Friday, December 5, 2014

Real Life Restoration

"The LORD says, "I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts...." Joel 2:25 (NLT)

I love "junkin'" I love taking something old and bringing new life to. I also love to buy things that other people have put elbow grease and time into to make beautiful! No matter the years something is loved there is nothing that a little bit of sanding and a fresh coat of paint can't fix! But, nothing can take away the history of the piece. No matter how restored and refinished a piece is there's still a story and I love hearing about them!

Just like furniture we all have some fixing up that needs to be done. There's nothing a little sanding of the soul and of our sometimes rough personality can't fix! But, just like furniture, nothing can take away our history and back story. Satan loves this. He loves to throw our mistakes, failures and bad decisions up in our face. He loves to remind us of the chips and dings we've made in our hearts that now live on as regrets. No matter how much make-up we put on to cover-up flaws, working out we do to boost endorphins, spending money we do to buy the next "happy," reading of self-help books we do to better ourselves, we can never be made into a perfect human being.  But, there is hope. Jesus! I joked with some ladies in a Bible study that if you ever fail to know the answer to a question in church or Bible study, just say Jesus! We all got a good laugh because saying "Jesus," always works and it's always the truth! Teacher: "The only one who can make us new is? Student: Jesus!

In John chapter 3 a man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council, came to talk to Jesus and the scripture tells us it was at night. Maybe Nicodemus was scared or embarrassed but at any rate he found Jesus and said, "“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”  and Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." Nicodemus' response was basically, "Huh? How's that even possible? You know where babies come from right?" Ha! Jesus went on to explain that the only was to be born again, to have a new life, is to be born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:6)  The only work we need to have done to be made new is a soul work and that can only be done through the Spirit of the Lord.

In the book of Joel, God sends a swarm of locusts and they leave nothing in their path. Everything is destroyed to dust. But, after this swarm of destruction God is still there and the only thing God wants is restoration with his people. He promises to give them back what they lost to the locusts and all they have to do is return to Him. There's nothing that we can do to fix ourselves. We are all headed for the grave and the only living water that's ever been offered, for free, not some mid-night telemarketer's introductory special price, but free is Jesus. However, this everlasting water is only offered for a limited time. Jesus is coming back and we have to come to the end of ourselves, fall on our knees in front of God, and simply ask for him to forgive us and come to Him. There is not a guaranteed tomorrow and we will ALL stand before the throne of God and be judged for what we have done. But, there is hope. That hope is Jesus Christ. Will He stand there and claim us as His or will he leave us to our sin because we are too scared of a little restorative work?

My prayer is that I always have a bit of sandpaper, God's Word, in my heart and on my tongue. That I am always willing to use it and measure my life up to His Word for how to live. And, that I am willing to step aside for whatever God has in store for my life. I want to give my tools of restoration, the tools that rust and break in my hands, to God and put my life in His hands to restore my broken heart and pieces of my life.

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