“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT
Last post, we talked about how what we speak will identify which kingdom and culture we belong to. Today, I want to talk about restoration and how this is a BIG part of His Culture.
Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It shows the great vision and determination of one man who saw that the walls of Jerusalem were in shambles. And he did something about it.
The book of Nehemiah shows a group of people willing to fight for the restoration of the things of God and the Word of God…. even when facing extreme opposition from the enemy.
One of my favorite lines in this book is found in Nehemiah 4:6, “For the people had a mind to work.” They did not give up in the face of adversity and did not allow the mocking and intimidation of the enemy to stop what God had called them to do. Miraculously, the wall they were building was completed in just 52 days.
There was a bigger message then just building walls in record time. The message was about God restoring his people.
God loved His people so much, even though they had sinned and walked away from him. God made sure not all were destroyed by the enemy but that there would be a remanent left that could come back to Him.
God has always been about restoration…. THIS IS KINGDOM CULTURE! Unlike this world’s culture, where there is NO ROOM to be restored, forgiven and free from any past mistakes.
God’s Kingdom Culture gives us a pathway to be restored, forgiven, and set free from the things we’ve done wrong in the past.
Let me just make this point right here…
There is no redemption nor atonement for our sins apart from Jesus Christ.
Don’t let this culture tell you otherwise. Yes, we need to love one another (even our enemies), and we need to forgive one another (even our enemies). This is part of God’s Kingdom Culture…
Your eternal redemption and my eternal redemption is not based on man’s response to our past.
Romans 5:17-20 “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
I want to pick up in Nehemiah 9, after everything was restored. We see in the beginning of this chapter a call of repentance, fasting and worship.
It wasn’t enough for just the temple, the walls and the Word to be restored…..now it was time for the people to be restored.
They went to the ONE who could do that for them! Not Ezra. Not Nehemiah. Not any other man. They went to God, the ultimate restorer!
So here is Nehemiah recounting the lives of the Israel’s past and ancestors…
Nehemiah 9:24-31 NLT “They went in and took possession of the land. You subdued whole nations before them. Even the Canaanites, who inhabited the land, were powerless! Your people could deal with these nations and their kings as they pleased.
Our ancestors captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took over houses full of good things, with cisterns already dug and vineyards and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate until they were full and grew fat and enjoyed themselves in all your blessings.
“But despite all this, they were disobedient and rebelled against you. They turned their backs on your Law, they killed your prophets who warned them to return to you, and they committed terrible blasphemies.
So you handed them over to their enemies, who made them suffer. But in their time of trouble they cried to you, and you heard them from heaven. In your great mercy, you sent them liberators who rescued them from their enemies.
“But as soon as they were at peace, your people again committed evil in your sight, and once more you let their enemies conquer them. Yet whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!
“You warned them to return to your Law, but they became proud and obstinate (unmoved) and disobeyed your commands. They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey. They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen.
In your love, you were patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them.
But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!”
David Guzik in his commentary said, “We sometimes feel as if God has gotten tired of us; that we can’t ask him to forgive us for something He has forgiven us for so many times before. But God never gets tired of us, and never turns away the repentant heart.”
You can be fully restored today in The Culture of God’s Kingdom. But in order to do that, you have to completely surrender, submit, repent and align yourself in obedience to God’s Word.
This culture will tell you those words should not be in your vocabulary. But those four words are key to your restoration…..
Apply these four words to your life today and see how God restores you and gives you a future better than you can even imagine!