If the forearm is strong but the shoulder is torn, the bow cannot be drawn. So much for our strength if it can be nullified by a critical weakness. Let us boast not in our strength, let us not fall into acceptance or sadness over our weakness. Instead let us rejoice in Christ the Author and Perfecter of our faith as he continues the good work He began in us. He is glorified in our weakness and our strength is in Him alone.
To restore something means to repair it. To bring it back to the order of which it once was. To take what was broken and make it whole again. Just like we are broken people and need Christ to restore us, we also have the responsibility to restore our brothers and sisters as well. Galatians 6:1-2 talks about how we have that responsibility, how we must conduct ourselves in restoring one another, and the meaning of such restoration.
Take note: if Jesus was the only One who could restore us from our broken nature, then He is also the only One by which we must restore our brothers and sisters from brokenness as well. If Jesus was the only One who could save us from our Hell-bound sinful nature, then He is the only One by which we can continue to flee from our Hell-bound sinful nature. If Jesus was the gateway by which we can run into the arms of our Father, then it is only by running to Him moment after moment that we have an escape from our broken nature.
Therefore, it is only through Christ that we have the power to restore members of the Body of Christ. It is not our duty to restore our brothers and sisters out of pride in our own concept of holiness, for we are not holy of our own nature. If that were the case, there would be no need for Jesus to have brought salvation unto us.
Christ tells us in Matthew 7:3-5 of making sure we take the log out of our own eyes before judging another on the speck in his eye.
Therefore, we are to uphold the character of Christ in correcting or rebuking. If it was only Jesus who could restore us in the first place, it is only by adhering ourselves to the person of Christ and allowing His power to work through us that we ourselves can bring about restoration.
Restoration of is not about pointing out errors and elevating our own pride. Restoration is coming to a fellow child of God, being fully aware that you are just as lost as them without the Lord, and bringing him back into the fold of Christ.
Take care not to fall into that which has steered a brother away. Paul says that back in the passage of Galatians.
We approach a brother in love, kindness, and humility. Taking care to humbly point out what we see and allow Christ to bring restoration.
In all things, take care to always become more Christ-like. Every word, every thought, every action, all to be more Christ-like. Even in the restoration of our fellow believers, our one goal is to become more like Christ.
The restoration of a brother or sister is a fickle thing, be cautious in it. It is easy to do it out of false intentions. For those of you being corrected, take care to not be quick to anger. Whether you are the one correcting, or the one being corrected, take care to always strive to be like Christ.
You are all amazing individuals and wonderful human beings that are dear to my heart. I cherish you with the love of the Father. I pray blessings over you this week as we all continue in our pursuit of Christ.
Many of us feel worthless. Why? We’ve felt ignored, invisible, insignificant, useless, undesired, ugly, unloved, or forgotten. We are emotional; broken in many ways. Great portions of our identity and of our personal value are wrapped into combustible packages of emotion – how we feel about this or that. The truth is, our worth has nothing to do with our feelings.
I’m constantly tempted to define my worth with activities, emotions, and accomplishments. I’ve come to realize, however, that way of thinking is a spiritual dead end road. Scripture tells us that anything we do in our own strength or of our own goodness is of no value to God. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6
What I DO know is this: because of Jesus Christ, I’m a woman of highest worth. Not because of anything else. We are His sons and daughters, made in His image, precious in His sight. In light of this, we need to set aside feelings that diminish our value, and embrace our proper identity: Child of the King of Kings.
Know this, friend, feelings of worthlessness are from Satan himself. It burns me up that the enemy has such a strong grip on God’s sons and daughters in this area. We need to associate the word worthless with the word lie. God wants every one of us to experience hope and healing in Christ and have an appropriate sense of self-worth. You are precious and highly valuable in the eyes of the One who sees. "Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you." Isaiah 43:4
May this serve as a prayer, one emphasizing God and not ourselves:
God, we honor you
Father, Spirit, Christ the Son
Fix our eyes upon You
Church, exalt the Holy One
Lord we Glorify You
to steel against all pride
Faithfully obey You
not settling for, "We tried"
Withholding naught from You
may You be magnified
Trusting only You
in You alone abide
Perfect our faith in You
Unchanging Rock of Ages
By the Son who sits beside You
Grant us grace and not our wages
Hold us fast to You
with You always shall we side
Were it not for fear of You
we would become the prey of lies
Captivated by You
for all Your mystery
Our purpose founded in You
Oh Lord, please make us see
Eternity belongs to you
Almighty God, we live
I AM, we die
Christian thinkers often point out where God displays His sense of humor in the Scriptures and in our lives. They are wise people. God consistently has me doing things that I never planned to do, and even said I would never do. The sum of my experiences this past summer serve as a perfect example of how God continually shows His characteristic humor in my life.
I grew up in a small, single traffic light, one chain restaurant town in South Georgia. I am someone who dreams big, and living in Buena Vista, Georgia never fit the idea I had for myself. When I was 18 I left small town life for college life, and when I did I told myself that nothing could drag me back (aside from visiting family and friends, of course).
Four years later, God had a different plan.
The plans I had for the summer fell through, and I was looking for a summer job. I was on a SWAT weekend at a church in low and behold, South Georgia. I was a host home leader for a precious group of girls. The weekend ended and one of the youth leaders gave me his contact information and told me to email him if I was interested in working with their youth for the summer. I had enjoyed my time with them immensely, but that was one weekend and not an entire summer in South Georgia.
Summertime runs the gamut of inescapable heat, unbearable humidity, and copious flying insects. Was this really where God wanted me to be from May to July? The environment was not my only hesitation though, I also had never been in charge of a youth group for an extended period of time. Yes, I have worked with youth during my time as a SWAT leader, but could I spend 2.5 months in a church, planning all summer activities, teaching and helping students along in their faith journey? I admire those who love to do these things, but it was slightly out of my comfort zone.
After much prayer and counsel from others I eventually decided to go to where the Lord had called me. It probably wouldn’t be that bad, after all God was placing me there...right?
The truth is, as I have come to find out, God puts you in certain places for many reasons. Sometimes it is because you may have certain gifts that allow you to perfectly fill a role, or possibly He chose you as the best influence for a certain person. God’s reason for me? I believe it was growth.
My summer was not bad, but there were some times of difficulty. There were many times where I questioned why God put me there. There were times I wanted to quit. Yet, in spite of the difficulty, I knew quitting and leaving would be a big mistake. God assured me that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. He made me realize I was there to grow, and growth does not come easily.
This truth in my heart made it easier to endure the hard times, and made me cherish the good times more. I look back on that summer now, and I know the growth I went through was beneficial for me. I was challenged, I was tested, and I endured. I learned so many things. I connected with God more than I had been. I experienced just how difficult leadership can be. My growth wasn’t limited to ministry, for instance, I even learned that I enjoy yoga. God always has the best plan, even if it seems difficult. I learned to trust His will for my life above all else.