Oct 8 - Nate Porter, Software Update
On Sunday Nate Porter, our wonderfully tech-savvy youth pastor, shared a message called “Software Updates,” which likened the updates that we receive from time-to-time on our phones and devices to the occasional updates, or adjustments, we need to make to our faith and relationship with God.
Using the example of Saul’s conversion, Nate explains how Saul had lived his life making threats, arresting Christians as prisoners, and killing the Lord’s followers, until one day he received the ultimate notification: Jesus appeared before him in a flash of heavenly light. Despite Saul’s crimes, Jesus didn’t approach him with threats and accusations. He simply asked, “Why do you persecute me?” Then says, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:5-6) Then he sent Saul on to Damascus to meet with Ananias, one of his disciples.
Acts 9:10-16 The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Thus begins Saul’s conversion into Paul, the great Christian who wrote much of the New Testament and planted churches all along the Mediterranean. We may not have experienced a change this life-changing, but when was the last time our world view was changed at all? Sometimes we need to take a step back to clearly evaluate our faith to see if we’re still on the right track or if there are changes we can make to our lives. Rather than looking at the world from our perspective, we should try to view it from God’s perspective.
Are you holding on to a view that is holding you back from experiencing the fullness of God? And if so, do you want to know about it? It can be uncomfortable to look at ourselves objectively and seek out our faults, but to grow in our faith, this is an important exercise. God commands us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We don’t need to wait for Jesus to appear in a flash to make us change. We can pray today that God will help us to see our lives differently in order to develop a fuller relationship with him.