Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“He Restores Me!” (Psalm 23:3)

S-1443 7SAP/3A 7/27/2014 Hymns: (O) #740; (S) #32; L.S. #633; #775(C) #725 LSB

Texts: Deuteronomy 7:6-9; Romans 8:28-39; Matthew 13:44-52

Theme: “He Restores Me!” (Psalm 23:3)

Question: “Have you ever restored an item?” 4th in sermon series on Psalm 23

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Alleluia! The text is from the 23 Psalm: “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3)

Precious little lambs let me ask you a question: Have you ever restored an item? Such as an heirloom rocking chair, roll-a-desk, and china cupboard? A car, an old photo or even a crashed computer?

You know how difficult it is to restore an old item that has seen its better days or a broken relationship. It takes time, money and lots of hard work to restore it back to the way it was, and even greater efforts to restore a broken relationship.

David knows first hands of broken relationships—with King Saul who tried to murder him, his son Absalom who tried to overthrow him from his throne and His God over his sin with Bathsheba.

David, the author of this beloved Psalm states: “Yahweh, my loving Shepherd will restore me.” He has this confidence that God’s anger will not last forever because He is compassionate and slow to anger. David knows that His Shepherd is the One who comes to His aid and restores His life from the pit of despair.

You see David is like every other sinner who walked on the face of the earth, needs God’s forgiveness to restore the relationship we had with Him—from the first Adam to the last Adam who will walk on the face of the earth. PAUSE.

David needed to be restored. In Psalm 51 he cries out to God “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (12). Having sinned with Bathsheba, God sent the Prophet Nathan to tell him you are the man. David didn’t try to blame someone else, or make excuses; he acknowledged that he had sinned against God saying to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die (2 Samuel 12:13). Restoration was done and hope given immediately.

For this reason David in this Psalm uses the word “Shuv” which often means repent or turn. He uses a verb form that means Yahweh IS super-restorer—completely—my life. This is to say, he is not only thinking of restoration only here on earth, but this of the final restoration at the resurrection. This is nothing but pure Gospel.

Holy Scripture is littered with stories of broken relationships, broken bodies and broken lives. We meet Joseph as his brothers sold him to slavery for 20 pieces of silver but later on their relationship was restored as Joseph forgave them their sin.

Naaman the commander of the army of Syria was restored from his leprosy by the servant of the most High God—Elisha (2 Kings 5). We can’t forget the restoration of the Prodigal son by his loving and caring father. And Luke tells us of Barnabas and Paul the great missionaries to the Gentiles who had a falling out over wanting to Mark-John with them. It was so severe that they parted way. But later on God restored their relationship.

Likewise, we the sinners—who are members of this body of believers have had falling out with our brothers and sisters. Sometime our falling out is so severe that we part way just Paul and Barnabas. But when we come to the throne of Grace in mercy, seeking forgiveness; He restores. When we confess that we have sinned against Him in word and deed, He restores us. When we let the devil get the best of us by disobeying God, and come crawling in repentant hear; the faithful God Shepherd, hears our confession and restores us through His gift of absolution. PAUSE.

Beloved lambs of the Good Shepherd, Jesus—daily we need to be restored and only He of whom David spoke can do that that in our lives. Restoration takes a lot of work. When restoring those old pieces of furniture that have all that detail to make the restoration complete requires great attention to detail. 

If restoring an inanimate object is this hard, imagine how hard it is to restore a soul. A human soul, corrupted by sin and stained with guilt and destined for death is a much more difficult process for restoration. It is much more than a matter of a little sanding, some elbow grease and a new coat of varnish. No, the restoration of a soul is a serious matter that takes hard work.

Nowhere was the work of restoration harder than the work that the Great Shepherd our Lord Jesus Christ did at the cross. It was more than a cut at the cross. It was more than just a layer of lacquer. Your restoration took the ultimate work of Christ’s life and death to make you whole. And it is that hard because this restoration was not about your outside. It was about your whole being. The restoration that the Good Shepherd did on you was a matter of taking you from death to life!

Our restoration by Christ the heaven-sent Savior reached its height on Calvary’s hewn cross, the tomb and its mighty resurrection. So precious did Jesus consider each sinner; that He was willing to pay the maximum price for each one—His own holy, precious and crimson blood.

The faithful Shepherd Jesus, restores the sinner to his right standing with the Father by taking the place of the sinner and making the sinner holy and righteous. He does all of this through His gracious mercy shown to us on Calvary’s cross.

Our faithful and caring Good Shepherd comes to battle the forces of sin, death and satan on our behalf. He comes to free us from the bondage and slavery of sin and restores our souls. He comes with healing in His wings, and He pours out water and blood to cleanse us from every evil desire and thought.

Paul the former murder and persecutor who became the greatest messenger and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ speaks of the restoration of the sinner in this way: “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:16-17).

Our restoration is a miracle brought about by the Good Shepherd Jesus. We know this because of one certain moment in history that was the darkest. There was no greater moment in the history of humanity that deserved to be told and retold—it is the moment on the cross when Jesus echoed the words of Psalm 22 and said “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” It was that moment when the greatest injustice of all time was happening. There is no greater injustice than for the innocent to suffer death for the sake of the guilty and condemned. But on the cross of Calvary the sinless Son of God was suffering all of the torment and agony that our sins deserved. This horrible moment of great evil was endured for the lost, least and last—you and me.

No wonder David says: Yahweh, my loving Shepherd will restore me.” He knew that His loving and caring Shepherd indeed will restore Him. And so do we! This restoration takes lots of work, expense and time.

For six long hours Christ hung on the cross. For six long hours He endured suffering, shame and humiliation. For six long hours He stood strong and was willing to endure all of God’s wrath. For six hours in the heat of the day, with lips cracked and chapped He stayed on the cross to restore you, and you, and you (point the finger at the saints) to the loving Father who day after day waits for us—His prodigal children to bless us and fill us with His joy and peace.

Today, we remember the words of David “that the Lord restores my soul” And He has and He does. By the grace of God the Holy Spirit has brought us here today to be restored. We have been and therefore we praise our Restorer—our faithful Good Shepherd for His mighty work in our lives. Amen.

Now the peace…


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