is a God who grants second chances. This is especially evident when God gave Israel a second chance. In the wilderness, Israel was obstinate, stiff necked, and disobedient repeatedly. He could have destroyed them all and started all over with Moses. Instead, after Moses pleads with God (Ex 32), God gives the nation a second chance through their children. In another generation, their children would have the opportunity to take possession of the land God had promised to them through their ancestors (Num 14:31).

Then there is the cross, the greatest "reboot" in all human history. Through the power of the cross of Christ, we have the opportunity to put our old self to death and to be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). Our new self is one that is constantly being renewed in the image of Christ (2 Cor 4:16; Col 3:10). This "reboot" gives us the opportunity for renewed life, true life, life that can only be found in Christ (Jn 6:51; 10:10). Through this reboot, we can be presented to God without spot of wrinkle or any other such thing (Eph 5:27). All things are made new, and through the power of Christ (2 Cor 5:17), we are being transformed into the beauty, glory, and harmony that reflects the very character of God (2 Cor 3:18).

Yes, our God is merciful. He allows us to reboot. In fact, we must reboot. Our systems have been infected with a virus that will bring a fatal error, which is sin and death. Sin is the universal virus that has infected all of us (Rom 3:23). This has separated us from the source of life (Is 59:2). Sin causes alienation from God and ultimately death (James 1:14-15). The only way to avoid this awful death is for Christ to reboot us through his blood (Eph 1:7), which takes away our sins and enables us to be reunited with God.