When was the last time you restored something?
We live in a disposable culture where things that are broken get thrown away. It’s rare that goods get fixed any more, though something of value may be restored. Yet, we still understand the value of restoration. To see something old made new again, something decayed cleaned up again or something no longer useful given purpose again captivates heart and mind.
Our God is not a disposable God. He does not throw out things that are broken, but rather sets forward to redeem and renew them.
Jeremiah 33 speaks of the renewal that God will bring to his people. Despite their refusal to obey him, to give him the honour due to him, to love him and to be faithful to him, God will not throw them away. Rather he speaks of rebuilding, forgiveness and ultimately restoration of purpose (v6-9)
Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it
This is the business that God is in, and the good news that the Old Testament and its people anticipated.
When we come to Romans 12, we see how that restoration now moves from the national or corporate identity to the individual. Restoration continues to be God’s plan for his people. As we experience his mercy (offered to us through his son Jesus) we offer ourselves back to be transformed to display his glory through lives that are able to please God:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
What a great hope we have that God is a restoring God. What confidence we gain from the presence of his Spirit in us bringing about this transformation. What glory he receives when our lives do not conform to this world, but rather return to the true purposes of his Kingdom.
Perhaps today you are feeling a little old and worn out. Perhaps you feel unworthy or unable to fill your purpose. God will not dispose of you. Thank him for his restorative power and ask him to continue his work in you.
Perhaps you are having a bit of a mountaintop moment in faith today. Thank God that it is by his mercy that you are living with purpose. Thanks him for the work of restoration that he is doing and ask him how you can be part of his restoring work in this world.
[Originally posted on 3/11/2015 by Ron Irving.]