Summary: We can be continually refreshed, if we will live in right relationship with God.
Times of Refreshing
Intro: What is the most refreshing thing you can think of? For some of you, perhaps Coke is it! For others, when you’ve been working hard and perspiring profusely, a nice tall glass of iced tea is just the ticket. Still for others, there is nothing like cool refreshing water to invigorate you. In fact, water is refreshing in more ways than one. You can drink it and be refreshed, but you can also bathe in it or swim in it and be refreshed.
-There are other things in life that are refreshing. Laughter is refreshing. There is nothing like a good belly laugh to keep you going. Have you laughed out loud today? Try it. You might like it! Singing can refresh you. Fishing – now there is a way to get refreshed. Jesus did it, so it must be pretty important, right? Sometimes, just good hard labor is actually refreshing – especially if you sit behind a desk or at a computer much of the time.
-Well, of all the refreshing experiences we can find, nothing can compare to the renewal of the mind and spirit that is found in the presence of God. That is what I’d like to talk about today. The message is quite simple, which is this:
Prop: We can be continually refreshed, if we will live in right relationship with God.
Interrogative: How does a right relationship with God affect our lives?
TS: We’re going to look at a few thoughts from our passage that will show us how a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ can bring refreshing to our souls.
I. Turning Away from Sin Brings Times of Refreshing
-V.19 says first of all, “Repent….” To repent means more than to feel sorry for the bad things we’ve said or done. The idea of repentance includes remorse, but also involves turning away from that which is offensive to God. It involves more than just an emotional response, but also moves the will into action. True repentance results in change.
-When Peter preached to the crowd on the Day of Pentecost, here was their response in Acts 2:37 “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” This shows that repentance calls for action: What shall we do about the way we have treated God? Peter gave them the answer: “Repent, let God change your life, and receive His forgiveness.”
-When John the Baptist came preaching repentance, even the religious leaders were drawn to him and wanted to hear what he had to say. Well, John didn’t cut them any slack, but told them to bear fruit that was worthy of repentance. In other words, be willing to change the way you live, and God will forgive you and help you.
-Maybe there is something that God has told you to do, but like children sometimes do, you haven’t listened very well. Yes, you heard Him, but because it is something that makes you uncomfortable or requires you to trust God instead of yourself, you have not obeyed God. You keep saying that you will do what He says, but you keep letting yourself off the hook. Listen, that is not the way we should respond to our loving Father. Maybe we forget too quickly that He is Lord of the universe. Yet, sometimes we dismiss His word to us so easily. Let’s repent of our disobedience and be quick to say, “Yes, Lord, I will do whatever You ask me to do.”
-If we will become quick to listen and quick to obey the Lord, we will find times of refreshing in our lives. All disobedience is sin! Let’s repent and turn away from the sin we have allowed into our lives, and the times of refreshing will begin to flow into our lives like cool refreshing water.
-TS: In addition to turning away from sin, we must also turn toward our heavenly Father. We cannot turn towards sin and towards God at the same time. So, turn away from sin, but also, turn to God. That is our 2nd main point.
II. Turning to God Brings Times of Refreshing
-V.19 says, “Turn to God.” When there is sin in our lives, we do not want to face the Lord. We don’t want to look Him in the eye, because we know that all is not right.
-Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we sometimes try to hide from God, because we don’t want to face the consequences of our actions. However, God always knows what’s up! The longer we refuse to turn to Him, the longer we will wallow in the sense of guilt and failure.
-The Psalms are filled with the language of intimacy, in which the Psalmist asks to Lord to look on him favorably, or to make His face shine upon him. Now, be clear about one thing: God loves us beyond what we can comprehend. Even when we fail and sin against Him, He still loves us. However, His love is so strong towards us that He will not smile upon us when we sin against Him. The Bible tells us that the Lord disciplines those whom He loves. So, if we refuse to turn to God, we can expect some loving discipline to come our way. I like the saying: “God loves me just the way I am, but too much to let me stay that way.” God’s work in our lives is always for the better. At times we may not feel like doing better or turning to God, but He has a way of drawing us back to Himself.