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Scripture: Joel 2:25-26
Summary: A sermon on restoration and what God requires of us for restoration to take place.
Text: Joel 2:25-26 : I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
Theme: Restoration
According to the world, restoration means bring back something that is old, worn out, dilapidated or broken back to its former state [e] There are many TV programs that deals with restoration and my favourite is “Car S.O.S” [explain]
Things that need restoration are things that have, over time, been allowed to slip into a state of neglect and disrepair [e] Restoration according to the Word of God is different from worldly restoration.
While the world says that restoration is bringing something back to it’s original state, the biblical definition of restoration or Godly restoration means bringing something into a state where it would be even better than the original. None is this more clear than in the story of Job. Job 42:12 says: “ So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…. [explain] How many of you believe that 2015 is a year of restoration for you?
For your household [e]
For your family [e]
For your health [e]
For your finances [e]
Maybe we have allowed spiritual things…..holy things….Godly things to slip into a state of neglect and disrepair [e] 2015 is the year of restoration…..
1. There needs to be restoration of our relationship with God In order for restoration to take place, we first need to acknowledge that there exists a state of disrepair and neglect [e]
This morning, we must acknowledge that we have drifted away from God [e]
Notice..we have drifted….not run away….not given up the Faith….just drifted [e]
Church attendance which was once mandatory, has become optional [e]
Worship which was once vibrant and loud has become tired and scattered [e]
Prayer meeting and co-operate prayer, which was once our life-line to God, has been replaced with a hot meal and feet up on sofas which God blessed us with at our home which God blessed us with. We have just drifted [e]
We have become what the Bible defines as lukewarm [e]
Revelation 3: 15 – 16 says: ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’ So why has happened to the church
We have become influenced by the world [e]
We have become spiritually complacent [e]
We have brought unto to ourselves “idols” which has replaced God as number 1 [e]
Romans 1:25 “2 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” We have got our priorities wrong [e]
Today, a call goes out from behind this pulpit: “Lets return to God!” [e]
Lets return to a deep relationship with God again [e]
Lets cry unto God and say “Father restore my relationship with you!”
Lets break down all barriers that block us from having a meaningful relationship with God [e]
2. There needs to be a restoration of our relationships with our estranged brethren
One of the greatest and most successful military tactics used in battle is “divide and conquer” [e]
When an army fights together, it is very difficult to defeat them [e]
Why? :
Because of the numbers [e]
Because their ability to close and strengthen all breaches and gaps [e]
3. Because they motivate and help each other [e]
Because they have more weapons and ammunition together [e]
A greater army has more experienced warriors [e]
Because they tend to their wounded better [e]
As the Church, we are the army of God [e]
But if Satan can divide us, he can defeat us!
Why? :
Because he has smaller numbers to fight against [e]
Because we open up breaches and gaps with our lack of relationship that he can exploit [e]
Because there exists no more help and motivation, rather we bring each other down [e]
But perhaps the greatest downfall of all….is that we fight each other, instead of the enemy [e]
1 Corinthians 1: 10 – 13 says, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? “ And I think Romans 16: 17 – 18 will sound familiar to this church: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” There needs to be restoration of relationships between children of God [e]
We cannot says we love God whom we cannot see if we cannot love each other whom we do see [e]
Do you know of anyone whom you have a broken relationship with?
Give them a call this week to say hello and assure them of your prayer for them [e]
It doesn’t matter what that person has done to you [e]
Jesus looked at those who crucified Him and said : “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” If Jesus can forgive while on the Cross, we can forgive while on comfortable chairs [e]
What are they steps to forgiving someone who hurt you?
Change your heart, not your head [e]
Let go of the past…no matter how painful…no matter how great the injustice [e]
Forgive….even if you are not forgiven in return [e]
Focus on God…not man [e]
3. Restoration of the church
I want to say, at the risk of being thrown out of this building, that we have been doing church wrong for too long! We have only focused on ourselves and not the world [e]
99% of our programs are within the church and 1% is outside to the world [e]
How did God intend the church to be?
Matt 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “ Psalms 96:3 “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! “
There needs also to be restoration of true worship [e]
There is a great big difference between lip service and worship [e]
When we realise worship is a heart expression of our feelings about God, we will worship Him in Spirit and in truth [e] I was watching a film once where an old man took a group of youngsters to a cemetery
And there he began to show them all the names on the headstones
And he told them that the cemetery is one of the richest places on Earth
And to answer their questions about this statement, he explain that in the cemetery is buried unfulfilled dreams, unrealised plans and regrets on things and tasks not accomplished. Why am I saying this today?
Because there needs to be a restoration of people to their callings and ministries [e]
I want to ask you a question today: Are you going to take your ministry…your calling from God to your grave? [e] There may be some of you asking “Is it my time now to start working for the Lord?”
The answer is an emphatic :”YES!”
God wants to change the world with you! [e]
There may be some of you contemplating stepping down! No!
Rather, it’s time to step up [e]
God wants to restore His Church and He is looking for you today! [e]
4. Restoration of the home
I want to say that there should be not much difference between the home and the church [e]
The book of Acts in chapter 2 teaches us that the spiritual activity of the believers did not begin in a church building….it began in homes [e] There needs to be a restoration of the home…where spiritual activity takes place in the home first then the church [e] I want you to understand that when you walk into your house today after service realise, it is the sanctuary of God [e] The Presence of God should dwell in your home {e]
The home as God intended:
A lighthouse for Jesus
The father as the high priest of the home.
A place of regular spiritual activity.
A place to worship God as a family
A place of peace.
An object of the intentional blessings of God.
5. Restoration of finances
I want to begin this final point of my sermon by saying that God purposely intended that His children should be blessed financially [e] Jeremiah 29 : 11 – 14 says, “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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. There isn’t a scripture that tells us that God designed us to live in poverty all the days of our lives [e]
So what has happened?
Let me list them for you:
Satan has designed a world system to rob you of your blessings:
1. To give you a poverty mentality [e]
2. To place you in a system of unbroken debt [e]
Made us covet what others have [e]
Made us fall in love with money [e]
5. Has made us become possessed with possessions [e]
And this one’s going to hurt:
Many of us will never have enough….we will never earn enough….we will always run short….we will always be broke….we will always have lack….. Because many of us are robbing God by not tithing or by not tithing faithfully [e]
Mal 3:8 “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. The Bible also confirms the blessings that flow from honouring our tithes
Mal 3:10 “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
So how do we get financial restoration:
Honour God with your full tithes
See God as more important than money.
3. Accept the fact that God has not created us to live in poverty.
4. Recognise the needs of others.
5. Use money wisely.
I have spoken about 5 areas of restoration in our lives [e]
We are now going to pray in each area…..
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