Summary: If you want to be truly restored to fly to new heights of holiness, taste God’s love and crave God’s Word. Then love God’s people with His love.
On June 23, 2001, the Boeing company finished a labor of love—the complete restoration of the last existing 307 Stratoliner. It was the world's first pressurized commercial airliner.
A New York company used a vintage loom to reproduce the original Pan Am wall fabric. An interior company put in the flooring, carpeting, and paneling. They even imported Scottish leather for the single-aisle and crew seats. All the light fixtures, bulkheads, and trims were manufactured from original engineering drawings. Everything was done to perfection.
Six months later the aircraft crash-landed in Seattle's Elliot Bay. Were there problems with the ancient engines? Did the dated tail and wing controls fail? No, they worked without a hitch.
The problem was an operator error; the crew had failed to refuel the engines. (Stuart Bond, Gig Harbor, Washington; www.PreachingToday.com)
That describes some people I know. They work hard at the process of restoration, but they forget the fuel that makes it possible for them to fly. As a result, they crash land their lives in troubled waters.
Do you want to experience real transformation? Do you want to be truly restored to fly to new heights of holiness? Then I invite you to turn with me to 1 Peter 1, 1 Peter 1, where we see the “fuel” it takes to “fly”.
1 Peter 1:22 – 2:3 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (ESV)
Love is the “fuel” it takes to fly. In fact, your transformation begins and ends with love. So, if you want God to fully restore you, first...
TASTE GOD’S LOVE.
Experience the goodness of God. Literally, taste that God is kind or pleasant.
I’m going to work my way backwards in this text, because the author assumes that his readers have already tasted God’s kindness. It’s where you begin your spiritual journey. You must first taste God’s love.
That’s the same word that’s translated “good” here in 1 Peter 2:3. You see, Jesus invites you to come to Him where you find that the life He gives you to live is “easy.” In other words, it fits us so well, it is pleasant to wear.
Unlike the demands of other religious leaders, who load you up with hundreds of rules, Jesus comes along side you and bears the weight with you. The life He invites you to live is pleasant, because He doesn’t pile it ON you; He lives it WITH with. He is “gentle and lowly” the Bible says, and His “yoke is easy.” Dear friend, if you have never experienced the kindness of Christ, please, come to Him today and get a taste. Taste that the Lord is good; He is kind; He is pleasant.
Romans 2:4 says, “God’s kindness (same word) leads you towards repentance.” In other words, God’s kindness leads you to change your attitude and actions. God’s kindness changes you from the inside out. It’s where spiritual transformation begins!
Three years ago, NPR ran a story about a San Diego father, who believed that his son, a heroin addict, was on the verge of dying. So the father flew to Denver and lived on the street with his son him for a week, foraging for food and sleeping in parks.
The father, who wants to be known as Frank, described the moment he met his son on the street in Denver:
“He has no idea that I'm walking towards him. I can see that he can't stand up without the support of a building. He would appear drunk to most people. To his dad, though, I know from past experience, sadly he's on heroin – heavy. I go up to him, and he starts to turn his back on me. I don't even care. I just grab him and squeeze him as hard as I can.”
For a week, Frank became his son’s shadow, wandering the streets during the day and sleeping on the banks of a river at night. He grew a beard, ate hand-out sandwiches during the day, and swatted away the rats at night. Meanwhile, his son got sick, was in and out of the hospital, and stealing to buy more drugs. At one point, Frank told his son, “If you die, your mom and dad die with you. We might still be here breathing. But make no mistake, we'll be dead inside.”