Unlimited Data Plan

    Apr 5, 2024 | by Joel Jacobs

    No matter your age, we all have reasons why we are glad to be a part of our particular generation, and I’m very grateful I was born in the time that I was. I fall into the generation affectionately known as “Xennials.” Technically, my birth year would identify me as a “millennial,” but I’m close enough to the line of Generation X that the two were combined. Wikipedia calls this a “micro-generation.” Perhaps it was an arrogant way to make us look cooler, but there is some merit to it. I experienced Saturday morning cartoons/wrestling. I grew up with cult classic movies that still had original storylines (instead of constant “remakes”). I know what a rotary phone is and used one often at my grandmother’s house. I used pay phones to make collect calls to my parents landline phone when ready to be picked up from somewhere; “You have a collect call from – momI’mreadytobepickedupfromtheYbye.” I got to experience a lot of life when it was slower paced, and arguably, simpler. I didn’t have to navigate my teen years on social media, and yet, I was young enough to usher in and keep up with digital technology that seemed to grow at lightning speed. I seamlessly transitioned to smartphones and advanced desktops, tablets, etc. even though I had typing class on computers with green screens and Oregon Trail.

    Our digital world today is almost unrecognizable to the one I grew up in. My kids will never know what dial up internet on a clunky computer was like. Now, we have computers that fit into our pockets that are connected to the fastest networks we have ever seen (and somehow they keep getting faster). In recent years we have transitioned to “5G.” It simply means 5th generation. Most cell phone carriers have access to these networks. However, as fast as those networks are, it requires a good connection on the receiving end. There are a lot of things that can impede that connection, proximity, building materials, etc. There are some materials that can block it. For example, tin, which is why tin foil makes great hats! (Hopefully you catch the attempt at satire there).

    I recently saw this 5G/cell phone connection as a good visual for explaining how sin and other facets of life in this world affects our connection with God. Until one receives the gift of salvation through Jesus and his substitutionary work through his death, burial, and resurrection, their connection to God is severed. Although His presence may be all around them, they are like a cell phone searching for connection to the main network while covered in tin foil. Part of Jesus’s mission was to reestablish that connection that sin severed between man and his Creator. Therefore, all it takes is believing on Jesus, declaring Him Lord, and our spirit is reborn and reconnected to the source of eternal life. Praise God! It really is that easy!

    That’s good news because we are eternal spirits! However, we still have a soul to deal with. While that eternal, spiritual, connection to God will never be separated again, our soul can affect our “signal reception.” James 1:21 (NKJV) says “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.” A portion of the AMPC says “…receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.”

    If you’ve been in Faith Building Church for a while, you’ve heard plenty of times…we are a spirit, we have a soul (our mind, will, and emotions), and we live in a body. This distinction is important. Jesus did his part to restore and save our spirit. However, the saving of our soul (the way we think, the desires we have, and the actions that follow) happens as we allow God’s Word to be implanted in us. James said to “RECEIVE with meekness.” That means we must be open to the process of allowing the Holy Spirit to correct us and renew our minds. We must have a good reception. If we aren’t open to it and we aren’t in God’s Word, we’ll continue to let sin or things of this world (all the daily things that occupy our time and “bandwidth”) have majority rule over our soul, and we will have poor signal reception with God.

    Maybe there was a time when you were very close in your walk with God, and it diminished. Or maybe you’ve been a believer for a long time but never have had a close connection. Either way, I encourage you to humbly do a check of yourself. Open yourself up, get into God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit will lovingly reveal the source that’s been impeding a good connection. As you do, you will discover that God has an unlimited data plan we can be connected to.

    Love you all,

    Pastor Joel


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