Bulletin Articles

Restoration (back to God’s plan)

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free Bulletin articlesBible Passage: John 21:15-17

In a column on art restoration, Robert Fulford writes, “A scholar came upon a striking fact: in the year 1516, the Brancacci Chapel in Florence burned half a barrel of oil every day, just to keep its votive lamps flickering. The oil of course produced soot, which floated upwards and coated the art on the walls. Multiply that half-barrel by the days of the year, multiply again by the number of years this practice was followed (say, 400), then factor in the wax from candles lit by individual worshippers.”

Art restoration, God is also in that business. He wants to restore his greatest creation. Think about it seriously, that’s you and me. We too have a lot of burning oil and candle smoke in our lives that have clouded up our original beauty. We have a lot of other trash and muck that muddies up our original beauty. The most important aspect of our beauty is that we were all masterpieces in God’s art gallery at birth. Then life happens, and the beauty of a sinless life slowly fades away. That’s when we need to be restored, back to our original relationship with God.

Relationships are key to God’s desire for restoration. Okay, stop. Close your eyes. Say a prayer to God right now. Pray to him to help you identify two relationships that need to be restored. Think of a broken relationship with a close friend. Think of a family relationship that has been severed. God is the father of restored relationships. He wants your broken ones healed. Is your pride stopping God’s will from being accomplished? Okay, now you can close your eyes and pray that prayer.

Eyes open? Think about Jesus and how he restored people. He did so by giving life or physical healing. He also did this with relationships. He predicted that Peter would deny him. Peter said he wouldn’t. Well, Peter did and Jesus stared at him when he did so. Oooh, that’s frightening. Jesus died. How did Peter feel about himself, about his doomed relationship with Christ? When Jesus appeared after his resurrection, he restored his relationship with Peter. My Bible labels that section, “Jesus reinstates Peter.” That’s Jesus for you, the master of art restoration. Some would definitely say Peter was “a piece of art.”

Before reading further, STOP! Did you pray earlier? Have you identified a friend and a family member with whom a relationship needs restored. That’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not easy to admit that something in your life is disconnected from God’s plan. I am praying for you today. I will be praying that you will have your relationships restored soon. Don’t think about whose turn it is to talk, yours or theirs. Don’t think about how they did you wrong. Be the big person God wants you to be. Get that relationship restored. It cannot be done without you taking the first step. Remember, I’ll be down on my knees praying for your first step.

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