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Summary: THIS IS PART OF A SERIES ON PSALM 23

THE GREATEST RESTORATION

PSALM 23:3

INTRODUCTION:

ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE DEVELOPED AN INTEREST IN OVER THE YEARS ARE RESTORATION PROJECTS. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES OF RESTORATION PROJECTS. WE RESTORE HOUSES, ROADS, CONFIDENCE, HEALTH, AND MANY OTHER THINGS. A FEW YEARS AGO,ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN I RETIRED WAS SETTING UP A FURNITURE RESTORATION BUSINESS. I DON’T KNOW I MAY STILL DO IT, JUST NOT ON THE SCALE THAT I WAS THINKING.

THE THING ABOUT RESTORING SOMETHING OBVIOUSLY IS THAT YOU ARE WORKING FROM SOMETHING THAT IS ALREADY CONSTRUCTED. IT HAS FORM AND FUNCTION, AND WHAT IS DONE IN RESTORATION IS A REFORMATION AND REFUNCTIONING OF WHAT IS BEING RESTORED.

IN PSALM 23:3 DAVID SPEAKS ABOUT THE GREATEST RESTORATION OF ALL WHEN HE SPEAKS ABOUT THE RESTORATION OF OUR SOULS. THIS IS A GOOD PHRASE THAT HE USES HERE “HE RESTORES MY SOUL.” IT COMPLETES THE THOUGHT FROM VERSE TWO, AND HE IDENTIFIES GOD AS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN RESTORE OUR SOULS.

WHEN WE ACCEPT CHRIST GOD RESTORES OUR SOUL AND OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD, THAT WAS DESTROYED BY OUR SINFUL NATURE. SECOND, AS IN THE CASE OF DAVID, GOD WILL RESTORE OUR SOULS AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AS WE COME TO HIM CONFESSING OUR GUILT AND IN REPENTANCE AND SEEKING FORGIVENESS.

WE ALL NEED TO HAVE OUR SOULS RESTORED, MOST OF US SEVERAL TIMES OVER. WE MAY FACE GREAT HURST IN OUR LIVES THAT LEAVE US DEVESTATED AND UNABLE TO GO ON. THE OTHER SIDE CAN ALSO BE TRUE, WHERE LIFE IS SO EASY, THAT WE FORGET OUR NEED OF GOD’S PROVISION AND PROTECTION, AND WE BECOME VULNERABLE TO THE TEMPTATION OF SATAN.

WHEN GOD RESTORES OUR SOULS, HE RESTORES OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. HE REMOVES OUR GUILT, OUR GRIEF, OVER SIN, AND HE REPLACES OUR GRUDGES WITH HIS COMFORT AND PEACE. WHEN GOD FORGIVES AND RESTORES IT IS IMMEDIATE, FREE, COMPLETE, AND UNCONDITIONAL.

1 JOHN 1:8-10:

f we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

POINT ONE; HOW DO WE GET INTO THIS CONDITION:

THE FIRST QUESTION WE NEED TO LOOK AT IS HOW CAN WE GET INTO THIS CONDITION IN THE FIRST PLACE. WELL I BELIEVE THE ANSWER COMES AS A COMBINATION OF VERSE TWO AND THREE. WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO REST IN CHRIST AND SO WE PILE WAY TOO MUCH ACTIVITY AND RESPONSIBILITY IN OUR LIVES. THEN THERE COMES TIMES IN OUR LIVES WHERE THERE IS A LULL AND THINGS CALM DOWN, AND WE FEEL THAT WE HAVE ALL IN CONTROL. THAT’S WHEN THE TROUBLE COMES, WHEN THINGS ARE CALM, BECAUSE WE ARE RESTING IN OURSELVES AND NOT DEPENDING ON THE SHEPHERD.

LAST WEEK WE SAW THE WISDOM OF DAVID IN COMPARING US TO SHEEP. THAT IS GOING TO BE REINFORCED IN THIS VERSE. THERE IS A CONDITION THAT SHEEP GET INTO WHERE THEY CAN’T GET UP BY THEMSELVES. THIS CONDITION IS CALLED “CAST”

THIS CONDITION WILL HAPPEN TO THE FAT OR LONG-FLEECED SHEEP WHEN THEY LIE DOWN. THEY PICK A COMFORTABLE PLACE LIKE A LITTLE DEPRESSION IN THE GROUND. THEY LIKE THE SPOT, IT FEELS GOOD, SO THEY STRETCH OUT A LITTLE TO LET THEIR LEGS RELAX AND IN AN INSTANT THEY ROLL INTO THAT DEPRESSION AND ARE IN TOO FAR. THEY ARE ON THEIR BACK WITH THEIR LEGS POINTING STRAIGHT UP.

WHAT HAPPENS IS THEIR CENTER OF GRAVITY IS OFF AND ONCE THEY LOOSE CONTACT WITH THEIR FEET THEY CAN’T RIGHT THEMSELVES. SEVERAL THINGS HAPPEN TO THE SHEEP WHEN IN THIS CONDITION. THEY BEGIN TO PANIC. THE STOMACH BEGINS TO EXPAND DUE TO GAS AND STRESS. BLOOD CIRCULATION TO THEIR LEGS ARE CUT OFF. IN JUST A FEW HOURS THE SHEEP COULD BE DEAD IF ITS HOT OR A FEW DAYS IF ITS COLDER.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO US. WE DON’T KEEP OURSELVES IN GOOD SHAPE SPIRITUALLY. WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO GET FAT AND OUT OF SHAPE BY AVOIDING BIBLE STUDY, PRAYER, AND FELLOWSHIP. THEN AS OUR LIVES PROGRESS COMFORTABLY, WE TAKE ON MORE AND MORE THINGS AND ADD LONG BAD FLEECE THAT WE NEED TO CARRY. WE TRY TO DEAL WITH THE LOAD OURSELVES AND EVENTUALLY WE FIND A PLACE WHERE WE FEEL WE CAN REST. WE LIE DOWN AND SOON WE FIND OURSELVES IN THE SAME POSITION AS THE SHEEP “CAST”. THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SAVE US IS THE SHEPHERD. JESUS WARNS US ABOUT CHURCHES WHO THINK THEY’VE ARRIVED BUT ARE REALLY “CAST”

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