Andy Hollifield 4-18-18
Psalms 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalms 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Galatians 6:1 Brethern, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Restore—-to put back to a former place, or to a former postion, rank, etc…
Luke 15 (the prodigal son) is probably one, if not the greatest bible story of someone being restored. There were a lot of people, such as Peter, that were restored but then advanced to a greater position. There are a few things that are always associated with being restored. First is the fact that to be restored you must first suffer loss. Second is that you have to humble yourself and admit that you have suffered loss. Third is that you cannot restore yourself but you have to count on someone else to restore you. Fourth is that you have to take responsibility for suffering loss. It is one thing to admit it but another thing entirely to take responsibility for it. Fifth is the fact that in order to be restored always requires a change in your life through repentance.
It is sometimes hard to admit that we have need of being restored. If you have ever seen anyone restore a car, or piece of furniture, or anything, the first thing they do is get it completely stripped down to the metal or wood or frame. That involves getting everything that doesn’t relate to the original condition off of the piece you are working on. With cars, it may be rust or faded paint or upholstery. With furniture or wood, it requires sanding and removing all of the underlying coats or finishes. It takes getting it down to the barest point before they start restoring it. As Christians, that comes kind of hard for us. We don’t want people to see us for who we really are underneath all of the layers. It may be because of a bad temperment or lack of patience or compassion. We just try to keep the imperfections hid hoping that no one will notice. God already knows.
As I thought about this I began to think about Adam. The first thing he done when the Lord come to walk with him in the cool of the day was to hide and the second thing was to blame Eve and she blamed the serpent. Adam and Eve were never restored to their previous position with the Lord. Churches have revivals in order to be restored through the word to a previous condition where they walked closer with the Lord. What you are saying when your church has a revival is that you are spiritually unconcious and need reviving. It is hard for us to admit that we have become spiritually unconcious. More often than not, revivals wind up being just a series of meetings. You hear good singing and preaching but if you don’t get down to bare metal, it is just painting over rust. That rust will always find it’s way back through the paint. Anyone that has done that will tell you that it takes removing the rust and reparing the damage in order for it to last.
The prodigal son of Luke 15 had to get to the point that he realized how much loss he had suffered. He had to get to the bottom before he had a desire to be restored. Actually, he only asked to be hired on as a servant not even expecting to be restored to his position as a son. When David was confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sin with Bathsheba, although he repented, he knew there would be a price to pay. It cost him the life of his son because he had taken a loss and refused to be restored.
What about us? Have we hit bottom yet and have a desire to get back where we once were with the Lord? I want to focus for just a minute on the word “restore.” We looked at the definition already but just a few things I want to mention. Aren’t you glad that the Lord is like the Father in Luke 15 and is willing to restore us if we are willing to repent. Not only was he restored, he was treated better and celebrated more than he deserved. I am glad that our restoration doesn’t depend our worthiness. Peter was restored to his position after the crucifixion. Jesus let him know that when he told Mary to tell his disciples “and Peter” that he would meet them in Galilee. Afterwards, Peter went on to bring the gospel to the Gentiles and the church began to be established under his preaching on the day of Pentecost.
Most of the time it is not some “big” sin that causes us to lose ground in our Christian walk but it is just little neglected things that we don’t pay attention to. If they are not repented of, we can never be restored. David even asked the Lord to restore the joy of his salvation. Have you ever been there? You knew you were saved but it seemed that you just couldn’t enjoy the worship of the Lord. It is in those times that you need to be restored. One thing I noticed about the word “restored.” It is used 27 times in the bible but only 5 in the New Testament. As I am sure you know, 5 is the number of grace in the bible. That’s interesting to me because the day of grace never came about until the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. If you look at those 5 verses, the last one talks about being restored sooner but the other 4 talk about being restored completely by Jesus. In one case Mark 8:25, it says the blind man was restored and “saw every man clearly.” The other three all use the phrase “whole as the other.” If God restores you, he will put you where he wants you and use you how he sees fit.
It don’t matter where you have been or what you have done, if you belong to the Lord, he will restore you. If you don’t belong to him, he will save you. Just like the prodigal son in Luke 15, you will have all of your needs met by the father and he will restore the joy you have lost. Why stay miserable when you have a God that will restore you? If he restored Peter after all he had done, he will restore you. This may not seem very encouraging but just the fact that God will restore us should give us great comfort. As Paul said in Romans 8:38-39 (38) “For I am persuaded that neither (then a long list) (39) “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There is nothing that will cause God not to restore those that seek him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 4-18-18