Ready for A Complete Restoration

You will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. EPHESIANS 1:19

God loves to decorate. God has to decorate. Let him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change. Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace. Walls of anger will be demolished and shaky foundations restored. God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child’s tear untouched.…

This might explain some of the discomfort in your life. Remodeling of the heart is not always pleasant. We don’t object when the Carpenter adds a few shelves, but he’s been known to gut the entire west wing. He has such high aspirations for you. God envisions a complete restoration. He won’t stop until he is finished.… He wants you to be just like Jesus.

Just Like Jesus

A Healthy Body

1 Corinthians 6:12, 19-20

We all know there is an undeniable relationship between our health and our ability to reach our full potential. We may labor to have a clean heart, a clear mind, and a balanced schedule, but without a healthy body, we simply cannot do our best. And good health will be

enhanced when we begin to think about our bodies the way God does. In the sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul teaches that our bodies belong to the living God (vv. 19-20). As a result, we all have to make a decision: Am I going to take care of my body, or will I ignore or abuse it?

None of us would walk into church and deliberately make a big mess, smearing red or black paint all over the place. We wouldn’t do that, because we respect the church building as a place where God’s people worship. With that in mind, consider this: The human body, because it is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is far more important than any house of worship that ever existed.

Nevertheless, people often assume that neglecting or mistreating the body is their own prerogative. Whether the issue is substance abuse, abortion, or unhealthy habits, many people will say, “This is my body. I can do with it whatever I want.” But as we read in Scripture, your body is not your possession. Although you can do as you please, you will pay the price for poor decisions. Sin has its consequences, and sin against the body can inflict a penalty that lasts even beyond the present generation. Ask God to help you regard the body as He does so that you will care for it appropriately.

Be Continually Being Filled

“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15)

This prophecy of the angel Gabriel, bearing as it does a tremendous testimony to the character of John the Baptist, contains the first reference in the New Testament to the unique Christian doctrine of the filling of the Holy Spirit. John was the first Christian witness, directing his own disciples to Christ (John 1:35-37) and clearly preaching the gospel of salvation through Christ alone (John 3:26-36). It is significant that he was filled with the Holy Spirit all his life. Jesus is also said to have been full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) and was undoubtedly so filled from the time of conception (Psalm 22:10), but the explicit statement is made only of John.

The fullness of the Spirit is available for every believer, of course. In the New Testament, both of John’s parents were said to be so filled on a specific occasion (Luke 1:41, 67). The disciples of the Lord were filled with the Spirit many times (Acts 2:4; 4:31; 13:52). Peter was said to be filled with the Holy Spirit on at least one special occasion (Acts 4:8), and Paul at least twice (Acts 9:17; 13:9). One of the qualifications sought in the first deacons was that they were to be men full of the Holy Ghost (Acts 6:3), and one of those chosen, Stephen, was specifically so described (Acts 6:5; 7:55). Barnabas was another Spirit-filled Christian believer (Acts 11:24). Undoubtedly there were many others. In fact, every believer is commanded to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The reference in this key passage is not to a one-time event, but to frequent fillings. “Be continually being filled” is the literal rendering. HMM

He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry

He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee.—Isaiah 30:19.

THAT was the Shepherd of the flock; He knew
The distant voice of one poor sheep astray;
It had forsaken Him, but He was true,
And listened for its bleating night and day.

And thou, fallen soul, afraid to live or die
In the deep pit that will not set thee free,
Lift up to Him the helpless homeward cry,
For all that tender love is seeking thee.
ANNA L. WARING.

OUR Divine Shepherd followed after His lost sheep for three and thirty years, in a way so painful and so thorny that He spilt His heart’s blood and left His life there. The poor sheep now follows Him through obedience to His commands, or through a desire (though at times but faint) to obey Him, calling upon Him and beseeching Him earnestly for help; is it possible that He should now refuse to turn upon it His life-giving; look? Will He not give ear to it, and lay it upon His divine shoulders, rejoicing over it with all His friends and with the angels of Heaven? For if our Lord ceased not to search most diligently and lovingly for the blind and deaf sinner, the lost drachma of the Gospel, till He found it, how is it possible that He should abandon him who, as a lost sheep, cries and calls upon his Shepherd?
LORENZO SCUPOLI.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Corinthians 15:55

The sting of death is sin. — But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.

Hebrews 9:26-28. Hebrews 2:14,15. 2 Timothy 4:18.

You have not yet come to the rest and inheritance awaiting you

Ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God
giveth you.
Deuteronomy 12:9

This is not your rest. — There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. — Within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. — With Christ; which is far better.

God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. — There the wicked cease from troubling: and there the weary be at rest.

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

— Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Micah 2:10. Hebrews 4:9. Hebrews 6:19,20. John 14:2,3. Philippians 1:23. Revelation 21:4. Job 3:17. Matthew 6:20,21. Colossians 3:2.