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“Restore us to Yourself Lord.” –Lamentations 5:21
The Lord’s Economy is nothing like our own. Let’s take a look at Job. Job lost his wealth, his livestock and sadly his children. Soon after, Job was afflicted with painful sores that ran from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. There was no support, no peace, no joy; not even the pleasure of sweet sleep. What remained though was his faith in God and his righteousness.
Through Job’s afflictions, whom by the way is a shadow of Jesus, we come to intimately know God and His Restoration Plan. The Lord restored Job’s fortunes to him and gave him twice as much as he had before. His latter days were better than the former and he received long life to enjoy it all.
I know it saddens the Lord to see His children living life defeated. For it is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” If you or someone you know is living life defeated you are measuring your life against the world’s exchange rate not God’s. Look to the cross, Jesus gave you beauty for ashes. He became poor so that you may be rich. Jesus’ body was broken so that you may be made whole. Your life, past and sins may have robbed you of a lot but in Christ YOU are a new creation and you can expect “your fortunes” to be doubled to you. You can expect your life to be transformed. Expect God’s favor to go ahead of you and open doors that would normally be closed. Expect Salvation to come to your loved ones. Expect healing and victory in every battle, test and obstacle in your life because of who you are, a beloved child of God.
You can liken yourself to Job. I know what some of you are thinking, “Job was a righteous man, I’m not.” Friend, here’s a fun fact, it was God who called Job Righteous and You, who are in Christ, are the Righteousness of God in Christ. Like Job your righteousness was a gift. A gift given not because of your works and faithfulness but based on Jesus’ faithfulness and finished work on the cross. Whether you are experiencing the best of times or the worst (#TheWisdomofSolomon) You can expect that every promise the Holy Spirit has whispered to you in the valley or on the mountaintop is a “Yes” and “Amen” to you.
-He restores you to Himself. That’s our God’s Economy.
Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob. His son by His true love Rachel, and He treated Joseph as such. He was set apart from his brothers even His robe, a gift from his father, was finely woven and made of many colors. He was hated by his brothers and one day betrayed by them and sold into slavery for twenty shekels. Then he was sold again to an Egyptian captain named Potiphar. Scripture records for us that while Joseph lived as a slave in Potiphar’s house that the LORD was with Joseph and He prospered him. Later Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned. While in prison the Holy Spirit records, the LORD was with him and He gave him success in whatever he did. You know how the story ends; God took Joseph from Prisoner –to- Right-hand Man to Pharaoh. Through Joseph’s promotion both the Gentile nations and his brothers were saved from famine and death. Joseph’s life served as a snapshot of our Savior Jesus Christ. Read full story of Joseph.
I think we’ve all experienced a “Joseph moment” at one point in our lives. One minute your up and everything is going well and then something earth shattering happens and your down in the dirt. Like Joseph, God’s intent is always to take you to the next level, to lift you higher. From fruit -to more fruit -to much fruit. Jesus will always meet you where you are but don’t expect to stay there. Expect Him to take you from glory to glory.
Wherever you are in life, know that this is a part of the process it’s not the final outcome. Set your eyes on the outcome not the twist and turns in between. HE Who Promised Is Faithful. God told you that He has a plan for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you but to give you hope and a future. Just because you’re shipwrecked in a storm it doesn’t mean He’s changed His mind about you. See the bumpy roads and the shipwrecks as the tools that will sharpen you for the purpose that God created you for and the message He cultivated in you to impact this world and fulfill your destiny for Jesus Christ.
Just because you’re shipwrecked in a storm it doesn’t mean God’s plans for you have changed!
“A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:20-22
Jesus was moved by her thoughts of Him. Her thoughts drew power from Him. Another translation testifies that virtue and had gone out from Him. Her faith in Him caught Jesus’ attention. Jesus sought out the one who touched Him and when He looked at her He called her “Daughter”. Faith brought this Social Outcast into Sonship. It took her from Sickness to Sonship in mere seconds. Jesus also points out that it was her faith in Him, not His robe that made her well. Scripture says that those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Her faith made her a beneficiary of God’s Promise.
Who do you say Jesus is? What are your thoughts about Him? This woman once thought that her healing was in the hands of physicians and for 12 years she bore the consequences of her thoughts, she didn’t get better she got worse. Then one day she heard about JESUS and it changed the way she thought.
Her thoughts drove her to go to places she wouldn’t have dared to go, it took her where the world said she didn’t belong. She dared to seek out and reach for what she heard and believed and that faith transformed her life. In a crowd of many only one touched Jesus. Are you that one? Is your faith driving you to pursue the plans God has for you. To be a Light in the World for Him. In His eyes …YOU ARE.
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–A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you. John 13:34
After Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave and was seen by His disciples we find him chatting with Peter who had denied Christ three times after Jesus’ arrest. They had just finished eating a miraculous seafood breakfast by the seashore when Jesus asked, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” Peter’s Restoration Story
Many focus on the types of love shown here, Agape (divine)|Philia (brotherly/friendship). I would like to draw your attention to Jesus response to His own question because in it we discover how to love Jesus and one another as He loved us.
Jesus’ response to His first question: “Feed my lambs.”Again Jesus asked Peter: “Do you truly love me?”
Jesus’ response: “Take care of my sheep.”
He asked again for the third time, “Do you love me?” Jesus’ response: “Feed my sheep.”
How Did Christ Love?
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Everywhere Jesus went He spoke about the Kingdom, healed the sick and gave hope to the broken. Jesus unveiled the Love of the Father in His Walk, on the Cross and through His Resurrection.
Through Peter’s restoration Jesus shows us how to Love. To feed and take care of His lambs and sheep is to intercede and share Christ to whomever God draws to you. This is how we love and are known as His disciples. Knowing the Father’s will to see that none perish stirs up the Love of Christ inside of you to share the good news about Jesus so that families, neighborhoods, cities and nations of people can live and be saved!
You are God’s hands and mouth piece; Co-heirs with Christ. When you share with someone how God so Loved them that He gave Heaven’s best for them and their loved ones, you are loving as Christ loved.
Whatever means God gives you to share, Just share Christ as if someone’s life is depending on it because it is. This is how we’re called to love.