[RE & ER]
Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
God is a fan of the redo. And of restarts. And of rebuilding, rewriting, removing, renovating, rerouting, and recovering. Basically,
God is a fan of everything new. Of second chances. Of change.
With the new year, there is a ton of pressure to be, well, new. We want new bodies and new income and new health. But, becoming new in our faith and new in our relationship with God is hard. And takes commitment. And should be priority.
God uses the redo to make us better. He rewires our hearts and minds so we can be forgivers. He gives us time to regroup so we can be stronger. He renames us so we can be brothers and sisters. He recolors our worlds so we can be rejoicers.
God’s redo is available, but not easy. We have to focus on some other words to get there.
Repentance. True repentance (the real, good, biblical kind) requires more than just talking. It requires a surrender. Repentance is choosing to see things through the lens of God, and involves doing something about our shortcomings and failures. True and real and good repentance makes us different. Evidently and visibly different. Like Luke 3:8 says, We have to bear fruit.
Restitution. Story after story in the Bible, restitution is there. It is how Jesus discipled and taught and it held value. Restitution is still God’s desire today. The act of making things right. And better. The act of accepting responsibility, and owning mistakes. This is where the feet hit the pavement in this journey to be a better believer. It’s one thing to claim repentance, but restitution is the tangible evidence of growth.
Reconciliation. In the Old Testament, reconciliation is translated to English words like “forgive”, “purge away”, and “atone”. To reconcile is to make things right, and to be without tension. When Jesus died on the cross for us, he reconciled our wrongs. Our sins, our mistakes, our blemishes…it was all made right. It was all reconciled. We are called to atone with Him, to restore our faith in Him and to repair our relationships with others.
Restore. Psalm 51:12 reads “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit”. Restoration is all about doing the right thing, for the right reason, with the right attitude, over time. Restoration does not happen quickly. It takes practice, devotion, and willingness to let go of all the bad stuff this world has done. Restoring our faith and joy in Him is where we get to delight. It’s where the dancing happens. It’s where things can be made new.
Lucky for us, we have opportunities daily to repent, to give restitution, to reconcile, and to be restored. Lucky for us, we have a God who loves a good comeback and constantly roots for the underdog. We have a God who appreciates rejoicing, and we have a God who continually gives us reason to start again.