RESTORATION

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CLAIM YOUR RESTORATION!

Acts 3:20–21 – …that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things…

As a believer, you have a right to expect restoration of the things that the devil has stolen from you. It may be your health, marriage or finances, but payback time is definitely coming!

Acts 3:20–21 tells us that before Jesus comes back for His church, we will experience “the times of restoration of all things”. What a hope that gives us, knowing that God will restore to us all things before Jesus returns!

My friend, if the devil is attacking you in any area, tell God, “Father, I will not allow the devil to rob me of my health, marriage, children or finances. These blessings are blood-bought and paid for by Your Son!” Claim your restoration in Christ and heaven will hear you.

There will be such times of restoration of all things to the body of Christ that His people will only get better, stronger, healthier, and more successful and glorious! When God restores, even under the old covenant, His people always received much more than what they had originally lost, in terms of quality and/or quantity. How much more will our restoration be under the new covenant because of the shed blood of the Lamb of God!

A divorcee with a teenage son came to our church and accepted the Lord in May 2003. She began to pray for the restoration of her marriage and the reunion of her family. She knew that the chances of this happening were close to zero since she had not met nor spoken with her ex-husband since their divorce 10 years ago. She did not even know if he had remarried. But God caused their paths to cross at a wedding at the end of 2003. Today, their relationship is healed, and together with their son, they worship as a family in church.

Even though what happened for that sister may not happen for every divorced person (God can give you a better spouse and marriage), I believe that God wants you to know that your times of restoration are here. Heaven is waiting to hear you stake your claim for restoration!

Thought For The Day

You have a right to expect restoration of the things that the devil has stolen from you.

RELEASE YOURSELF FROM BITTERNESS (1)

‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.’ Ephesians 4:31 NIV

Anger is often the product of frustrated expectations. We expect something, and when we don’t get it we end up disappointed and angry. And our anger leads to a dysfunctional personal, spiritual and relational lifestyle. Frustrated expectations are often rooted in early experiences with our parents, siblings and authority figures. Perhaps our needs for love, acceptance, security and significance were never met; then later we experienced broken commitments in marriage, business and friendships. Ultimately, smouldering anger becomes a weapon in our arsenal, threatening to hurt everything and everybody we care about. We become bitter people—avoided, excluded and lonely. God instructs us to ‘get rid of all bitterness’, so that ‘no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.’ (Hebrews 12:15 NIV) How do we obey His command?

(1) By believing and acting on His Word.Without a Scriptural foundation, old emotions will repeatedly undermine your efforts to overcome them. ‘Get rid of all bitterness’ is an order that implies the promise of success when you obey it.

(2) By choosing to be released from bitterness. Choice isn’t an emotion, and it doesn’t require an emotional response. God won’t control your emotions, but neither will He be influenced by them. Believing God’s Word and making the choice to obey it always results in success. So start strengthening your will and your faith. How? By choosing to obey God in spite of your feelings! Practise this every day until it becomes a lifestyle. Then instead of being mastered by your moods, you’ll find yourself ‘reigning in life’ (Romans 5:17), no longer controlled by your negative emotions.

STILL STANDING …

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. – Psalm 40:2, NIV

All of us can look back at things that should have defeated us. Maybe a divorce or bad break should have taken you down, but look — you’re still standing! That addiction, that partying lifestyle should have killed you, but because of a praying loved one, you’re still standing and becoming freer. Or, maybe you lost a loved one. You didn’t think you could go on. You thought you’d seen your best days, but God breathed new life into you. He lifted you out of the pit and put a new song in your heart, and here you are today, still standing.

When you go through difficult things, it’s an opportunity to see the goodness of God shine in the darkness. You see Him lift you up, restore you, promote you and heal you. When you have this history with God, you don’t get discouraged by every difficulty. You don’t fall apart because of a disappointment. You don’t get upset because people are talking about you. You know that God brought you through in the past, and He is going to bring you through in the future! Rejoice today because you are still standing and headed to the place of total victory!

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward” (Hebrews 10:35).

Your confidence will connect you to the promises of God. Don’t allow the enemy to steal it from you.

CREEPING CHRISTMAS?

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15

I love Christmas. The celebration of the birth of Christ and the beauty and wonder of the season make it “the most wonderful time of the year” for me. In recent years, however, the season has been accompanied by a growing irritation. Every year “Christmas stuff” comes out earlier and earlier—creeping all the way back to early fall.

Christmas used to be limited to December, but now we find radio stations playing Christmas music in early November. Stores start advertising Christmas specials in October, and Christmas candy appears in late September. If we’re not careful, this growing deluge can numb us—even sour us to what should be a season of gratitude and awe.

When that irritation begins to rise in my spirit, I try to do one thing: Remember. I remind myself what Christmas means, who Jesus is, and why He came. I remember the love and grace of a forgiving God who sent us rescue in the Person of His Son. I remember that, ultimately, only one gift really matters—God’s “indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15). I remember that the salvation Christ came to provide is both the gift and the Giver all wrapped up in one.

Jesus is our life all year long, and He is the greatest wonder. “O come, let us adore Him!”

Living God, I thank You for the unspeakable gift of Your Son. Draw my heart to Your own, that my worship to and gratitude for Your Son will never be diminished by the distractions of the world around me.

Jesus is our life throughout the year.

WORK WITHOUT THE CURSE OF STRESS

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. – Luke 22:44

God gave Adam a job before he fell into sin. Adam was to tend the garden of Eden. So man was meant to work. Work was part of his blessed state. But because of Adam’s sin, the curse came. God told Adam, “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life…In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread…” (Genesis 3:17–19). Work for man thus became stressful. He had to toil and sweat to eat of the land.

My friend, are you toiling and stressed out at work today? Are you working long hours but not getting the desired results? The good news is that Jesus has redeemed you from the curse of stress. When did that happen? Well, it happened when the Lord was in another garden—the garden of Gethsemane.

The Bible tells us that “being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke22:44). The blood of Jesus touched the ground that was cursed. We know that His blood has a redeeming quality, so He redeemed us from the curse of stress!

Beloved, you have a blood-bought right to a work life that isn’t stressful, but full of God’s favor and blessings. So start confessing God’s favor over yourself and your work. Ask Him for favor with your bosses, colleagues and clients. Ask Him for wisdom to do your work well. Believe and see Him put you at the right place at the right time and cause you to prosper!

THE “OLD MAN” IS DEAD

Mark 14:41 “And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

It is not our individual acts of sin that make us a sinner. It is our sin nature that makes us commit individual acts of sin. Adam’s one sin produced a sin nature in all men that in turn, caused each person to commit individual acts of sin. Jesus not only dealt with the original sin that contaminated the human race, but He also dealt with each individual act of sin.

Anyone who is trying to obtain righteousness through their actions is totally missing the point. Believers are made righteous through faith in Christ, independent of their actions. It’s the same way that everyone was made a sinner: through Adam’s one sin, not through our individual sins.

At salvation, our old man (Rom. 6:6) or sin nature died, but the tendency to sin remains in the thoughts and emotions that the old man left behind. No longer does the Christian have a sin nature that compels him to sin, but he must simply deal with renewing his mind.

Sin ruled like a king through condemnation to bring death upon everyone.

Condemnation is like the general of sin that enforces its power. Likewise, God’s grace now rules like a king through righteousness to bring all who are in Christ into eternal life. Righteousness is the general of grace who defends us against all the wiles of the devil.

Remove guilt or condemnation and sin loses its strength to rule (1 Cor. 15:56). Remove the knowledge of righteousness by faith, and grace loses its power to release eternal life into our daily lives.

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