This Old House

15th Sunday after Pentecost“This Old House”

Isaiah 35.3–7

[3] With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
    and encourage those who have weak knees.

[4] Say to those with fearful hearts,

    “Be strong, and do not fear,

for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.

    He is coming to save you.”

[5] And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind

    and unplug the ears of the deaf.

[6] The lame will leap like a deer,

    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!

Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,

    and streams will water the wasteland.

[7] The parched ground will become a pool,

    and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.

Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish

    where desert jackals once lived.

_____________________
I’m currently hooked on fixer upper shows. I picked up the habit from my mama, who has one of the many popular shows on at any point of the day. There’s shows like Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, Love It or List It, Rehab Addict, and Property Brothers, to name a few. But I think it all began with a simple show that inspired this trend many years ago, This Old House. Remember Bob Vila?
Bob started hosting This Old House in 1979. It was well watched for ten years, inspiring people to make necessary home repairs and even go above and beyond to create a greater quality of life for their home. Bob was able to take a house that had serious problems and bring it back to life. Each show educated people on how an old house was really just a diamond in the rough. The restoration process was amazing.

Over the last few years, restoration shows have been trending, giving way to all sorts of entertainment. Many of you may have seen American Restoration with Rick Dale, who gives life to vintage items by fixing them up and reintroducing them to people. Others of you have seen American Pickers with Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. These guys basically go looking for junk and sell it at ridiculous prices because they know there is someone out there who will buy, who will find value in it like nobody else. The introduction to Mike and Frank’s show goes like this,

I’m Mike Wolfe. And I’m Frank Fritz. And we’re pickers. We travel the back roads of America looking to buy rusty gold. We’re looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We’ll buy “anything” we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own. And the people we meet? Well, they’re a breed all their own. We make a living telling the history of America…one piece at a time.

I love that line because it translates so well into our Christian faith. I’ve go back time and time again to a quote that I heard Dr. Terry Eves say while at Erskine college, “God doesn’t make junk; and He doesn’t junk what He’s made.” God values His creation and loves what He has made. God is in the restoration business, taking that which is broken or damaged, rusty or worn, and making it new again. The Scriptures are filled with stories of restoration and re-introduction.  

The numerous “heroes” in the Bible are nothing but people who were given a second, third, and fourth chance at letting God do something amazing through them. Many of them were screw ups at best. The Biblical people of Israel a case in point, as they fell out of relationship with God through disobedience and rebellion, over and over again. But God continued to take these broken people and heal them again and again.

Our scripture this morning speaks to this point, as Isaiah has spoken to the people about the judgment coming because of their sin. Sin has worn out the houses of the hearts and God has found them to be in terrible shape. God’s desire is to come and remodel their hearts and to give them a life unlike the one they lived in before. A house, when fallen in or left uncared for, cannot hope to be fixed. It lies in certain ruin until its fortune changes. The hope of restoration is simply luck.

But unlike a house, our hope is a confirming hope; a hope that delivers through–our–trust–and–obedience–to God. We can rest assured that we will be made well, that we will be restored through letting God bring the houses of our hearts back to beauty and strength. But the question I pose is, “Will you let God work on you?” Will you let God pull into the driveway of your life, with His big truck and numerous tools, and do the work that only He knows how to do

Unlike the fixer upper shows, there’s nothing you can do about many of the problems in your life. There isn’t another homebuilder or contractor who can come in and tell you how to fix these issues. Only the One who made the home knows the home well enough to fix the issues that the storms of sin and the brokenness of neglect have caused.

I want what today what our Scripture tells us, for the areas of my life that are blind, deaf, lame, and mute to see, hear, walk and sing! I’m tired of trying to fix myself, aren’t you?! I need to let the Master Builder in; I need to let Him fix me up; strengthen my walls, update my appliances, put on a fresh coat of paint and make me livable again!

Putting yourself at the mercy of the Master Builder means committing to living differently. It means saying “yes” every time He has a new project in mind for the house of your heart. God may want you to be in the Scriptures more, whether in Bible study or just simply beginning with the Psalms before you finish that 1st cup of coffee in the morning. He may want you to join the prayer team or the evangelism team, engaging in outreach through lifting others up or serving them through our community initiatives.  

I could go on and on, but here on the other side of our previous message series on prayer, I ask you, are you listening? Will you acknowledge God’s construction truck in the driveway, or answer the door as He’s come to fix the latest leak or power outage in your spiritual life?

Do NOT shrink back from the hammer and nails, for Jesus took those nails so that we might be healed and fixed in a way only God could accomplish. What we want for you here at Smyrna 1st is for you to see God, to see God at work in your heart and in the heart of your families. But you’ve got to let God work; you’ve got to say yes to God as He knocks at the door of your heart. Will you let Him in today? Will you let God work on you? Will you let Him work on your family? Let’s come to the table this morning and in our coming to the table and our kneeling in prayer, let’s not just take the bread and the juice into our bodies but let us take Jesus into our hearts. Let us pray…

_____________________

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