I need to be restored
Title: I need to be restored!
Text: 2 Chron 15:8-15
Introduction: The other day I went into my garage looking for old piece of furniture for my wife. It was an old round end table that belonged to my mother-in-law. It was hidden in the back in a corner hard to see. Not only could I not see but I could not get to it due to the many boxes and articles that trapped it in a corner. When I lifted out of the corner, I discovered it could be of antique quality due to its design and intricate details. I say “could be” because upon examination I discovered that the table had some marks that made it less desirable. Initially, this table was no use to us. First of all, it was forgotten about. Due to lack of use, nobody even knew what was there. Since it was in the back of the garage in a corner, it was dirty. It had marks and scratches that made it less appealing. It was discolored and it had no shine. It had a broken leg so it could not stand properly. However, with all of its faults and flaws, I looked at this round end table and said to myself, “this can be restored”. At that moment the Lord spoke to me and said this old piece of furniture is like my church and its people forgotten, flawed, broken and not shine. But I can restore it and make it more valuable! Church, the Lord wants to restore and make you better than before!
RQ: How do I get restored?
I. Receive the Word v. 8a
King Asa heard the Word of God through the prophet Azariah to seek the Lord. “Heard” means that he gained information. Information is empowering. The text says after he heard “he took courage” which means he became strong. The Word of God makes you strong! But before he was strengthened, he had to believe what God had spoken. It was his belief that made him strong. In other words he had faith in what God said. Faith came by hearing. He heard from God and faith came. Faith will make you do things you would not normally do. He received the Word and was obedient to it. King Asa shows us that you have to be open to receive the word. But the problem is that we are resistant because we have hard heads and even harder hearts. We think that we know more than God. But worst, we don’t trust Him at as Lord. Not being open to God is real the problem. We want to handle to things on our own and not let God be God. But if you want to be restored you have to open your heart, mind and soul to receive the Word of God. The Word is quick, power and sharp. When you receive the Word, you receive Jesus. He is the Living Word.
II. Remove every distraction v. 8b
Like the stuff in my garage blocking me from seeing the end table, is there anything blocking you from seeing God? The text says that King Asa put away the remaining idol out of all the land. He made room for God. He wanted his kingdom to be a place that God could dwell and be the priority. Therefore, anything that was a distracting away from God and God’s purposes, Asa got rid of. My beloved, we also have to be empowered by the word enough that we are inspired to make sure that our environment is a place where God can dwell and is the priority. God first! Not your stuff and wants! We have to do consistent inventory checks and make the proper adjustments to make sure nobody is on the throne of Jesus! This goes back to worship. When you worship, you make God first and you enthrone Him as Lord! You may have to even remove yourself so you can see God. But if you want to be restored, you have to remove every distraction.
III. Repair your place of Worship v. 8c
After you removed any distractions that prevent you from worship, you may then have to repair your place of worship. There may be some broken places in your life that need to fixed before you can truly worship God the way He desires for you to do. You need to be free. But many of us are still in bondage and broken. King Asa according to the text renewed or repaired the altar. The altar is a place of sacrifice. It is at the altar that we meet God. But if it is broken there is no meeting place with God. You need some repair. You have been broken, hurt and damaged. And it is hard for you even to present yourself to God. But in order to win favor with God, you have to repair the altar in your life. My beloved, this is not a physical place. It is not made of bronze, gold or stone. This place is in your heart. Each one of us has an altar inside of us that needs repairing so we can make the proper sacrifices to please our Almighty God. The name Asa means healer. By repairing the altar, he healed the land of Judah from its broken relationship with God. We can do the same for our broken relationship with God. When you present yourself to God as a living sacrifice, He not only heals you but your relationship with Him can be restored. Jesus is better than any repair man. His warranty never runs out. He is always ready to repair the altar of your heart!
IV. Reunite with those who see God working in your life v.9
Next, there are some relationships that need be restored in your. There are family members that you need to reconcile with. There are some friends that you need to reconnect with. These are not the people who intentionally did you wrong. They may have differed with you but they truly love you and that you love them. God is telling you today, it is time to reunite. Look at the text. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. King Asa assembled the defected tribes of Israel together because the presence of the Lord was with him. They were all connected at one time but divided when God was not first in their lives. God’s anointing thru Asa drew them back from rebellion. There is restoration of former relationships when the anointing in present (that is the power of worship). Like Asa, He want to reunite you with people who were like Ephraim (doubly fruitful), Manasseh(causing to forget), and Simeon (hearing). If we want our relationship restored God have to be with us!! So worship Him!
V. Renew your commitment to the Lord vv. 10-14
Next in order to be restored, you have to renew your commitment to the Lord. King Asa shows us in the text things that we need to do to make our renewal effective. In verse 10 it says that they all gathered in Jerusalem…Jerusalem means “teaching peace”. You always want to be in place that teaches peace. That is the sole purpose of restoration; to restore peace in your life. Next, in verse 11 the text says that they offered to the Lord at the same time the spoil… This means they corporately gave an offering of the increase of wealth they acquired from the war. They gave out the love, commitment and reverence to their Holy God. They gave because they knew when they were in need God was faithful to meet their need! But look what they gave. In the text it says that they offered 700 oxen and 7000 sheep. The “7s” means that this offered was completed and perfect. We can not give God a fragmented offering and expect to be blessing. But it is really not in the amount that is fragmented at the time of offering, it is the condition of our hearts that is fragmented. Where your treasure is, that is where you will find your heart. So, where to do you give? Where do you spend your money? That is where your heart is. I just hope God is there with it!
After they got to a place of peace and made an offering, verse 12 says that they went into covenant to seek God. They agreed to go after God with all their heart. Imagine if all of us here would agree to forget about everything else and go after God with everything we got? Imagine how our lives and this church will be? A covenant is not just a “willy nilly” promise. Blood was shed when they made a covenant. Jesus made is easy for us. He made a covenant for us on the cross. All we have to do is agree with Jesus and seek Him with our whole hearts and we will be restored! King Asa and Judah were so serious about the covenant they made just to seek the Lord that they made each other accountable. Look at the text in verse 13, “That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” Now that’s accountability! If you did not seek the Lord, you were cut off by death. But you see how serious they were in verse 14. They vocalized their new commitment to the Lord. “And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.” Now people heard who said what. There were witnesses of the expression of their faithfulness to this covenant. Now if these were black folk, those people would keep them to there word. You know how we are. If somebody doesn’t do what they said we will be the first to say “did you say you were going to do this…” Accountability keeps everybody on one accord and makes sure that everybody is doing their job. Each and everyone one of us is accountable to God. He sees everything we do so we better watch out and get right because God will cut us off no matter who we think we are! My beloved, if you want to be restored, be accountable to your renewed commitment and watch what God does for you. Lastly,
VI. Rejoice about your covenant connection v. 15
All Judah rejoice over their oath they made with the Lord. They made this oath with their whole heart and they were happy about it. We get happy about getting blessings but they were happy about just seeking God. God honored their desire to seek Him. They text says that they sought the Lord and they found him. This is what I call a biblical version hide and seek. The old way to play is that you hide in a way that the person who was “it” can’t find you. God’s way is that when you receive, remove, repair, reunite and renew in order to be restored, you will find God in his fullness! But God never hides from you. He sees that you are ready for Him to reveal himself to you! It is in His revelation you will find rest. Why? It is because wherever God is there is peace and rest! The text says that they found Him and the Lord gave them rest! Your rest is your reward!!!!
Close: God will restore you! Like that end table, Lord will take you out of that corner. He will take away your scratches and flaws. He will fix whatever is broken in your life. He will make you shine again. God will restore you! He will put you on display but you won’t be an antique. Jesus will me make you new! Does anybody know he will restore you? He lived to restore you. He died to restore you. And he got up with all power to restore you! Jesus is better than antique collector! You won’t look expensive but you will priceless! Only bought by heaven!