Walking in Love – rebuild, restore and renew

Isaiah 61:4-6

Walking in love by Rebuilding, restoring and renewing the ancient ruins.

George Methodist Church

13th October 2019

8am and 10am communion

Introduction : They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated, they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Rebuild

Restore

Renew

I believe we are in a season of having to find ways to look at what is clearly been ruined and devastated by generations of neglect and a lack of real awareness of the implications – both physically and spiritually.

There are many ruins in the world and we can spend the whole morning listing them and identifying them, but one which is the most devastating at the moment is souls that are in ruins on so many different levels. This is where we need to start – beginning with ourselves.

My prison experience on Thursday and the call of the Deputy Minister of Prisons on Wednesday to talk about what we can do to stop offenders going back to the same crimes and worse because of gang mentality learned in the prisons. The option of joining the Alpha Prison Ministry with Bergsig NG kerk.

The fact that Isaiah was sitting in Exile meant very clearly that he saw a broader picture of ruins than just Israel and this was a direct result of nations not being under the guidance and direction of the Lord.

We are called to rebuild, restore and renew in various ways.

  1. Rebuild

Rebuilding means that we have to start with what we have. We are not building from scratch but we build on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. We have been commissioned by the Lord to build properly and to rebuild where necessary.

  1. Restore

Restoration means that we don’t just patch up the surface and hope for the best, but rather that we dig down deep into the crevices and cracks of devastation and begin the process of restoring them. When we do this we are able to get back to the original divine purpose and plan of the Lord and if we look at the prophetic messages in the bible, it was clearly their desire to see the restoration of that which was before. Some had seen the beauty and splendor of the Lord’s plan and generations had kept this alive.

The Word tells us about God’s plan for restoration and that we are a part of it !!!!

Joel 2:25-26 ESV

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Jeremiah 30:17 ESV

For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’

Psalm 51:12 ESV

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

1 Peter 5:10 ESV

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

  1. Renew

In our day and age we need to renew a passion for plain and simple Godliness. We need to renew our ways of doing things to enable others to have access to the Lord in a way that relates to them wherever they may be.

We need to renew a deep Love for the Lord and His teaching so that this leads to loyalty. Loyalty not only to the Lord but also to family, friends and church.

We need to renew a unity amongst the Lord’s people so that we are seen to be standing together and not apart.

When we begin to do this, we will begin to see the ancient ruins restored and we will start to walk in the way of love being the hands and feet of our Lord.

Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Romans 12:2 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

David Steward chairperson of the FW de Klerk Foundation, Tuesday evening addressed a meeting at the George Methodist Church. Steward was in the former political dispensation, one the most senior civil servants being the chief of staff in pres. FW de Klerk’s office and also secretary to the cabinet. He also serves as an advisor to the Nobel Peace prize committee, quote “stay and fight for your rights as a citizen in the most beautiful country in the world.”

As we see that Babylon was not the final destination for the Israelites, Isaiah enables them to see that they would be busy in the process of rebuilding, restoring and renewing and so must we.

  1. Plowers

Just briefly as we move into the second part of this scripture verse 5 says “and strangers will feed your flocks.” It was within the prophetic vision of the Lord that people of different cultures and contexts would work together to provide for the land. The word plower is used in the KJV and it’s closer but not completely accurate when it comes to the original Hebrew – ikkar and the Greek is agros which is where we derive the name – agriculture. The German is Acker and the English is acre (we also use this as a form of measurement as you know when referring to land size). It actually means a digger or cultivator of the soil or farmer.

I love this because we are called to work together as “farmers of the land”. If you drive down to Cape Town you will notice thousands of hectares of well looked after land that is pretty fertile, but if you go over the Outeniqua Pass you will notice the challenges that farmers are facing due to lack of water. Our country is a bit like that now. We have what I believe is a majority of folk who are wanting to see our beautiful South Africa restored, but there is sadly a small minority who are causing devastation and we need to pray that the majority will be prepared to be part of the solution of plowing the land and vine dressers who will ensure a produce ready and available to our children’s children.

  1. Blessing

Again in conclusion Isaiah reminds us of the promise of the Lord – that if we do this, we will be called Priests of the Lord (a priesthood of all believers and minister of our God and you will feed on the wealth of nations and in their riches you will boast. Verse 6

Questions for the home groups

  1. Discuss in your groups a time when you saw the rebuilding of something either physical or spiritual and how it made you feel?
  2. What are some of the areas of restoration that you feel our country, our church, ourselves need to engage in?
  3. How do you feel the renewal process needs to happen and what are some ideas that you have as a group to do this?
  4. What does it mean to you to have a renewal of your minds? Romans 12:1,2
  5. How can we develop a spiritual mentality of being plowers of the land? Hebrew – ikkar and the Greek is agros which is where we derive the name – agriculture. The German is Acker and the English is acre (we also use this as a form of measurement as you know when referring to land size). It actually means a digger or cultivator of the soil or farmer.
  6. Read the spiritual blessing in verse 6 and see how it can apply to us in this time of our lives.

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