Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Will Give You Back What You Lost



 JOEL 2:18-27

“These things happened to them as examples for us. T
hey were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.”  
1 Corinthians 10:11 NLT

[STUDY NOTE: to understand our restoration through grace, or recreation, it pays to look at one of God's major themes, restoration, as described in the OT.]

What Happens When God's Children Actually Repent:

  • The Lord has pity on them
  • The Lord will jealously guard their honor
  • The Lord will satisfy their needs
  • The mockers will be silenced
  • The Lord will restore them
  • The Lord will give back what was lost
It is difficult to cooperate with our hearts and lives becoming recreated into the image of God, restored to creation's purposes, if we do not think they need a restoration. Many people who come to Christ after having been raised in the church, and many people who have satisfying and/or successful lives before turning to Christ, really don't expect conversion to change anything but the destination of their souls. How completely different this is from scripture-even the New Testament.
The same occurs when God's children corporately repent. We expect relief from oppression and our enemies. We expect God to cease those uncomfortable activities that called us to repentance. But, we don't expect God to really change us. We often do not want him to change our church culture or our manner of living in our social context. This to is in complete denial of the examples God provides in scripture.
We might ask:
  • How can we be restored if  nothing has been lost?

  • How can we have given back that which was not lost? 

The more productive question is can we truly have repented if we are asking those questions. If repenting is to turn away, or as we saw last week returning to God, how is it possible to expect that repentance will not alter us and our lives in very fundamental, visible, maybe even painful ways?

Jesus taught that it is costly to come follow him. First, the come assumed the leaving of a present life. Second, the following meant leaving behind some very fundamental things
  • Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10:28-30 NIV
Third, he made it clear that along the benefits of repentance comes trouble. These same factors are still apart of times of repentance after our initial turning to Christ - whether the current repentance is an individual or corporate act.
Nonetheless scripture illustrates boldly what God does when his children stand up under trouble and/or turn to him in repentance. Take for example Job:
  • After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.  All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 
  • The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. Job 42:10-15
Pretty neat! Though Hebrews 11:32-39 reminds us that not all faithful people received such generous reimbursement for their loss while they were alive.
However, even those examples do not nullify God's promise:

I Will Give You Back What You Lost.


1.  How can we be restored if  nothing has been lost?

2.  How can we have given back that which was not lost?

3.  Is it possible repentance will not alter us and our lives in very fundamental, visible ways?


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