God of Restoration

God has always been a God of restoration. We learned through our last series how he patiently restored our relationship with him across generations. We know from our own lives that he restores us through grace and forgiveness. We long and pray that he would bring restoration to the most broken places in our world. As we emerge from a year of loss and constant change and enter tentatively into the bustle and activity of life again we are not the same as we were. In this series we want to explore together how we can pursue God’s restoration in every area of our lives from our rest to our work, in our bodies and in our minds, in our relationships and in our worship.

1. A Full Life

 John 10:10

Naomi Black - 4 Jul 2021

What does it mean to live a full life? For some people, life is always full – too full! Full of schedules and deadlines and people and responsibilities. For others, this year has stripped more from us than we’d ever imagined. So, what does a full life in Jesus mean, how is God restoring fullness to us and how does that fullness differ from the ‘fullness’ that the world parades?

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2. Restoring Rest

 Matthew 11:28-30

Mae Moore - 11 Jul 2021

We need a restored rhythm of rest – not just time off, not just a holiday; we need a restored vision for a rested life held in the rhythm that Jesus provides for us. As we move from inactivity to activity (or perhaps from activity to even more activity!) let’s allow God to speak into our lives first about what the rest that he invites us into could look like and why we have been given it.

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3. Restoring Work

 Colossians 3:23-24

Steve McLeister - 18 Jul 2021

What does it mean for us to work with all our hearts, as if we are working for the Lord? Work has changed for many this past year, from furlough, to redundancy, to working from home, to retirement as well as the large portions of work that encompass family life. How might God be restoring a new purpose to us in our work, whatever it is that we do? How can we be rewired in our vision for serving and sharing Jesus in our ‘places’ of work?

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4. Restoring your Body

 1 Chorinthians 6:12-20

Zak Robb - 25 Jul 2021

Our bodies really matter to God; he made them perfectly. What we put into our body matters to God, how we care for our body matters to God, what we do with our body matters to God. What does it mean today to glorify God in our bodies? How can we love and care for our bodies well as an expression of worship to God?

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5. Restoring your Mind

 Philippians 4:6-7

Odele Harding - 1 Aug 2021

Our mental health is important to God. God cares about our thought patterns, the things we tell ourselves about ourselves. He cares about how we view others, he cares about the things that keep us up at night and moments where anxiety takes over any clarity of thinking. What might it look like to live trusting that that is true? How might it shape our thinking to really believe that everything matters to God? He invites us to present all our thoughts before him with thankful hearts, as we acknowledge that God cares about each one. But more than that, He offers us something in return. Holy Spirit offers us peace that transcends our understanding - peace which can get past our thinking brains, which covers us and guards us in Jesus. What might it look like to take time to allow God to give us that peace?

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6. Restoring Relationships

 Matthew 5:21-24

Andy Harding - 8 Aug 2021

Relationship is how God chooses to posture himself towards us, Jesus made it possible for us to have a personal relationship with God. Relationships really matter to God. The relationships in our lives will have changed in so many ways over the pandemic – kids at home, more time with a spouse, living alone, limitations on seeing friends, dating, not dating, video calls, emails. How can we take the words of Jesus seriously here, that how we think and speak of one another is so important to God, our thoughts and words over others are not only shaping our relationships, they’re shaping us too! How might God be restoring a vision for Godly relationships amongst us?

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7. Restoring your soul

 Matthew 16:24-27 and Psalm 23

Zak Robb - 15 Aug 2021

Your soul is the essence of who you are, the part that is hardwired to know the presence of God. So how is it with your soul? This past year has been an exposing time, so much has been stripped away, places of identity have shifted. In our restoration, we need to use solitude to be present to ourselves and to God. The way of Jesus is to lay down ourselves, a daily decision to choose the path of sacrifice, which counter-intuitively is the way to restoration. And restoration of the soul comes from surrender to Jesus, believing that He has the best plan for our life.

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