a terrific day for a little R&R.
“And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’” Matthew 8:2 NASB
Anyone who is familiar with the military knows that ‘R&R’ stands for “Rest & Recreation.” When our sons and daughters are away fighting to preserve our freedom or that of people in another country, periods of R&R are necessary to relieve the stress of war and to help our soldiers rest so that they may return to battle as refreshed and strong warriors for freedom.
Speaking in terms of spiritual R&R, we are not talking about Rest & Recreation. Instead, we are talking about Restoration & Renewal as sinners, in order that we may be better soldiers for Christ.
As Jesus came back down the mountainside after giving the Sermon on the Mount, He responded to the leper who asked for help. “Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:3 NASB).
We are all sinners. It is a fact that some work much harder than others at not sinning, but we are all sinners and therefore we are all in need, just like the leper, of the Restoration & Renewal that can only come from God.
In order to seek Restoration & Renewal, we must ask Jesus to “stretch out His hand” and touch us to make us clean again. And in order to do that, we must admit that we are sinners. Once we have asked God to forgive us and to restore us, we become stronger soldiers in His army who are then better equipped to fight temptation that might lead us into additional sin. But we also become better equipped to work with others and then help them to seek restoration for themselves.
We also need to be renewed, or rested in order that we retain our ability to fight on our own behalf and on behalf of others. Renewal comes from spending some quality time alone with God, praying for guidance, courage, wisdom, and strength as well as listening for whatever He may be trying to tell us. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31 NIV).
The forces of evil that tempt and taunt us on a daily basis continue to get stronger. Fighting temptation and helping others to fight it as well requires strong, well-rested soldiers. Unlike in the military, however, R&R with God is available as a gift for us as often as we need it – even every day. Take advantage of this gift of Restoration & Renewal today.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson