Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Well, this week, I got a first-hand chance to do just that. Without mentioning a name, I’ll relate some of what happened.

 A dear Christian brother whom I have known over 30 years, and admired for his steadfast faith, called me. I haven’t had regular contact with him for the past few years, only once or twice a year mostly. He needed a place to live. He had been living with his Mother after his Father died years back, working the same job since high school, and he never married so he could keep his focus on serving God. A wonderful goal, to say the least. This man is one of those people who would give you the shirt off his back, and did so for many through the years. I often admired his selfless attitude and wished I was more like him. A godly man if I ever met one.
But his call left me shocked at what had happened in his life. Somehow, in his love for helping people, he got involved with trying to help an ex-convict. Because of this “friend”, he started hanging around with the wrong crowd. Got involved in a homosexual relationship. If that wasn’t enough, the ex-con also got him on drugs. My friend got deep in debt, refinanced the home he and his mother lived in, couldn’t keep up with supporting his “friend” who was conning him out of all his money, driving and wearing out his car, and he lost his and his mother’s home.

 He shoplifted to eat and got caught. Lost his career job and ended up homeless, and the ex-con was still leeching off him, can you believe it? Of course my friend was working full time to support his leeching friend who, by the way, was also violent, and was abusing him physically and it all caved in on him and he called me. His car was in serious need of costly repair, and the license is due. Did I mention that he also had his drivers license revoked and he can’t drive for a year? I still don’t know all the details of that one. But here’s the point, it would be easy to say, Wow, he made some really bad choices, and I’m going to steer clear from him, because I don’t have time for his problems.
Instead, I took him into my home so I could get him some help and get him back on track with God. What I didn’t know was that his ex-con friend was part of the package, who moved in with him. My family didn’t really feel safe with this ex-con in our home, and I couldn’t leave my daughter and grandkids who live with us, alone with him in good conscience. After a couple days it became apparent that “Leech” didn’t want anything to do with God, so it was time to send him down the road…alone. He didn’t want any restoration. He just wanted a meal ticket. On the other hand, my friend wanted a fresh start and a chance to get his life back, so we’re working on that.
You know, it says faith without works is dead, and something like this situation is where the rubber really meets the road. The Bible says to RESTORE such a person, and restore means to cause to become as before, to undo damage, to bring back to a useful state. It would be so easy for any of us to look the other way, as we all have our hands full enough already. But that scripture ministered to me so clearly RESTORE….RESTORE….RESTORE! How many of us would relegate someone like this to the trash heap of life for the bad choices they made? Especially one who once walked with God and fell away? Let me ask you this….what if that someone was YOU?

What if you somehow over a period of time found your relationship with God had fallen to the wayside and you ended up like this man? Would you want someone to help you get things right? How sad it is, as I told a few “Christian” friends this week of this man’s situation (without saying who), I heard everything from “I wouldn’t waste my time on someone who did God that way” to “He certainly knew better.” Yes, I’ll admit, he did. Another said, “I guess he got what he deserves.” Then I knew I had my answer.  What if WE got what we deserve? Oh, God, please don’t give me what I deserve! I deserve death and hell, for mine was a life of sin before Jesus came and rescued me. I deserved no mercy, for I gave no mercy back then.

 Yet God, in all His compassion, saw fit to rescue me from the trash heap of life. I was dying of melanomas and liver cancer. I was a jerk with a capital J. Underlined, at that! I didn’t care about anyone but the “Big 3″….Me, Myself, and I. In spite of the fact I was getting what I deserved as just payment for the life I had lived, God looked at me with different eyes than I used to look at others. I looked at others with eyes of judgment and condemnation and contempt and “better than thou”. He looked at me with eyes of mercy and compassion.

I saw myself as the sinful person I really was, and was sorry for my sin. I repented and turned away from my sin and determined to live the rest of my life for God. To this day, I don’t know what He saw in me that was worth saving, but He did anyway. He healed my sick body, and poured unconditional love upon me. I couldn’t understand how to change, but He helps me, day by day. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m so glad I’m no longer the way I was. God is indeed the God of mercy and grace. And He is daily working on developing that characteristic in me. Some days I make His work much harder than others, but yet, I said, BUT YET, He is always loving and patient with me. He is busy RESTORING me. Restoring me to what? To what I was? NO! He is restoring me to what He created me to be in the first place…His child, created in HIS image, with HIS heart, HIS mind and HIS love, and HIS purpose. He is restoring me so I can become a useful tool in His hand. And that’s His plan for you, too.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love for fixing broken stuff. First it was toys. Then broken watches, then broken cars, then broken furniture. Now it’s broken lives. I was broken and I know how it feels. And now I’m restored and I know how THAT feels. Much better, thank you! So much better, in fact, that I highly recommend YOU try it. If you are broken and need restored, Jesus is waiting for your call right now. Just call on Him. No busy signal, no answering machine, no “Leave a message”. Just help…right now!
If someone YOU know needs restored, don’t miss out on your blessing. Don’t wait for “someone else” to do it. Aren’t YOU a someone? Go to that hurting person, love them, pray for them, RESTORE THEM! Like it says in Galatians, Restore such a one in a spirit of meekness. Meekness isn’t weakness. Reject the sin, but you dare don’t reject the sinner! They probably feel rejected enough as it is! Where repentance is needed, don’t settle for excuses and lies. Start helping them be accountable for their actions. You aren’t helping someone by enabling their sin. You’re helping them by bringing them OUT of sin. When is the best time to repent? Right NOW! Then, start the restoration process with them. God forgives those who ask and repent. It might not be a bad idea if YOU forgive them as well, and remember, God never throws your sins back in your face. Maybe that means we should do likewise, hello??? Rome wasn’t built in a day. It may take some patience to see some real change and progress, but hey, wouldn’t YOU like a little mercy from God?
The word for today is RESTORE. There are a whole lot of people who need restoration. You may be one of them. Sometimes people are like an old crumbling house that has brand new siding. Looks great on the outside, but falling apart on the inside. God is MR. FIXER. He is the Master Restorer. He does it right from the foundation, up. And He’s open for business RIGHT NOW, and will meet you in your house, or HIS !
p.s. If you need prayer and feel God’s a long distance call for you, then call me. It’s a local call from here.