Wednesday, July 3, 2019


  A skilled auto maker once built a car for himself.  He put great care and love into building this car and when it was finished, he felt he had created a masterpiece.  One day, a very wealthy man came along and fell in love with the car.  After much persuading, the wealthy man prevailed and the car builder, won over by the man's enthusiasm and very generous offer, agreed to sell his creation.  Over the years, the car builder missed the car he considered his greatest achievement and often regaled his son with stories about the car and how much he had loved it.  Photos of the car were plenteous around the house.

      Years later, the son was out driving past a house and saw a wreck of a car, up on blocks and surrounded by weeds, rusting away in a yard.  The son recognized the car from his father's photos and went  to the house to inquire about the car.  "That old piece of junk?" the owner replied.  "That thing's broken beyond repair and worthless."  The young man offered to buy the car, happy to get it off his property, the owner accepted.  The young man brought the destroyed vehicle to his father, the master car builder.  When the car's maker saw the condition of his labor of love, he wept over it.  Over the next days and weeks, the brokenhearted car maker began to lovingly restore his precious creation until one day, it sat sparkling like new in his driveway, ready to go for a long mountain drive.            

  Have you ever seen a neglected or abused vintage auto or  a piece of furniture go through restoration, only to come out looking as good as, or even better than, new?  It can be fascinating to see the before and after photos of a beaten up item, once it has been expertly and lovingly restored.      

               Even more exciting is to watch a life beaten by life or destroyed by poor decisions expertly and lovingly restored by God.

       Of all the promises God makes in scripture, the promise of restoration may be one of the most undeserved.  The idea of restoration indicates a return to something which once was.  If something is to be restored, then, necessarily, there was damage done.   Often the damage done in our lives is the result of poor decisions, wrong behavior, and the recklessness of others.

          I have seen some restoration projects go bad.  Not everyone is equipped to restore a car or home or even a piece of furniture and sometimes the end product is worse after the project is complete. However, if the original builder or manufacturer does the restoration, all the love and care put into the making would be put into the fixing, with the original purpose in mind.

        This is the same with God.  God is our original manufacturer.  He designed us with loving care and with purpose. Maybe life has been tough.  Maybe poor decisions, poor treatment, or bad habits have damaged you to a point where you feel broken beyond repair.  Know this, nothing is beyond the repair of the Master Builder. 

           Like the car in the above story, we were lovingly crafted with care by a Master Builder.  We are all designed with purpose and hope.  Also like the car, sometimes we fall into the wrong hands or live destructively and end up feeling or deemed useless.  

            Our Master Builder has a son named Jesus Christ who has already paid the redemption price required to bring us back to His Father for restoration.  The Father weeps over your brokenness and desires to lovingly restore you to the purpose for which you were designed.  God does not view you as broken beyond repair nor does He see you as worthless because you have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 

           God is not angry or disgusted by you. Your heavenly Father may hate some of the things you do, but He loves you.  God may weep over your broken condition but He also loves you too much to leave you that way.  

            Are you willing to place yourself in the hands of the Master Builder?  Are you ready to allow your Father to lovingly restore you to your purpose in Him?  

            If you have ever seen a restoration project, you know it may not be a pleasant experience, especially at first, but the results are so worth it.  Romans 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

                  The restoration process may be painful, God may reveal things about you which you would rather not face.  God may remove things from your life you never thought you could live without.  At the same time, He will add good things.

              Have you ever seen a Smith craft a fine sword?  First it goes into fire, then it gets hammered but then, it goes into the cool refreshing water where it is cleansed and cooled. The fire purges the metal of impurity and makes it pliable. The hammer shapes and forms the metal into something with purpose.  The water cools the metal so it keeps it's shape and purpose.  Then the Smith will apply oil and refine the blade, giving it an edge.  

               Our process of restoration is not unlike this. We are purged and shaped into an image God can use.  The process can be agonizing and lonesome.  Then, about the time you believe you can take no more, God will bring refreshing and you will be able to see the progress you have made and the work He has done in and through you.  Refining and remaining conditioned are lifetime processes but the ability to serve according to your purpose and design will fill you with such joy and peace, it will all be worth it.  

             Do not fear the restoring hand of the Master Builder.  Nothing good comes easy in life.  The path of least resistance, though often my path of choice, leads to hardship and loss.  

             God may stretch you past your comfort level but He will never push you past your breaking point. Psalm 103:13-14  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

             Every diamond starts as a piece of coal and experiences extreme pressure which leads to transformation.  Coal is suitable for burning and little else.  Diamonds, as they say, are forever.  You may see yourself as a worthless lump of coal, or you may have been lead to believe you are such.  God sees the diamond you can be in His powerful and loving hands. God designed you to be a diamond.

             Life does not always go as planned.  Dreams are crushed, potential is sometimes squandered and obstacles can block our path at every turn.  The good news is, the God I serve is a God of second, third and even fourth chances.  Proverbs 24:16  for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. 

            As stated above, God is not angry nor disgusted with you. Though He may abhor some of the things you do, He loves you.  The Bible says, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  This means we do not have to clean up to call out to God.  God will reveal to you the things He hates and lead you to repentance.  

              Right now, God simply waits for you to call out to Him: Psalm 86:5-7  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.   Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.  In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. 
               You may feel you have gone to far, even for God.  Even if you have burned every bridge, damaged every relationship and driven anyone who ever cared for you away, know this, you are not powerful enough to make God stop loving you.  Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
                 The key line in this is, "nor anything else in all creation".  Not you, not your parents, not your spouse, not your friends, not even Satan himself is powerful enough to cause God to stop loving you.  

              Please do not resist Him. God calls out to you, even now, come just as you are. Call out to Jesus, accept His redemption, allow Him to bring you to His Father, the Master Builder.  

               The Son has paid the price of your redemption. You are precious, valuable and important to the Father.  

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!             

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