February Message From Pastor Gary: Restore

Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:7)

I ’m wrong; I’ve failed; my mistake, my fault, I’m not perfect. . . . I’m a sinner. We’ve been wrong; we’ve made mistakes; we are all not perfect, and we are all sinners. Are there many sentences more difficult to say? We may struggle through “I’m sorry” or even “You were right,” but saying “I was wrong” — that’s a very different story.
Yet as followers of Jesus Christ, we start our relationship with the Father through Jesus by admitting our sin — by saying, “I’m wrong. Father, see my heart, that I repent!”

And guess what. . . .

Confessing keeps our relationship with him vibrant, honest, and flourishing.

Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80 takes the form of a community lament, a humble plea. It’s an anchoring thought or line, a place to draw a line in the sand and say, “Today is a new day.”

A new day for me, and new day for our church, and a step towards our future.
Today we stop looking back. Today we focus on our future. Today is the first day of the rest of our life. Today restoration begins in our hearts as individuals.

And what does that mean?

It means that if you want our Sunday school, our youth groups, our Bible studies, our church, even our nation to be better, it starts with you first.

Then, your influence can spread to others.

See my heart, for I repent;
hear my humble plea
to re-new our Covenant.
Jesus, shine on me!
New beginnings light my way.
Jesus, shine on me!

As we all stop singing “Shine on Me,” we are thinking “You go first.” You’re asking, “What did I do?”
It’s not that there is anything anyone of us has done individually. But before we as a church start taking our next steps towards our future, it is important that we individually, cleanse and renew our hearts before God so that he can fill and renew our hearts and our church together.

Lead us in your light today. Jesus, shine on us!

In Christ’s service, Pastor Gary

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