Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
God's into Restoration
by Erik Momsen
Have you noticed how humans break things? Children seem to be born with a built-in destruct mode. Hollywood also majors in destruction. Blow it up and crash it and it will be a box-office success. On a more serious note, humanity is set on destruction. Be it the environment or one another we are much better at breaking than mending.
I saw the movie "Lilo and Stitch" in which an alien scientist creates a genetically modified creature, "Stitch", which is programmed to do only one thing, i.e. destroy. This plot is not new. Humans are programmed to do the same. Stitch is, however, won over by a little girl’s need to love him and be loved in return.
What does God do with us? You might have heard the phrase, " God does not make junk". This might be true, but He certainly does collect it. God is a collector and restorer of broken, bitter and twisted things. The reason for this is that; "LOVE NEVER GIVES UP" (1 Corinthians 13:4 - The Message by Eugene Peterson). God knows we are going down in flames, but he is going to rescue and restore as many as He can.
Many will know this is true from Psalm 23;
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want, He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quite waters, He restores my soul."
The story of Jesus is about Him living with and loving broken and desperate people. It is not without reason that He was known as the healer. Jesus did not go around looking for the best and brightest to join his team and create a success story. He said he came to seek and save the lost.
Once we are found, the long and lovingly executed program of our restoration starts. Like an old, stained, chipped, dirty - yet valuable - piece of furniture, He lovingly sets to work on us. He has on average 70 or more years to complete the job. We, on the other hand, become impatient and even desperate with our seemingly slow progress.
"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
Remember He is the restorer (the potter) and we the object of His work.
This program of the Restorer going out to search for a valued piece, finding it and bringing the best out of it is again seen in 1 Peter 5:10.
"And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
- God, who has all I need - calls me - to eternal glory.
- There will probably be suffering of some kind (perhaps the heat gun or paint stripper).
- He himself will restore you.
- Make you strong, firm and faithful.
Eugene Peterson puts this same passage like this:
"It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ ... will put you together and on your feet for good." (1 Peter 5:10 The Message)
The Greek word "restore" (katartizo) has a great depth of meaning. It means to adjust thoroughly, to prepare, to repair or refit, to reinstate and to complete in character.
This "restoration" God is doing, enables us to be useful to Him.
"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip (kataptisai) you with everything good for doing His will and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him ... " (Hebrews 13: 20,21)
God restores and equips with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cleans us out and fills us with His motivations and power. We must co-operate as best we can, but it is not our project. We are the project and we must co-operate.
Our co-operation starts with the prayer "may He work in us what is pleasing to Him ..." or "Lord not my will be done but yours."
Remember no matter what state you are in, you are valuable and He is able.
Galatians 6:1 - "Restore your brother."
Isaiah 58:12 "Your people will rebuild ancient ruins and will raise up age old foundations; you will be called Repairer of broken walls, Restorer of streets with dwellings."
Date Added: 2009-12-09
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