“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.
–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.
The world is all about labeling you. In some instances you’re just a number or a category. Make a medical appointment and the first thing they ask you for is your date of birth. If you bank by phone they don’t ask for your name they ask you for the last four digits of your social security number. After a few minutes they say, “I found you. What can I do for you today?”
How about those forms where you’re forced to categorize yourself by age, sex, income and race. Then there’s that blank box that says “Other”, that barely gives you enough space to describe yourself. I’m often tempted to write, Wonder Woman. My kids would get a kick out of that. As a believer though, I’ve always wanted to write “Child of God.” I may do that next time. 🙂
The sad truth is we’re guilty of labeling ourselves. I’ve had complete strangers and acquaintances compliment me and even point out my strengths but whenever I look at myself all I could see are my flaws. My husband calls me beautiful and I launch into an argument to try to convince him otherwise. He often accuses me of not being able to take a compliment. Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s right.
One day, while I was verbally beating myself up, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “That’s not who you are.” I stopped and thought, What am I doing? This isn’t how the Father sees me.
If we could see ourselves through Heaven’s lens, imagine what we would see.
Who does Jesus say you are? Jesus says:
You are a Friend of God
A Co-heir with Christ
You’re the light of the world
The salt of the earth
Trees of Righteousness
The Apple of God’s eye
Heirs to the Promise
A Royal Priesthood
Valued by God
Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters
You are as Christ
A Child of God
You are The One God so Loved
The One worth dying for and fighting for
Simply put, You are His!
When Jesus entered a certain village He came across ten lepers. When He saw them He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As the lepers went they were healed. The scripture goes on to say, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:11-19)
Our God is a God who blesses, keeps, protects, heals and answers prayers each and every day. Like the nine lepers we sometimes fail to give thanks to Him who never fails us. There is so much we take for granted like breathing, waking up with a right mind, the ability to walk, talk, hear and see. Our family, our jobs, our homes all of these things are gracious gifts from our Lord. So let everyday be a day of thanksgiving to our Lord. God Bless You Saints!
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4. Amen.