He restores my soul; He leads me along paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)
After a hard encounter with a rich man who was unwilling to part with his goods to follow Jesus, He talks to the crowds about how difficult it is to enter His Kingdom with riches. But those who are willing to part with possessions, valuables, even their relationships, for Him will be rewarded for it many times over in this life and in the Kingdom! Jesus then makes it personal, telling the 12 that He was about to suffer, and give up His very life in Jerusalem in obedience to God, but would be brought back on the third day.
God is in the business of restoration, repairing and bringing back what’s been damaged and lost. He renews our strength when we’re weak (Isaiah 40:31), He reinstates our joy when we’re in despair (Psalm 51:12), and He replenishes our vitality when we feel drained (Psalm 42:1-2). The ultimate story of the Bible is God restoring the broken relationship between Heaven and Earth, as it was in Genesis (Revelation 21)! But most importantly, He restores our dead hearts by filling them with the resurrection life of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ! That’s the essence of the Gospel, the Good News that we were born spiritually dead to God and to His glory, but through Jesus we can be restored to new life; restored to the relationship with our Creator that was broken by our sin! Just as the Lord brought Israel out of Exile and back to their homeland, He’s calling all people out of their spiritual exile and back to Him (1 Tim. 2:4-6)!
As amazing as this Truth is, it gets even better! Not only is God inviting all people to be restored, but He’s given us (His children who’ve already been restored) the task of reaching the unrestored. We’ve been commissioned by the King of kings to be His ambassadors, and take on His ministry of restoration and reconciliation! Jesus commanded His disciples to go out into all the world, proclaiming this Gospel of redemption to everyone who’d listen and training them up as disciples (Matthew 28:20). Paul says that the Lord appointed him to be a messenger of this amazing News to the Gentiles, which he was ecstatic about (1 Tim. 2:7)! In short, we are being called as wise, effective stewards (managers/administrators) of the Gospel of restoration through Jesus! Just as Paul and Silas’ top priority was their work of spreading and cultivating the Gospel among the Thessalonians, to the point where they agonized at the thought of them turning away, so our top priority should be stewarding the Truth of the Gospel. (1 Thess. 2:17-3:10)
- Everyone is invited into this wonderful, ground-breaking revelation of God’s restoring, transforming Love in the Messiah, Jesus Christ! It’s our job as wise and faithful stewards of this precious Treasure to make our primary objective preaching and training people up in it through our words and our lives!
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20)