Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Restoration: Before and After

by Julie Smith

“Who is a God like You?” … He delights in unchanging love.
Micah 7:18, NASB

My daughter enjoys watching a TV series called ‘Homes under the Hammer’, in which the presenters view a significantly run-down house that’s going for auction, give their opinion of the property, not withholding all the potential problems, and after the sale has gone through discuss the renovation plans with the purchaser. Then some while later they return to compare the often badly neglected or even vandalised ‘before’ pictures, with the now repaired and beautifully refurbished home.

As I watched an episode with my daughter recently, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the passionate heart of our Father God to rescue and restore the damaged houses of people’s lives, which perhaps others might see as beyond repair or just too much trouble. The purchaser who saw all the potential, and the workmen who worked with real skill and commitment to complete the renovation work, were illustrating something of the Master Craftsman, who has in His heart complete restoration for even the most broken of people, and knows and is committed to every step of the process of rebuilding, restoring and redeeming all that’s been lost (Philippians 1:6 & Joel 2:25).

The programme reached a celebratory note with the presenters, the property developer and the workmen joyfully looking at the house that had been so dirty and dilapidated, now clean and beautifully restored and fulfilling all its potential. Again I couldn’t help but be reminded of Isaiah 61 where the prophet speaks of Jesus coming to ‘give beauty for ashes’ (verse 3). I also thought of the story of the prodigal son, and the level of joy and celebration there must be in the Father’s heart when He’s rescued and rebuilt a life. Then there’s joy as that person comes into their destiny and God’s healing begins to flow out of them to others: ‘rebuilding the ancient ruins and restoring the places long devastated; renewing the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations’ (Isaiah 61:4).

But right at the end of the programme came one big difference that really made me think. The loudest cheer went up as the estate agent announced his dramatically increased valuation of the property. I thought about God’s valuation of a damaged and broken-down life ‘before’ receiving His healing and restoration, and ‘after’. Although we may be better equipped for life, and even to serve Him and minister to others when He’s poured His love and healing into us, the amazing thing is, He doesn’t see us as of any more value. In His eyes, we were always worth Him sending Jesus to die on the cross for.

I remember someone once illustrating this truth using a £5 note. It was crisp and new. They screwed it up, tore it and jumped on it, then handed it to someone, and asked, “Is this worth any less now?” Of course, the answer was “No, it’s still worth £5.”

No matter what we’ve suffered in life, no matter how we’ve dealt with it, no matter how low or bad we feel, absolutely nothing can change our personal worth and value to God (Romans 8:38-39). That really is a profound and powerful, life-changing truth – let’s allow Him to take it deep into our innermost being today.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that no matter what stage I’m at on my journey of healing and restoration with You – whether I’m well on the way, half-way through or haven’t even started, Your ways are not man’s ways, and the value You place on me is just the same. It never changes. Thank You that You considered ME worth sending Jesus to die on the cross for. Please help that precious truth to sink down into my innermost being, help me to feed on it and allow it to truly change my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Julie Smith is married to Roger, and they have two grown up children. Having received deep healing in her own life, primarily through ministry at Ellel Grange and then attending the Modular School at Glyndley Manor, she went on to join the Glyndley associate ministry team. She now works part-time for Ellel Ministries and is an associate teacher with the ministry. She is passionate to see others restored and released into the abundant life Jesus won for us all.


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