May 21, 2015


Summer will be officially here in one month which means that my hockey season is ‘finally’ over; at least I think it is unless…of course…I choose to play in a men’s summer league…(Insert smiley face here). Either way it’s time to wash the hockey gear as I make my decision….
And along with this transition into summer comes a change in the weather and a season of storms; which can be good or bad depending on your perspective.
Perhaps I was a “bad” dad, but when the weather was inclement, I would actually invite my children outside to look up at the storm that was on the way. Sometimes when the weather report predicted something severe in nature, we would lie on the grass and watch the swirling clouds and ominous colors.
As I said; I may have been a “bad” dad. My children (and my wife) would defend me by saying that they survived just fine…
But there is another side of summer storms that causes some concern: Storms cause destruction through high winds, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, blazing wildfires, flooding, mudslides, etc. leaving in their path ruin, destruction, havoc and irrevocable and often widespread damage and destruction on a large or small scale.
Homes, businesses, cities, and even lives are lost as the aftermath leaves a trail of ruins that for some seem impossible to fathom ever being able to repair.
I personally saw this years ago after a tornado hit a small town in southern Minnesota, Cathy and I worked with other volunteers cleaning up what was a house spread over a mile of a neighboring farmer’s corn field. He needed to harvest his crop without damaging his farm implements (due to all of the debris).
Then there are the storms of life that leave an aftermath of ruins much like the natural storms. For some, it is a ruin that they never seem to be able to get over, let alone have any hope that things could be rebuilt…the way they were before the storm.
One of the greatest obstacles to repairing the ruins is not knowing what to do or where to start. So the idea or concept that ruins could be “glorious” seems even more ludicrous (causing laughter because of absurdity; provoking or deserving derision; ridiculous or incongruous)!
And yet, the Bible, Isaiah 61 gives us a picture that it is possible for a ruin to be glorious: In Isaiah 61:4 Isaiah writes:
“And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.”
The Lord is saying (through the prophet Isaiah) that He will change the ruins into something glorious!
How are the ruins able to be rebuilt? It is because (v1)
 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound”
And what are the results of the Lord’s anointing? (V2-11)
  • Comfort for all who mourn!
  • Beauty for ashes!
  • Everlasting joy instead of mourning!
  • Praise for the spirit of heaviness!
  • Double honor instead of shame!
  • Rejoicing instead of confusion!
  • Possessing double!
  • An everlasting covenant!
  • Salvation!
  • Righteousness!
  • And God is glorified!
That, my friend, is the message of the Gospel! That no matter where your life is today it can be rebuilt! In fact, that is what the Gospel is all about!
The Gospel is for those whose lives have ended up in a state of ruins. It proclaims to ruined lives that the love of the Father is indiscriminate and available to whoever asks. And although the pain of our ruined lives reaches far, His help reaches farther because His love is grace is given, done, bestowed, or obtained without charge or payment; free; voluntary.
What is the Gospel (the good message)?  
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)”
So how do you get your ruined life rebuilt? It is really about stopping and asking for help. The Bible tells us we can have it:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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