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

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Joshua 4:18 Don’t Return To The Wilderness

Closed door

And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before. Joshua 4:18 

Returning to an old way of living is often very easy to do. The pathway back to that lifestyle is often not cut off. It is common for people to leave an open door, for the ‘just in case’ situation in their life.

As long as a door or pathway is left open for the former way of life, it is easy to return. The temptation to go back will always be there.

God had provided a miracle of allowing the Israelites to travel on dry ground across the Jordan river during flood stage. As soon as every one had passed across from the desert wilderness into the new land of Canaan, God had put the waters back into place. The pathway back to the wilderness was closed up to never return.

God had brought them into the new land to stay for all time. There was to be no more returning to the past. The past was now gone, only to be remembered of where they had come from. The Israelites were to take over the new land.

There are times in the life of a believer, that God moves him to a new place in life and closes the door behind him for no return. More often, it is the believer who must close that door. He has to make the choice to never go back.

The world loves to keep that door open. They say that a person is that person no matter what changes and can always go back.

However, God says that a person becomes a new creation. Once created new, one should not change back to what he once was.

As you walk forward with God on this path in life, do not try to go back to the old ways or the old location. Always keep your eyes on God, who only moves forward. He never retreats.

Moving forward will always bring you into new and better things. God has great things in store for you. Allow Him to close the doors behind you and don’t look back. The back is old life and is now dead. Move forward.

I pray today that you will see the path God has for you; that God will help you to move forward on His path for you; that you will trust the path God has for you; and that you will allow God to close the doors behind you. 

1 Peter 1:3 Praise God

 

Man praising God

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

In the world there are a lot of troubles and problems. People everywhere are walking around depressed or angry. Millions of dollars are spent every year on medicines and counseling to help people with depression, because they cannot find a reason to be happy or find joy in life.

Many people blame God for what is going on. They do not want to look at what God has done for them and how great that is. All they see is trouble and pain.

With all of the problems, people turn to things of this world for help…drugs, sex, violence, or more. They refuse to see what God has done and can do for them.

Those who have learned what God has done for them find a reason to rejoice and praise God. The greatest thing that God has done for any person is not provide health or wealth or peace, but a new life and a living hope. This new life is found in Jesus Christ.

God loved people so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to save them. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, God is able to provide new life for every person. He did not have to do it, but did it out of His great love and mercy for all people.

When a person realizes how great this life is, he has nothing else to do but to praise God. He wants to give God glory and praise for what He has done. He has a hope that cannot be taken away and will last for all eternity, despite the troubles going on in this world, in his own life and around him.

As a believer, think about what God has done for you. Think about the price Jesus paid for your sins. Think about what Jesus has given you–eternal life, a new hope. God as saved you for all eternity.

Take time to praise God for the salvation that He has given you. Praise God for the new life He has given you. Praise God for the hope He has given you.

Praise God today!

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to remove all of your sins; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know the new life God provides you; and that you will praise God for He great mercy in your life.

Romans 7:6 Serve In The New Way

Boat on water

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6

Laws are good to point out what is wrong. They will quickly point a person as being in the wrong when he does something not according to the law. Most of the laws are built around a negative concept. They point out what  person should not do, rather than point to what a person should do.

People tend to do the very things that they are told not to do. When a sign says not to touch because of wet paint, many people will touch it to test and see if the paint is really wet.

Many people are very quick to test the laws to see if the law is really true. They will question whether what is said will really happen or not.

People react the same way with God’s laws. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they were testing whether what God said was true or not. They did what they were not supposed to do.

Throughout the history of Israel, the people constantly challenged God’s laws and doing what they were not supposed to do.

Now Paul tells the people that they must die to the sin that once bound them. Sin is breaking the laws of God.

When a person dies to sin, God gives him a new life. This new life follows the way of the Spirit. The Spirit of the law was to live for God and live the best life possible. God made the laws to protect and help people, not bring death, yet, it brought about death.

As a believer today, you must follow the way of the Spirit. Instead of following a bunch of laws, or trying to, you will want to follow God’s ways or laws. The heart is changed. It is no longer about doing right or wrong, it is about serving God in the best way possible.

Do not be bound up in a bunch of laws, but be bound up in loving God and loving others. As you do that, all of the laws will be obeyed. Then the power to break the law will be broken and you will have a new life in Christ.

I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus brings; that you will serve God from the heart; that you will not be bound up in the law; and that you will live to love God and others. 

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.