We tend to be into restoration these days. In an age when replacing things is cheaper and perceived as more efficient, than investing the time and expense in restoring that which was crafted with care and diligence.
There is a beauty to things restored that can’t be captured in a glossy new edition. Yes, most certainly the new version is polished and slick to look at. But it was made to be that way to cause it to move off the retailer’s shelf.
Restored treasures are much more valuable to the one who restores them than anything else.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 (CSB)
Each and every life has a God-ordained purpose. He’s masterfully architected a set of demonstrations of that creations function and usefulness for every single person that breaths air.
Unlike man-made objects, God doesn’t leave scrap laying on the floor when He’s finished with us. There are not unintended byproducts produced in the process that were not part of the original design.
But with the fall of mankind so many years ago, our forefather Adam denied the authority of the creator and chose his own will over that of the one that breathed life into the mound of dust that was to become the first of mankind’s lineage.
The fall of Adam brought sin and death into the creation that was not part of the original design. Since that point in our history, every man woman and child has been born into the corruption that is sin, there is simply no escape from that fact.
Built For A Purpose
Perhaps our design and construction were assembled with such care and thought because we serve a special purpose. I believe that to be true, but then I also believe that there is nothing done by the Creator that isn’t ideally suited to His intent as well.
We look at all creation and the intricate design that has been manifested within each and every creature and plant. Even the very planet we walk upon has function and purpose built into it that simply doesn’t happen by the mathematically impossible probability of chance.
It is doubtful that one thing would be created out of chaos, let alone everything, from the air we breathe down to the smallest insect that scurries along the ground.
All of this was and is created for a purpose.
May the Lord answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion. May he remember all your offerings and accept your burnt offering.
May he give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose.
Psalms 20:1-4 (CSB)
We are made for a specific purpose, each and every one of us.
Holding on to that purpose
You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever; he will always protect us.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (GNT)
Very seldom do I quote from the Good News Translation only because it tends to push the concept of conceptual translation a bit further than most other modern translations. I prefer something that while adapting to the context of scripture makes every attempt to be faithful to the original text at the same time.
But just as we each have distinct purposes every now and then I will see a passage in the GNT that really strikes home. Such is this passage in Isaiah.
Obviously, outside of Grace, we cannot fulfill our intended purpose. There must be ‘restoration’ that takes place for us to be changed from the failed and corrupt wreckage of sin to glorious everlasting life in Christ Jesus, for that purpose to have an opportunity to flourish.
I love watching car restoration shows on television. I don’t watch a lot of TV but when I do it is going to be likely the news, or something that involves restoring or recovering old articles.
The restoration shows always end up with a beautiful restoration of the vehicle in pristine condition ready for the road. However, the hinge point for the entire episode is when that engine that was not working springs to life once again as it was designed to do.
There may be smoke and lots of noise but the restoration has come to the point where the vehicle is beginning to function as intended by the designer. This is the first step in taking the old wreck and transforming it into a new creation that is worthy of its purpose.
We are that way too when we come to Jesus for restoration.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
Christ comes into the garage and immerses us in His cleansing bath that removes all that greasy dirty sin and restores function to that which has become dysfunctional.
Yesterday we talked about how He removes our hearts of stone and then replaces that stoney worn-out heart with new fresh a heart that is ready to accept the new spirit he places in us AND His Holy Spirit.
Our vehicle restoration analogy this would be doing a complete overhaul of that engine and putting in it new parts that were not worn out and reassembling it with care and those little performance modifications that give it extra horse power and life.
Once completed this engine is ready for fresh fuel and oil, to be fired up, ready to do what it is intended to do.
There is another show that folks go around buying junk from people they refer to as ‘collectors’. That would be a very liberal application of the term collector but I suppose that they are being nice to their potential sellers and gracing them with that designation, regardless of the state of disarray that the items are found in.
The tragic thing to see are those wonderful items that have been allowed to sit in the weather and dirt only to be rendered unrestorable. They reflect a faded image of what they once were but no longer serve any purpose but to observe the past glory of a distant past.
This is especially true of those items that had fallen into disrepair and then someone lovingly restored them only to neglect them and allow them to fall back into the trash heap that is filled with corruption. The chance fo there being anything left that may be salvaged is negligible at best.
So it is with those who grasp the Gospel of Jesus and after seeing the restoration, then by some tragic reason return to the scrap pile of their old ways or worse.
For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, who shared in the Holy Spirit, who tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away. This is because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt.
Hebrews 6:4-6 (CSB)
They are “recrucifying the Son of God“.
I don’t want to get into a discussion here about how permanent our salvation is or our ability to walk away from God’s redemption. There is only one state that we were intended to be in and that is the restored, redeemed, and functional state that we were intended to be by the Creator.
Anything short of that is outside of God’s will for us. The only way to be confident of that is to be functioning within the specifications set out by Jesus when He crafted us and live a life of restoration.