Each week during the Advent season, I’ll feature a devotion on who Jesus is, to help us prepare our hearts for Christ’s birth.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.
There aren’t too many of us living the abundant life. So yeah, you won’t find many people talking about having an abundant life, yet there it is in the gospel of John. Jesus’ words pierce my heart because I know there is more to this life I have been living.
After dinner Thanksgiving night we sat by the newly lit Christmas tree exchanging stories from the last few months. I share of the difficulties and how the transition has rocked my world, and she shares of this abundant life she has been experiencing. Hope fills the room, and longing overwhelms my heart.
She turned to me and said, “God totally restored me, and I want to write a book about it.”
I think I kind of forgot over the last few months that God is still in the business of restoring. He not only wants to restore; He wants us to walk in fullness and live the abundant life He preached about over two thousand years ago. And what better time to be reminded than during Advent.
“…after a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10.
I sit there listening intently to my friend share her testimony of freedom. She lived seven years in a gay relationship and God completely restored her, to the point she even looked different on the outside.
“I was told that I would struggle with this temptation for the rest of my life. I want to share my story and give people hope that He can restore them too,” she continued to share from her heart.
“None of us have to live partially free.”
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17.
Christ through salvation is our restorer. A simple act of repentance is our key to the grace He so freely offers. How could I forget this?
To restore means to “bring back to a former or original condition, to make complete.” Jesus came to bring us back to the life God always intended for us to live. His intention is for us to walk in wholeness. Body, mind, soul, and spirit. He did not come just for our salvation. He came for us to function in freedom and walk in purpose.
The Restorer has restored us back to His original intention and purpose through salvation. Healed, whole, and set free. Do we live this way? Or do we tend to live half free? Are you stuck in the same spiritual place? Begging God for freedom and beginning to think maybe you just need to live with brokenness. Maybe this is all there is. Have you been praying for a long time for the situation to change or a family member’s salvation? I am right there with you.
Maybe you are waiting for restoration to happen in your life. Praying and never seeing answers. Believing until exhaustion is too much for you to bare. Whole decades may have gone by without any glimpse of hope.
Today know God hears your every prayer. Remember, faith is confidence in the very character of who God is, regardless of circumstances.
Our scars from past wounds no longer represent brokenness, but instead freedom. Scripture says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Friend, today I am writing to tell you: you don’t have to live like this anymore. There is freedom for whatever struggle you are having. He is our great Restorer and takes pleasure in you.
Stretch Out Your Hands to God
It is right there in His word, “He told the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” Mark 3:5
Stretch out your hands to the Restorer. Surrender your broken self. Stop pretending your whole and yield to Him what was lost and watch and wait expectantly for restoration (Joel 2:25-26).
Not because of what we see or feel, but because of who He is. When our hands move toward Him in total surrender, His heart moves toward us.
So once again I stretch out both hands, abandoning all my disappointment, fears, and discouragement and choose to believe the impossible again. Allowing God’s presence to invade the shutdown parts of my heart with His hope.
David in Psalm 63:1-4 was in a place of despair, yet he surrendered in worship even when he did not have it all figured out.
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is not water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name, I will lift up my hands.”
Abundant living is in every sacrifice you happily submit to the Father, knowing He is the Restorer of all things.
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