Summary: A sermon on restoration and what God requires of us for restoration to take place.
Text: Joel 2:25-26 : I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
• According to the world, restoration means bring back something that is old, worn out, dilapidated or broken back to its former state [e]
• There are many TV programs that deals with restoration and my favourite is “Car S.O.S” [explain]
• Things that need restoration are things that have, over time, been allowed to slip into a state of neglect and disrepair [e]
• Restoration according to the Word of God is different from worldly restoration.
• While the world says that restoration is bringing something back to it’s original state, the biblical definition of restoration or Godly restoration means bringing something into a state where it would be even better than the original.
• None is this more clear than in the story of Job. Job 42:12 says: “ So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…. [explain]
• How many of you believe that 2015 is a year of restoration for you?
• For your household [e]
• For your family [e]
• For your health [e]
• For your finances [e]
• Maybe we have allowed spiritual things…..holy things….Godly things to slip into a state of neglect and disrepair [e]
• 2015 is the year of restoration…..
1. There needs to be restoration of our relationship with God
• In order for restoration to take place, we first need to acknowledge that there exists a state of disrepair and neglect [e]
• This morning, we must acknowledge that we have drifted away from God [e]
• Notice..we have drifted….not run away….not given up the Faith….just drifted [e]
• Church attendance which was once mandatory, has become optional [e]
• Worship which was once vibrant and loud has become tired and scattered [e]
• Prayer meeting and co-operate prayer, which was once our life-line to God, has been replaced with a hot meal and feet up on sofas which God blessed us with at our home which God blessed us with.
• We have just drifted [e]
• We have become what the Bible defines as lukewarm [e]
• Revelation 3: 15 – 16 says: ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’
• So why has happened to the church
• We have become influenced by the world [e]
• We have become spiritually complacent [e]
• We have brought unto to ourselves “idols” which has replaced God as number 1 [e]
• Romans 1:25 “2 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
• We have got our priorities wrong [e]
• Today, a call goes out from behind this pulpit: “Lets return to God!” [e]
• Lets return to a deep relationship with God again [e]
• Lets cry unto God and say “Father restore my relationship with you!”
• Lets break down all barriers that block us from having a meaningful relationship with God [e]
2. There needs to be a restoration of our relationships with our estranged brethren
• One of the greatest and most successful military tactics used in battle is “divide and conquer” [e]
• When an army fights together, it is very difficult to defeat them [e]
• Why? :
1. Because of the numbers [e]
2. Because their ability to close and strengthen all breaches and gaps [e]
3. Because they motivate and help each other [e]
4. Because they have more weapons and ammunition together [e]
5. A greater army has more experienced warriors [e]
6. Because they tend to their wounded better [e]
• As the Church, we are the army of God [e]
• But if Satan can divide us, he can defeat us!
• Why? :
1. Because he has smaller numbers to fight against [e]
2. Because we open up breaches and gaps with our lack of relationship that he can exploit [e]
3. Because there exists no more help and motivation, rather we bring each other down [e]
4. But perhaps the greatest downfall of all….is that we fight each other, instead of the enemy [e]
• 1 Corinthians 1: 10 – 13 says, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? “