Choose to renew now

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By Michael Coppersmith, First United Methodist Church

Proverbs 2:6-8 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice and preserves the way of His saints.”

I was working on my computer one day and all of a sudden a pop-up from my virus protection came on my screen with two buttons that said, “Renew Now or Renew Later” in big letters. “You have 30 days of protection left” were in smaller letters. I instantly pushed the Renew Later button; this went on every week until I had one day left.
A familiar word in the internet industry that has become a big business is “firewalls.”  
These firewalls are software we put on our computers, and are designed to install barriers between you and hackers on your hard drive.
Their purpose is to block access to your sensitive files, financial records and all your personal data stored on your hard drive. Firewalls have the ability to filter out any unwanted intrusions that would invade your privacy and help protect you from credit card fraud and identity theft.
Before the computer age we knew about firewalls. Buildings had firewalls that were designed to slow down and stop the spread of fires, and even in the forests firewalls were made by clearing out large areas for the same purpose.
We know that Satan uses the world and our flesh continually to seek ways to intrude into our daily lives, undermine our faith, cause us to compromise our values and steel our identity as children of the most high God.
God knew this was going to happen.
Jesus said he was sending us a comforter, a helper, The Holy Spirit to take up residence in us to serve as our firewall.
The firewall of Jesus blocks access from the tactics of Satan to stop the brushfires of temptations, to be on watch interceding on our behalf, and equipping us with the Armor of God so we can stand firm against all these intrusions.
Ephesians 6:16 is saying that in every battle we need faith as our shield in order to stop the arrows that Satan has aimed at us.
So, Jesus is our perfect firewall. He shelters us under His wings, He is able to separate us from our sins, and most of all rescue and save us from Hell’s torment in eternity.
This firewall protection was very costly.
Let’s go back to my story with the decision to renew now or renew later.
I kept putting off renewing my protection. Why I don’t know. I knew I needed it and I also knew it was going to cost me something. Was it the cost? Was it taking the time? Did I think I could do it without the protection? Why would I take the chance?
How often do we do that with God? We know we can’t do it without Him, and yet at times we have the same behavior and put Him off and think we can renew later and take the risk of being hacked or find we have been invaded.
Even though the cost was great for this protection, God has made it available to all, free of charge. It’s a free gift to you. Psalm 3:3 “But you, O Lord, are a shield for me.”
So, Renew Now!