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Seeds of the Kingdom

Rebuild or Reject?

by John Berry

10 December 2010

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Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10, NKJV

I was talking with someone recently who had been told by her garage that the engine on her car was damaged so much that the vehicle was not worth repairing. The work could be done as the vehicle body was in good condition, but the economics made it an nonviable proposition. The dilemma was then presented to the owner of the vehicle: ‘rebuild the engine of your car and gain a working vehicle, or reject the car and buy another one?’ Both ways would be expensive for her, but which way was the right way? The decision was eventually made when someone bought her another car (an ‘old banger’, but one that worked!) and her damaged car was scrapped.

I’m so glad God doesn’t choose us in terms of our value in money. Because God looks on the heart He knows our true condition, and frankly I believe we’re a pretty unattractive proposition. I’m aware we may all look reasonable on the outside, but our fallen human nature has had an effect on the inside part of us. Paul’s often quoted statement that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ summarises what for many of us is a terrible reality (Romans 3:23) . To use the car analogy our engine has received abuse, misuse, unreasonable stress, and something has ‘blown’. We can get the bodywork patched up, but rebuilding the engine is serious stuff. Ask Peter Horrobin!

If I were God I wouldn’t bother with the investment needed to restore me, but the Bible tells me that it was whilst we were still sinners that Jesus Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). In other words, God made the ultimate investment and He himself ‘got His hands dirty’ and dealt with the damage. As King David cried out to God in Psalm 51, quoted above, the Father in heaven responded with limitless love and rebuilt the life of the one He loved. And that’s true for every one who cries out to God for that ultimate make-over. God is prepared to make us new again, starting from the inside, as an eternal investment.

There are no ‘second-hand Christian’ stores? To God we’re all new creations, being re-created in Christ, to have relationship with the Father through Him. I may seem like a damaged, worthless car, but to my Father I am worth the life of His Son Jesus. God always chooses to ‘rebuild’, not to ‘reject’. But we sometimes cause a problem by rejecting Him as the ‘Rebuilder’. Keep on with the rebuilding of me Lord!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord God, that when You look on the inside and see our mess You choose restoration not rejection and You value us and deal with us in a loving way, prepared to pay the highest price for us. I’m sorry, Father, that I often seem to reject You in the way I live and speak and think. Thank You that even then You don’t reject me, Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.


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