2009-02-11 / Religion

Crooked paths straight?

Pastor Damien L. Salazar- Miller County Ministerial Fellowship

Isaiah 42:16 says, "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Lately the Lord has been dealing with my heart about restoration and how important it is to the human soul. There are many lost and hurting people in the world today, and each and every one of them need hope. Hope to make it through the day. Hope to make it through the week. Hope to make it through the month and even the year. Many are struggling financially, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Life has really taken its toll, and there seems to be no relief in sight.

Who do we turn to in these tough times? The housing market is failing, so there are no loans available. The job market is bleak, so there is no money to be made. And the bail-out needs a bail-out of its own. In tough times we must turn to the "Author and Finisher of our faith" Christ Jesus! He is the ultimate authority in tough times. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 8:37-39 Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come, nor height, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God loves us despite of ourselves. Where does the church and the believer fit into this world of turmoil? I believe that 1st Peter 3:15 gives us the answer "But sanctify the Lord thy God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. We as a body of Christ have the opportunity to provide hope. Hope to the hopeless, love and forgiveness. It is life that we find in the red letters of the word of the living God, church is the place where restoration begins. An introduction to Christ as a loving savior is a great place to begin when restoring hope to a hopeless world.

I compare it to restoring a piece of antique furniture or a classic car. Sometimes we don't know the hidden treasure before us until we start to work on the piece. It takes time and effort, a lot of hours with blood, sweat and tears. A continuous effort must take place in order for the true beauty to shine through. When we finally finish we have a work of art and great value, priceless. The same is true with the broken spirit and soul, it comes to us rusty and torn apart, but with tender, loving care it suddenly starts to spring to life, and the love of God shines through. The old man is dead, the new man appears, a beautiful work of restoration wrought by the hands of man led by God! Hallelujah, to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What an awesome opportunity we have to bring the lost home to a wonderful savior.

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. May you be richly blessed this day as you take the challenge to be used by God to restore an old friend.

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