35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.
There's little sadder to me than an empty house. Driving around Atlanta, its easy to see the scars of our nation's current economic situation. You can find whole neighborhoods that are more abandoned than occupied in pockets all around the city and surrounding suburbs. Those empty houses, boarded and barren were probably once filled with raucous families. There once may have been tv's in every room, toys scattered on the floor, curtains, pets. Or maybe they were occupied by a meticulous couple with nothing out of place. Kitchens once bristled with activity. Now, they are empty, cold. Wasted even.
It's an all too common metaphor for our lives. We come here full of potential. Most of us probably had celebrated arrivals into loving families. Then, somewhere along time, life throws in some ditches and curve balls and we find ourselves feeling as empty and purposless as one of those abandoned houses.
But there is hope.
There is no life wasted beyond the reach of God. He can make a life not only prosperous, but Eden-like, abundunt, lush, full and sustaining. There is no condition that we can reach that is a challenge for God. No depth of sorrow. No distance. No hardness of heart. Nothing in our lives is beyond the capabilities of a God Who loves us so much that He would bring a Son into the world just to have Him bear what we could not (John 3:16).Brokenness is just a good beginning for God.
There is one potential hinderance, however. It all rests with our acceptance. We have to be willing to believe and receive that God is, well, God. We have to be willing to accept Christ's sacrifice and Lordship. We have to be willing to accept that in all our understanding there are thoughts, ways, and purposes that are bigger than we are.
Perhaps you find yourself at one of those stages in life where it feels like you've lost everything. Perhaps you've moved away from the very thing you felt like you were here to do. Perhaps you feel like you've lost everything and you have no hope.
May I share a hope with you? If we feel like we've lost it all, then we have nothing to lose in trusting God. Just give yourself over to Him and watch what He does with wasted land. The Psalmist said we'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in season (Psalm 1:3).
At the beginning, God spoke into darkness and light happened. Won't you let Him speak into your darkness? His light is marvelous.
We often share stories of restoration at Fellowship. We look forward to hearing yours.
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.
22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
My Christmas wish for you? Restoration.
Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.fcchosengeneration.com) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages. Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fellowship Church can be reached at email@example.com.
Where Passions Become Reality
Because You Are a Chosen Generation
455 Highway 138 W, STE C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor