Some years back I taught a small group using the book The Next Christians written by Gabe Lyons. His major theme centers on how God’s restorative power works best through community – the simple fact that when community is working on all cylinders, the world is changed. As Americans we are immersed in a society where independence reigns and individualism is our god. But we ultimately feel no satisfaction. Instead of creating loners, there is an ultimate craving for what we know community can bring us.
God is about restoring people—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Whether we are sick or struggling emotionally or separated from God because of sin, He wants to bring us back into right relationship with Himself, so that our lives can be filled once again with purpose and contentment. This is best done in community.
Many of you know my love for the show Fixer Upper with Chip & Joanna Gaines. They take old, broken down homes in the Waco, Texas area and restore them to magnificence. I was watching one of their reruns this past week while I was home, and one of their workers spoke the phrase, “Restoration is taking something that has been neglected and bringing it back to life.” I actually paused the show and wrote it in my journal as a reminder that this is where my heart should beat. Whether it is for myself, or for someone who needs hope, God wants me to be a part of His restoration.
On Sunday during service I shared the following scripture from 2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV). In my personal life and ministry, I hope to take these words to heart and live them each day through time spent in community.
“Finally, brothers, rejoice.
Aim for restoration, comfort one another,
Agree with one another, live in peace;
And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Pastor John begins a 5 week series this Sunday, Amazing Faith (in an Age of Unbelief). Included on the back of each week’s sermon notes will be follow up questions to discuss in community. Talk around the kitchen table, meet someone for coffee, or join a small group. Be challenged to go deeper in community. Stop by the info table after service this week to explore the possibilities. A great book to go along with the new preaching series is Gabe Lyons most recent book, Good Faith – Being a Christian when Society thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme. I will have copies available for purchase at the table, as well as other FREE books for the taking.
This is a new year
May the God of restoration shine within each one of us