RESTORATION – WEEK THREE
Peace in a Pressured World Devotional Guide

In the summer of 1997 while rummaging around in my parents back yard storage shed, I discovered an old, scratched-up, all-wood, three-drawer dresser, minus its mirror, if it ever had one. That old dresser had a story to tell that might never be heard again unless someone became its voice. I learned it belonged to my great-grandmother, Della Ransom-Pratt, who was born in 1873. I asked if I could try and restore the finish. After eight hours of sanding, re-sanding, applying a couple of coats of walnut stain and a beautiful satin polyurethane finish – eureka! Restored!

Of course, a wooden dresser can’t talk, much less tell a story. But that piece of antique furniture, now fully restored, gives our family the opportunity to tell the story of a 19th century, tough-as-nails woman who raised a family of seven children among the corn and cotton fields of rural Tennessee. She and my great-grandfather became a rock of strength and refuge to their grandchildren, one of whom was my Dad.

As believers, we were all brand new in Jesus Christ when we were saved. But the ongoing challenges of our human nature and everyday life take their toll.

Restoration is the process of returning something that has been diminished by the effects of time, trials or tribulation to its original state. Just like a piece of old furniture that’s seen better days, a Christian can be weathered by life’s challenges, beaten down, or somehow rendered ineffectual by personal choices or other life circumstances. Christ is our only Redeemer from the temporal and eternal consequences of personal sin. He is our Salvation! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. As believers, we were all brand new in Jesus Christ when we were saved. But the ongoing challenges of our human nature and everyday life take their toll. Salvation is never lost, but our hearts and minds often cry out for spiritual and emotional refreshing and restoration. God hears and answers. In Psalm 23:3 David identifies God as the One who “restores my soul.” Indeed, He is the only one who can bring back the “new!” All we have to do is put ourselves in the right place to ask and receive. It may take some sanding and re-sanding before the deepest beauty returns. But remember, one of God’s specialties is restoration. Because it brings Him praise and glory, He wants your story to be heard over and over again.  [John Rushing, Pastor of Adult Ministries]

 

REMEMBER

As you read a verse or a passage, ask and answer the following four questions.

  1. What does the passage say about God?
  2. What does the passage say about Man?
  3. Are there any examples to follow?
  4. Are there any commands to obey or a sin to avoid?

After each day’s Scripture reading you’ll notice a section that begins with “I Will….” That’s included to help you with Question 4 as you consider your personal steps of obedience based on what you’ve read and learned. Then pray your commitment back to God.

 

Day 1- Isaiah 40:28-31
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I will…
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Day 2- Psalm 40:1-5
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told….

I will…
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Day 3- Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I will…
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Day 4- Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke* upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

* A yoke was a spiritual leader’s instruction and teaching.

I will…
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Day 5- Psalm 103:10-14
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

I will…
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