Cleansing and restoration has everything to do with the integrity of who God is.
Today’s Scripture reading comes from Malachi 3:3, quoting from the NASB:
“He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.”
Will I be an agent of restoration? Restoration has to do with being allowed to get back on the right path. It occurs when one has erred, paid the price and repented of the error. Restoration allows one to prove that true, permanent, positive change has occurred.
Often servant leaders have the opportunity to practice being an agent of restoration. What causes us to second-guess whether a person deserves a second try? Perhaps it has to do with not wanting to give counterparts the impression of weakness, of questionable judgment or of being a soft touch.
Should desire to keep up good impressions with peers and counterparts replace God’s restorative act? In the sight of the Lord, restoration might be a multiple part process. Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.” God restores and renders fit for service the repentant one who confesses sin. In Malachi 3, God announced the sending of a messenger who would purify the priests, making what was “not fit for service, fit for service.” The act of purification restores a person or thing to the original value.
Whether I accept the prerogative of being an agent of restoration or not, it will not nullify the cleansing power and restoration God grants through confession and repentance. Cleansing and restoration has everything to do with the integrity of who God is. As God completes His refining process, we must be mindful that if we want God to forgive us, we must be willing to forgive and help restore others.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, would you say you are an agent of restoration in word or deed? Forgiveness is a noble act that helps facilitate restoration.
- Second, what role can our words play in the restorative process?
- Third, in real terms, think of the purifying cycle as spiritual breathing. When we confess our sins, we exhale. We inhale by receiving God’s forgiveness.