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“He Restores My Soul.” Psalm 23:3A January 20, 2010

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3A. Those 4 little words mean a lot to me.

How many of you have ever done something bad, that you knew was bad but you did it anyway? How many of you have ever gotten a hole in your clothes? How many of you have ever played in a mud puddle? How many have ever had to go to the dentist and had to get your teeth cleaned? How many have ever had to get a cavity filled? I have done ALL of these things.

I know a guy who sometimes didn’t brush his teeth carefully. He went to the dentist for a checkup because one of his teeth hurt. The dentist took an x ray and said that he would fix it up. He drilled away all of the rotten parts of the tooth, and put in a filling, and the tooth didn’t hurt any more. The guy was able to eat and drink and everything felt normal again.

I know a girl who was going to an Easter egg hunt. She brushed her hair, put on the prettiest, frilliest dress ever, and she was just beautiful. She went to the Easter egg hunt and started looking out in the grass for the hidden eggs, with a lot of other little kids. One of the others bumped her and she fell down right into a lot of mud. Her dress was covered with mud. Even her hair and her skin was all muddy. She got up and started to cry and looked for her daddy. Her daddy had already seen what had happened, and was already coming to help. He took off his jacket, wrapped it around the girl, picked her up and carried her to his car. He told her that everything would be OK, and they went home. He drew a warm bubble bath and put his little girl in the tub with some toys and helped her to wash until she was all clean again.

When we do something that is wrong, we know it’s wrong. We call that feeling our conscience bothering us. Our conscience bothers us because, just like that girl who fell in the mud felt the dirt on her clothes and hair and skin, we feel the dirt on our soul. Just like that tooth that needs to be filled, our soul hurts because it needs to be filled too. A very wise man named Blaise Pascal kept a journal, and in it he wrote these words:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

What it means is that in our souls we feel a cavity, just like the tooth that needs filling, and the only thing that can fill it is Jesus.

Everyone has done something wrong sometime, except of course for Jesus. I have two Bible verses to share with you:

I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Unrighteousness means all the stuff we do that is wrong. In another translation the word purify is translated cleanse, or clean. And confessing means telling God we know we have sinned and we’re sorry. I know I have sinned, and I am sorry that I haven’t always done the right things or made the right choices. Sometimes even though I have asked Jesus into my heart, I still don’t always make the right choices, and I sometimes do things that I know are wrong. This is why the next verse I want to share is very special to my heart.

Psalm 23:3 says “He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” I just want you to hear the first four words, and think about them: “He restores my soul.” Remember the girl in the mud, the boy who splashed just a little in the mud, the hole in the clothes, the cavity in the tooth? Jesus restores my soul.

My soul had a God-sized hole in it until Jesus filled it. If my soul were on the outside of my body, you would see that it used to look like the mud, the hole in the clothes, the cavity in the tooth, but Jesus made it full, and even better, he made it brand new. And now, as I follow Jesus, sometimes I still fall into the mud and I need him to make it brand new all over again. “He restores my soul.” If you haven’t let Jesus make your soul brand new, if you have never confessed your sins and asked Jesus into your heart, to take control of your life and help you make the right choices from now on, you can do this today.

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