The Lord is always looking to forgive, restore and redeem—so much so that His delight over the prodigal son returning is equal to that of the obedient son. That is simply amazing. One son squanders his inheritance through godless living and the other is faithful, responsible and hard-working, yet when the prodigal returns (i.e. repentance) the Father rejoices over him. He doesn’t put him on probation or make him a servant—he throws a restoration party.
Joppa Flea Market
In fact, I didn’t realize the connection as I was writing, but I am right now sitting in Joppa’s famous shuk hapishpishim (flea market). I am drinking coffee while Elana looks around. All around me is junk: Rotary telephones, used Barbies and useless typewriters. Junk that people are hoping others will buy from them. But what appears to me as junk, may actually be the treasure of another. And again, we see the Lord—He takes us, what the world may call junk, what many times we feel is junk, and He does something amazing, something new, something glorious.
A few years back I got into faux painting (decorative painting styles). I started with rooms and then I decided to refinish and paint an old credenza. It was beat up and ready for retirement, but after the refinishing you would have thought it was brand new. That piece still sits in our dining room. What’s more, is that during my faux season, whenever I would see an old piece of furniture, I would see what it could be, not what it was. Are you following?
I guess this mentality should come naturally to me. My father made a comfortable living selling things that others wouldn’t or couldn’t sell. For nearly half a century The Salvage Barn, Inc., where I spent many summers working, sold items from train wrecks, floods and fires. If a jar of jelly broke on the way to the supermarket, it would often make the whole pallet of jelly (maybe 1000 jars) unsellable. Dad would buy it for pennies on the dollar, we would clean it and then we’d sell it. I know that some of you reading this blog, have shopped there.
The words salvage and salvation have the same root. To salvage means to rescue property or material from potential loss or destruction. Often it refers to material that others have given up on.
I don’t know about you friend, but I am fully aware that God has and is salvaging me. Let’s look at the facts. I have been diagnosed from childhood as having ADHD—although my parent’s did not need a doctor to tell them what was obvious from my behavior. I was able to read one book cover to cover in high school (Sounder by the way). I scored 300 out of 800 on the English/Grammar portion of my SATs. I cheated my way to a 1.7 GPA. Who would have ever believed that I would become a writer? I have actually written twice as many books than I read in high school! There is no question that any success I enjoy is a result of the grace and salvaging power of Yeshua.
Maybe you need a new beginning. Or maybe you can’t seem to forget the past. Paul was a murderer and yet went on to become the greatest theologian/church planter in history. He understood how to forget what lies behind and press forward. (Phil. 3:13)
Forget the former sins, let downs and hurts. It is time to move forward. God has great plans for you. Unrepentant sin, holding onto grudges and unwillingness to receive forgiveness holds back those amazing plans.
Now is the time to look forward to the blessings of God. If you need to repent—then repent! And exercise faith and call forth God’s blessing in your life.
Who are you believing?
We are either believing the lies of the enemy of the word of God. There is a mocking spirit that serves the purpose of the enemy. His job is to lie to you and to mock you. He is the one who whispers in your soul, “You? Ha! You will never be good enough for God. You will never be qualified to be used by God.” His best friend is condemnation, and together they tag team against us.
But that is the walk of faith. When the enemy tells me I am not a worthy vessel, I say, “and isn’t it amazing that despite this God will restore, perfect and use me.” I answer with the word of God.
“…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Messiah Yeshua.” (Phil 1:6)
I am trusting God not to leave me the way I am, but to change me from “glory to glory.” Don’t give up. He is not finished with you yet! My great confidence is not in my abilities, but His ability.
Just a few weeks ago there was a football game in which the team that was losing, the Eagles, needed to score four touchdowns in about seven minutes to win. Many left the game and others turned it off—including me. And yet somehow, though it seemed quite unlikely, the losing team scored three touchdowns to tie that game and on the last play of the game, scored a fourth to win.
It’s not over, til’ it’s over!