Monday, June 24, 2013

Restoration of the Rebel


Restore the Fallen

     A pastor we will call Sam fell into sin. His moment of weakness hurt his wife and family, who worked with him through his repentance and forgave him. After moving away from the community where he had suffered a tarnished reputation, he determined to live for God. Within a short time, the call of God stirred him to reach the lost again. He began bringing people too the church in the town where he now lived, baptizing them in Jesus' name, and seeing the Spirit fill them. In a few years he won dozens to the Lord.
     He accepted his pastor's gracious invitation too serve as the church's staff evangelist. Over the years hundreds of souls have been added to the Kingdom by his tireless desire too teach Bible studies and do outreach. One day, a visitor who knew Sam's dishonorable past remarked, "How could your pastor have him as a staff member?" Once told of the minister's devotion to the Lord and his labors in the harvest, the voice of the accuser had nothing more to say. Perhaps we would have a stronger army if we shot fewer of our wounded and helped them get back into the fight instead.
     Jesus said His mission was to bring back the straying sheep. One He restored was Peter. How many heroes could come back if we let them? Sam got a grip on his purpose again and is still tearing down strongholds.
by Daniel J. Koren

Restoration of the Rebel
     In order to receive salvation, one must be made clean before God. The Bible gives many examples of how God restores those who seek his forgiveness wholeheartedly and the importance of repentance.
"And Samson called unto the Lord, and said O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." Judges 16:28

     Many times we feel we are trapped in our shortcomings because
the enemy tries to makes it clear to us that we are not worth being
restored.  Did you know that God has better plans for you? "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:33

      There must be an effort made in order to reach out to God when we are out of the body of Christ. If the effort is not made, we are blatantly breaking our covenant with Christ and denying the power to withstand temptation. How could the Lord be so patient and gracious? How could a holy God restore such a seemingly unholy rebel? "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works." Psalms 145:8-9

When sin receives the victory during our trials there are three things we lose from God:

  1. Loss of Strength "And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, Ii will go out as at other times before and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him." Judges 16:20
  2. Loss of Freedom "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." II Corinthians 3:17
  3. Loss of Vision "But the Philistines took him, and putout his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house." Judges 16:21
     However, the mercy of God overpowers this all when we are restored:
  • Struggle for Restoration
    • God can grant repentance and remove the scales from our eyes if we do not falter in our commitment to live for God.
  • Strength Returns
    • God can feel a divine stirring in our hearts when all we can do is look to him for forgiveness and decide to leave what we've done against him behind.
  • Final Victory
    • The Lord will remember us during this time of restoration and returning of strength. 

Make it a point to repent and move on. There is no need to carry around what God already let go for you! He wants your heart and he has a place for you to dwell with him for all eternity.

Authored by:
Sis. Joy Jones

References: Davis, Richard. Lessons from History for Christian Living. Spring 2013. Hazelwood: Word Aflame Publications, 2013. 22-24. Print.