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Pastor's Blog

Check here each week to read a weekly post from Pastor Steven Harris.
Pastor's Blog

Restoring an Icon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)

I was recently reading an article while waiting for my car to get an oil change. As I was perusing Popular Mechanic I came across an article of how Jay Leno has restored an icon, a 300SL Mercedes-Benz Gullwing.  Mr. Leno made an interesting comment, “Some [cars] are restorations that folks may have barely started. Others are vehicles they’ve labored over, but never quite finished. Then there are the cars that people have owned for 40 years, and now they ask me if I’d like to buy them so they end up in a good home.  That’s how I came to own a 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing.”


Not that I am extolling all the virtues of Mr. Leno; however, in the process of this short allegory exudes a great truth: God came to restore an icon.


The word icon is defined as: “ a sign, a recognizable symbol, or even an image of a holy person.” More than that, a thesaurus would also claim icon is connected to the word image.  Men, women and young people are made in the incredible image of God (Genesis 1:27).  We know this truth set from the beginning in the Book of Genesis and reevaluated against this thought through out the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:49.)  This is the simple problem: we are an empty shell, a broken original or as some would say, “people that pale in comparison to what we were meant to be.”


Never forget, though, that you are an icon of the The Almighty God of the universe, time and expanse. He is the great I Am and we bare His image.


A. W. Tozer states that God came to redeem and restore a broken situation, not just rescue and redeem mankind--we often forget that ALL of creation was fragmented at the fall with Adam and Eve, therefore everything groans to be made whole as it was intended from the beginning (Romans 8:22,23).  So, I guess we could easily say that God is in the business of restoring icons or holy people made holy through Christ Jesus.


This is the incredible thought: If I am an icon of God’s original plan, he takes great pleasure in restoring me back to what I was intended to be. So take just a second and look back at Jay Leno’s comments:


1.     In the restoration business some folks barely get started.

Many people fail to even grasp the concept that God has a looming plan to restore the world as it was meant to be and His will cannot be stopped.  However, so many people do not, for various reasons, even look to God, understand His grand scheme or even attempt to believe there is hope to be found in the future.  They too quickly reject God and find pleasure in the mire and muck of this world--they never really get started searching for God, hoping for the unimaginable or believing they can be restored.  No matter what they have done, the can be restored.  So, they stop and never even get started looking to be made whole again.


My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9


2.     Other’s barely get started, but never quite finish.

I am not sure which is the saddest statement: a person barely gets started or a person that barely finishes?  Jesus clearly teaches that a person cannot put their hand to the plow and follow him and look backwards (Luke 9:62)--these two are in juxtaposition.  The same is true in the realm of restoration.  You cannot go halfway with God.  You cannot give him half of your life. You cannot hope He will partially finish your restoration.  The great truth is the simple concept: what God starts, God finishes.  God completely starts and he never quits until the very end.  (Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Kings 6:13; Hebrews 13:5.)  God’s great plan is to restore an accepting humanity and a waiting natural world.  I clearly do not implant in my mind that God is through with my broken vessel nor that I am unusable--I know He is not through with me, His damaged creation. He will not quit until all things are made right.


Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31


3.     Others see the entire project through to the end.

This is such an incredible statement--even in the context of the numerous cars Jay Leno has restored and keeps safe, clean and running smoothly.  People who persevere pouring their heart after a God of grace and mercy will find themselves, in the end, completely restored.  They become a true Icon again.  They are once again made whole.  Sin is erased as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and they, as simple mankind, find themselves whole again.  I have never met, nor will I, a man, woman or child made whole without the shed blood of Christ.  Christ, in His infinite wisdom did not let go of humanity, but found a way to bridge the gap between our sinfulness and God’s righteousness--through His substitutionary death on the cross.  So the cross is one of the last pieces of restoration.  His resurrection is one of the last pieces of restoration.  His return to Heaven and taking His throne again is the final piece of our restoration.  Thank God, he did not give up on me and leave me in the junkyard of a failed world, but reached down in love and grace to offer me to be made like I was fully intended to be--full of life, full of hope, full of joy, full of contentment, full of peace, full of guiltlessness, full of Him.  I am completely restored.


Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits --who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 103:2-5

Now, God, take me for a drive where we are intermingled for the most thrilling ride I can ever imagine.  You have my whole heart and my whole life.

Steven Harris