Restoration

Daily Reading: (John 10:10):

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus did not come only to free us from sin or to give us a new nature. He came to give us a new life which includes other wonderful things too. When we preach the Gospel, we are telling people about the new life that Jesus offers to all. “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out, saying, “Go, stand in the temple courts and tell the people the full message of this new life” (Acts 5:20). 

God never gives us anything bad (James 1:17) meaning that God does not give us sickness, diseases, or any other sort of physical afflictions. Satan is the one who wants to steal from your health. He wants to destroy God-given dreams, dismantled families and friendships. He lies to you to destroy you because he knows there is a call and purpose on your life that is only for you. Our Lord Jesus said He came that we “may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The Greek word used for life is zoe, and it refers to the highest form of life, the life God lives by. He does not want you to simply keep breathing. He wants you to live a long, satisfying life, full of His goodness, wholeness, and peace.

The question I get asked from time to time is now that the devil has robbed something from me, what do I do now?  The answer was always a part of John 10:10, “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but…. I have come so you might have life, and have it to the full.” The restoration to abundant life that you seek is found in Jesus.  The word restoration begins with rest. As you rest in Jesus’ grace and finished work, you will see your restoration, we find this truth in Matthew 11:28-30. No matter what you have lost, according to His Word, you can believe God to redeem all that has been stolen from you.

You don’t have to accept defeat or live in despair. You don’t have to be fearful of the future. Instead, you can say, “Lord, restore to me!”, knowing that His sacrifice at the cross has qualified you to receive and enjoy His incomparable restoration.

There was a young woman who was looking forward to starting a family with her husband.  Only to have her dreams shattered when her husband died at a young age. Although her mother-in-law urged her to return to her own country to start over, the young woman refused. Clinging to her mother-in-law, she said, “Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).

When Ruth followed Naomi, her mother-in-law to Israel, she soon found herself in a tough predicament. Being a Moabite, she found herself among people who were in conflict with Moab, and she had no husband to protect her. It seemed as if the odds were stacked against her. But Ruth didn’t dwell on her unfavorable circumstances. Her declaration of her faith in the God of Israel revealed her dependence on the Lord.

“Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor,” she said to Naomi (Ruth 2:2). Her trust in the Lord as she embarked on the ordinary task of finding work to support her mother-in-law and herself became the starting place for God’s incredible restoration in her life.

What seemed impossible in the natural, Ruth’s life went from having nothing to having an over abundant, blessed life. She had no family, to now having a husband and a son. From being destitute to being well-provided for. And from being an outcast to being not just an accepted and well-loved member of society, part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. This is what the restoration of the Lord will do for you. Because our Lord Jesus has purchased every blessing, including restoration, for you at the cross, you can believe God to redeem all the time that has been wasted and lost. God’s heart is to restore to you whatever the enemy has taken from you.

God’s principle of restoration is not that when the devil has robbed you of something that God will simply restore it back to you. That would be nice but it would simply put you right back to where you started. God’s restoration is not 100% but 120% and even more in the New Covenant! 120% is based on the principle of restitution in the law of the trespass offering found in Leviticus 6:4–5. This principle of restoration was under the Old Covenant of the Law. How much more we who are under the New Covenant of grace—a far better covenant with God, based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).

In the same way the Lord didn’t want Ruth to just survive, He doesn’t want you to just barely eek through life. Our Lord Jesus never brings us back to where we were, He will increase, improve, promote, and make everything better. Instead of dwelling on unfavorable circumstances, turn to your Savior and expect things to change in your favor. When you put your trust in Him, nothing in your life is beyond His restoration.

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Rest Comes with Love

Rest Comes with Love

Daily Reading: (Psalm 127:1-2):

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those He loves.”

“How can I rest with what is happening in my life” is a common question that I get asked from time to time. The answer is the reason you can rest (no matter what is happening in your life) is because you have received His love for you (Psalm 127:2).

Did you know this is the only Psalm that is ascribed as being written by Solomon? What is incredible here is we have the Lord building the house- this is in no doubt referencing Solomon finishing building the Temple. David had the desire to do this for the Lord, but ultimately God determined it would be Solomon to get the job done. In verse 2 when it says that “God grants sleep to those He loves”, this monumental task that was left to Solomon by his father David could have caused him sleepless nights, but instead, God gives Solomon rest. Such a great task would take such great wisdom and this is what God gave Solomon while he slept so that the work would be done. As Solomon wrote, it was the Lord who build the house.

What is it that keeps you up at night? Is it all the things you need to get done the next day? Maybe you are worried about all the crazy things that are currently happening in your life or just generally what is happening in the world today. Jesus says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest” (Luke 12:25-26)? Worrying does not help you, it makes things worse for you.

Resting is not inactivity. Rest is what leads to great activity. Rest in Jesus will always result in Holy Spirit-directed activity. How we live a life of rest, as opposed to a life of stress, happens when we become conscious of God’s supply to us. When you don’t see the supply, and the One who is supplying you for what He is calling you to, you will worry and will not enter into rest.

Who are those whom God loves? I ask this question because Solomon says, God “gives His beloved sleep.” Who is His beloved? Every believer in Jesus. Because we are in Christ, we are His beloved (Ephesians 1:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Let God be the one who builds it for you. Let God be the one to guard your health, your career, and your marriage. Don’t worry about your needs, instead, give your cares to God because you are His beloved child, and receive rest. Know that He is working on your situation.

The Bible teaches us what we can do when we find ourselves in a puzzling or troubling situation and when the thoughts of defeat start to creep in and threaten our rest. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den at night. What did he do?

“Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God” (Daniel 6:23).

When there was nothing he could do, Daniel “believed in God,” and he came out of the lion’s den in the morning “and no injury whatever was found on him.” When you don’t understand your situation, believe in the Lord. Trust in Him. Believe that He loves you and He is your good father. 

Solomon received wisdom, not when he was awake, but when he was sleeping at night. Our night seasons can be the best time to receive teaching and instruction from the Lord. What this looks like practically is when the devil wants to keep you awake at night, use that time to dive into God’s Word.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8).

Success is found in Jesus. Jesus is our success. See Jesus as your good success, know you have God’s favor and love, and believe that He is working all things together for your good, making your path prosperous.

Many times, God changes your spirit before He changes your circumstances. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2). Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. As those things prosper it translates into good health.

Did you know that when you sleep God gives you more than just rest? “He gives His beloved sleep” has also been interpreted by scholars to mean “God gives to His beloved as he sleeps.” Be established in the Lord’s deep love for you and as you do you will find rest and peace in your soul.

The Promise of Rest

The Promise of Rest

Daily Reading: (Matthew 11:28-29):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Did you know that God has promised you rest?We are a nation that for the most part is weary, tired, worn-out, depressed, agitated and afraid. Searching and seeking for the next thing that could help bring us relief. Every single one of us could benefit from finding rest. In fact, the Bible says in Hebrews 4:10-11 we are to labor or strive for only one thing: “For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:10-11). Let us make every effort to receive the rest Jesus is offering to us and we can do that by going to the promise of rest that Jesus made for us in Matthew 11:28-29.

Who should come to Jesus? The obvious answer should be everyone. Everyone needs Jesus. The text is clear. “All who are weary and burdened.” Should come to Him. Have you ever been weary and burdened in life? Yes! Come to Jesus- every single one of us.

Jesus is painting a word picture here this word in the Greek a metaphor is used of a man or woman who has a great load laid upon him/her, which he/she must carry to a certain place: every step reduces their strength, and renders the load all the more oppressive. The job of the Law was to help us realize how great a burden we carried that we are not going to make it to the grand destination of heaven if we try to carry the load ourself. Salvation happens when we lay our burdens down on the one who is willing to carry them for our sake, and we are given His rest (Matthew 11:28-29). “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).  

Each one of us were bound on heavy burdens; and laboring, by their observance of the law (which is unable to make any of us righteous), the Law and it’s requirements burdened us and weighed us down so that we might consider another way- a better way- an invitation to lay down your load, and receive the salvation procured for them by Christ. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. It is a universal invitation to all.

The promise is that as you fill your mind with His word and take His yoke upon you, (which is His teaching) God will give you rest. Your situation doesn’t have to improve for rest to come. Your answer doesn’t need to be obvious for you to find rest. Come to Jesus and receive His finished work and there will be rest and there will peace in your soul today.

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness” (Proverbs 23:4). What this verse is warning us is that can wear yourself out trying to get to the place of not being weary anymore. You can’t achieve freedom from weariness or tiredness yourself. There is an invitation to all (the weary and burdened) and the promise is you will find/be given rest in Jesus.

Jesus wants to give you rest. And He says that the way you receive rest is to be yoked with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In ancient culture, the word yoke was a term that was used to describe submission. So, when someone was described as being yoked to someone or something, it was communicating the idea that he or she was in submission to that person or thing. To find rest is to submit ourselves to the teaching of Jesus.