2 Chronicles 33:15 People Can Be Changed

Dirt and grass

He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 2 Chronicles 33:15 

Watching some people and how they act, sometimes there does not seem to be any hope. They are heading down the wrong path in life and it appears as if they will never change. All hope seems to be lost.

There are many teen-agers who have chosen some bad paths while in high school. They are looking as though they will never do anything good in life and will end up in prison some day. However, later things can happen to turn their life around and they become very productive citizens in society. They look like a totally different person.

Manasseh had become king of Judah and had chosen to follow and promote false gods. He had many high places to these false gods built and led the nation against God. However, God had gotten a hold of his attention and he changed. Everything that he had built up to false idols, he destroyed. Instead of promoting false gods, he promoted God. He was a changed man.

There are many people in this world that appear to be so bad that many believers will not have any hope of them changing. Very few will strive to be a witness to the person because they do not see any hope of salvation. They are ignored and left in their life of sin against God.

Yet, God is a great God of love and mercy. He wants everyone to be saved. Even the coldest of hearts can be touched by God’s great love and mercy. Every believer has this story to tell as to how God touched their hearts and changed them.

Two things can be learned from Manasseh’s story. One is that every person can be changed by a touch from God. Don’t give up on anyone because they are living in sin. Be a witness to them of who Jesus is and what He can do.

The other thing is that you can also be changed by a touch of God. You may have stepped into some sin, turning away from God. God will accept you back and change you. He can make you a new creation.

Allow God to change you and be sold out to serving and loving God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be a witness of Jesus to this world; that you will have hope in God for all people; and that you will remove all false gods out of your life. 

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2 Chronicles 25:4 Restoration

Rusty model A car

Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 24:4 

Over time things will wear down or break down. They lose their original shine and glory. The paint will crack and peel off from cars and houses. Holes and leaks will begin to occur.

Often these things occur because of neglect. No one takes the time to take care of the object enough to keep it in pristine condition. Little things start to show, but is often ignored, because it is just a ‘little thing’ and not an emergency.

When mold begins to show up in a house it starts with just a little spot. If ignored, it will continue to grow until it takes over the entire house and it has to be demolished.

There are people who love to restore old things. Many old cars, that are broken down and rusted out, are taken from a field and restored back to its original condition. It takes a lot of work and time, but in the end is worth it to some people.

Joash had become king of Judah at a very young age. When he had become king, the temple had been ignored for years and had broken down. He chose to restore the temple and restore worship of God in the land.

When a person chooses to follow Jesus, God begins a restoration project. The person is being made brand new to what he was meant to be. Restored to what man was before the fall in the Garden of Eden.

While walking through life, some believers back down from the restoration and allow neglect to come. They neglect spending time with God, serving and worshipping Him. They go back to the world in areas of their life.

This is a time for restoration, to get back with God.

There may be some areas in your life that you have neglected in your walk with God. You have allowed the ways and thoughts of this world to creep in and begin to destroy your heart and life.

Take a moment to give those areas to God. Allow God to begin a restoration process to renew you to the new creation you have been created to be. God knows exactly how to restore your life to one that is wholly devoted to Him.

As long as you have breath to breathe, you have time to restore immediately. Don’t put off restoration until it is too late.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to make changes in your life; that God will restore your relationship with Him; and that your whole life will be a testimony of God’s love and power. 

Restored Model A car

Zechariah 3:3-5 Changing Your Clothes

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by. Zechariah 3:3-5

Joshua was the high priest for the temple of God. He had been living in sin and was covered with filthy clothes. God removed his sin and gave him clean clothes and a clean turban. His life was changed so that he could serve God.

Appearance can often say a lot about a person. The way a person dresses often shows what he is like on the inside. Some are very professional and concerned about their appearance, so they dress in fancy dresses and suits all the time. Others do not care how they look and dress in worn out dirty shirts and jeans with holes.

Although it is not always the reason, often it is because of lack of care in a person’s life that causes them to dress in a poor way.

In the same way, people do not dress their spiritual being in the correct manner. They may go to church and claim a belief in God, but do not live the life of service to God. They choose to follow the ways of this world, living in sin, even while going to church. In this manner they are dressed in filthy clothing.

As with Joshua, he had new clothes and a new turban put on, you also need new clothes and a new turban put on. The new clothes are the righteousness and holiness of Jesus. The turban is in the new mind in Christ, a new way of thinking.

Do not follow the ways of this world, but change your clothing. Put on a new appearance that shows you are a child of God. Show the world that you are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Allow God to dress you up with His clothing, so that the world will see someone who is different.

What does your appearance say about your life today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to clothe you with His righteousness; that you will be a new creation in Jesus; and that the world may know that you serve God.

Cracks And Scars

Porch 3

Our porch has been in need of restoration for several years. My wife and I have often talked about needing to re-stain and seal the wood on and off for a number of years. Each year we look at the porch and see new cracks in the wood from the wood drying out and being weathered. Living in Texas is harsh on the wood, with the extreme heat in the summer.

Yet as we much as we talked about refinishing and restoring the porch, it kept getting put off. The reasons were different each time, but usually centered around two main things. One is having the finances to pay for the materials to restore it. The other is having the time to do the required work.  I’m not sure which one was more common than the other, it definitely went back and forth on it.

After some planning, we were finally able to start the work on the porch. As I started, part of me was wondering if it would be worth the effort. The deck of the porch was so worn out and cracked, that it looked like it needed to be sent to the graveyard. There did not seem to be any real hope of being able to restore it without completely replacing it.

Porch 2

Yesterday, two of my boys and I started working on putting on the stain and sealant. We chose to start on the railings first. As we started, we quickly realized that doing the railings were going to be very slow and tedious. They were rounded, with a design of several curves in it. After a couple of hours, only one small section of the railings were done. It was very discouraging. I only have a couple of days to work on this, and wanted to get it finished, in the midst of many other things that we are doing or have to do with Thanksgiving break.

In the late afternoon, I decided that instead of finishing the railings, I would focus on getting the deck finished. This was to get it sealed prior to night when it would get dirty again. I did not want to have to wash it again, in order to finish the deck.

Doing the deck only took about two hours of work. And it made the porch look great and gave me hope that it would get completed.

Porch split

As I was putting on the stain and the sealant on the deck, I noticed the difference it was making. Looking at the railings, it looked nice, but I could not see how much of a difference it was really making. The deck was much different.

God opened my eyes to see something in that old porch. As a human being I go through a lot of things. Often I make choices that are bad and cause damage in my life. Other things happen that are outside my control and create scars in my life. Left alone, those damages and scars only get worse. They look terrible and my life will continue to fall apart.

Left on its own, the porch was going through the damage of the sun and wind over the years. It was cracking and sagging under the weight of time and weather. The porch does not have the ability to repair itself or maintain itself correctly, it needs outside help.

If I am left on my own, I will also sag and crack under the weight of sin in this world, both personal and the sins of others. Just as the porch needed help from someone, so also I am need of help from someone. The help that the porch can get, can be from myself or someone else. However, the help that I need to restore me can only come from God.

Jesus shed His blood on the cross to be able to remove the sin from my life. Although He has removed the sin, the scars and damage are often still seen. However, as I allow His Spirit to live in me, it creates a new heart and life in me. I am no longer black with sin, but white with the righteousness of Jesus. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I have new life in me.

2 Corinthians 5_17

As this porch is being finished, I am seeing new life in it. It is being restored. If you look at it closely, you can still see the damage from years of neglect, but standing back from it, the porch looks almost new. It is a new creation.

Those cracks and scars are a reminder of what had occurred and the work that is required to keep it from happening any more.

In my life, there are cracks and scars from years of spiritual neglect, yet, they show me what God can still do in me. God can still use me, despite the cracks and scars.

In your life, it can be the same way. Allow God to restore you to what you are meant to be. Allow Him to work in your life to restore you and give you a heart of flesh. Allow Him to use those cracks to reach others and be real to them about past shortcomings. God can and will use you, if you allow Him to work in you to restore you, cracks and scars.

Psalm 51:10 A Pure Heart

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

In this psalm, David is asking God to cleanse him of all sin and make him new. He knew that he needed a pure heart and that only God could do that for him. Years later Jeremiah would make the statement that the heart is deceitful and that no one could understand it.

There are many people in the world who have very deceitful hearts. They say that they are friends with a person, but only to get something for themselves. Gangs lure a person into them by saying that they are family and care for them. The reality is that the person is being used for doing wrong. On the outside they appear to show caring, but in the heart they may be ready to kill.

It is easy for a person to be led wrong by his own heart and no one to see what is happening. People can do very good things for all the wrong reasons. On the surface it appears as if they are really serving God and others, but on the inside it is for selfish reasons. These are things that come from an un-pure heart.

Man is born into sin with a dirty heart. God has to come in and give a person a new heart that is pure. Once this happens, the person will have a steadfast spirit in him. He will stay strong and true to God for all of the right reasons.

Getting a pure heart is not an easy process. It takes you letting go of your own self and your own desires. You must release your control and let God have complete control of your life. Allow God to have all the glory and praise for everything. After all, everything is about Him, for Him, and by Him.

How does your heart look today?

Is it filled with the wrong desires and motives?

Or is it filled with the desires of God?

Ask God to create in you a new heart. He wants to give you a new heart of flesh with a new spirit. He can make you a new creation.

I pray today that God will give you a pure heart; that you will allow God control of your heart and life; that you will stand strong and true for God; and that you will be a new person for God.