Sermons

Making Restitution

by Preston Nichols

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Scripture: 2 Sam 12:1-9 Nov 26, 2023

Sin creates opportunities for injustice, demanding restitution to restore broken trust and relationships; Christ made restitution for our sins through his death, enabling reconciliation between man and God; in light of Christ's sacrifice we must seek repentance, reconciliation with others when we have wronged them, and forgiveness when others seek to make amends.

Transcript

Good morning. Good to see everybody out. Good to finally be here. Let me get my notes up here.

Just want to say quick thanks and express my wife and I our gratitude for you guys. I've been really thankful for just the opportunity to be here. But not only that, but you guys have been incredibly welcoming so far, especially Travis and Jan. I want to thank them for hosting us and just look forward to the opportunity this weekend to get to know you all.

And to spend some time together this weekend I don't know if you heard or who all was in there in class this morning but, you know, come up, talk to us, get to know us, we want to get to know as many of you guys as we can and also as a side note, Jimmy Sims is not here, I went to Florida College with Jimmy, he was in my wedding, I was in his wedding, we're really good friends, Do not believe a word he says about me, please.

Take it with a pinch of salt. No, Jimmy's a good friend. Him and definitely the way I got here was definitely through talking to people like Jimmy, good friends, people that I respect when I'm reaching out looking for a new preaching opportunity. And your reputation here at Timberland Drive really precedes itself.

So whether or not the Lord wills that we end up here or not, I just want to say that, you know, We're so happy that the work that you guys are all doing here for the kingdom and that that you guys are here and we're thankful for the, for the work that Harold, for Reagan, the elders, and all of you are doing together.

And so we just want to express the thanks for being here this morning to turn the, to turn our mind to the message this morning. We're going to be talking. Thank you. Here we go. Are we going? There we go. All right, this is where we're going to be talking about making a restitution. And, you know, restitution is one of those things I think we can all relate to because we've all been in a situation where either we've been the person who is needing to be the one initiating the restitution to make it happen.

And then in other cases, we've been the one who requires restitution to be made. And I think we can all relate to this because at the end of the day, everybody on the inside has a desire for reconciliation. And whether that is, you know, on a personal level as an individual with fractured relationships with each other, or if, you know, in terms of our relationship with God, everybody desires, I think, in their heart, the need, they have the need.

for restitution. So what we're going to do this morning is first we're going to start in Exodus chapter 22 with the laws of restitution. And this is going to be the thread that we kind of pull through the, our sermon this morning. So if you want to start this really quickly, Exodus 22 one, if a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep.

So that's the law that kind of, we're going to uncover the underlying principles behind it in some other sections here in Exodus 22 as we go. And we're going to kind of trace that through a couple different stories. And just talk about what it means to make restitution and what it means to also receive restitution when it's being made as well.

So, this morning the first story I want to kind of talk about is in is in 2 Samuel 12, verses 1 through 9, a story we all know really well. The story of David's post David's sin with Bathsheba. And now, Nathan the prophet is coming to him in order to, to charge him with the sin. And the first point that I wanna, I wanna bring out as far as David's story is sin creates the opportunity for injustice.

Sin creates the opportunity for injustice. So let's read 2 Samuel 12, 1 through 9, and we'll jump off from here. And the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said to him, There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb.

Which he had bought, and he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guests which had come to him.

But he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it. For the man who had come to him. Then David's anger was greatly kindled against against the man. And he said to Nathan, as the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die. He shall restore the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and because he had no pity.

Nathan said to David, you are the man. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul, and I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.

Why have you despised the word of the Lord to do what is evil in his sight? One of the reasons that I love this story so much is how tactful Nathan is in approaching David. Because Nathan understands, you know, the king's, you know, he's been sinning. He hasn't been being who he should be. And so he brings him this court case before him because the king is the one who decides in a lot of cases in the biblical laws.

Who, he makes judgments on different cases. You see that especially in Solomon and that kind of instance with the baby and the two mothers and the sword. And David, you know, as he hears this really terrible story that plays out before him about this rich person taking advantage of a poor person.

He gets really upset because, as Deuteronomy 17 talks about, he's the king, he knows the laws, and he even cites Exodus 22 here. And so, he's wanting, ultimately, for this individual to be killed, but the law limits him in, in this regard, and so, now he, he says, okay, well, he's gonna have to pay fourfold for what he's done.

But when Nathan's words hit him, they really, they really pierced David's heart. And David, in verse 13, he says, you know, I have sinned against the Lord. And then Nathan said to David, The Lord has put away, or also put away your sin, and you shall not die. And so, end of story, right? Well, no. David, even though he may have killed the man through, who he stole his wife, the person through, the person to who he should make restitution to here, he doesn't get that opportunity.

He can't make the restitution that he should be able to make. And so, we end up finding out as the story unfolds that three events are going to be taking place through which David is going to be able to make restitution. You know, first the sword is not going to depart from his house. And we see that play out through the rest of Samuel and Kings.

The destruction that takes place in his own family. We see ultimately in Absalom's rebellion how David may have taken Bathsheba in private, but here his wives will be taken in public by Absalom. And then, third, the child that Bathsheba was pregnant with... would end up dying as well. So in 2 Samuel 12, we learned that when injustice, when it takes place, when it occurs, when sin creates that opportunity, it requires restitution to be made.

Because sin really creates kind of this imbalance in justice. And seeks to restore it. And so, God cares deeply about injustice, the injustice caused by sin, but he also deeply cares about restitution as well. So, let's keep moving forward and talk about that idea that injustice demands restitution.

So, I think, when I read the outcome of 2 Samuel 12, I don't know about you, but you kind of have rose colored glasses when you, when you look at David. And you almost feel sorry for him at times. And you may think, you know, this guy, he's the man after God's own heart. This, this kind of seems like an excess.

Why, why did God have to take so much from David because of his sin with Bathsheba? And I think, Also, when you read Exodus 22, you probably ask, okay, well, why is four times the sheep required for one stolen sheep? I mean, David, you know, why, why did David, why did the people around him also have to suffer so much for just this one woman that was taken?

For one sheep that's taken, why such an excess for restitution to be made? How does that, how is that fair? How does that make any sense? And so we need to talk about, well, okay, well, what is actually fair? But, you know, at the end of the day, when we're the perpetrators of injustice, when we're people who have sinned and created that, that opened that door for that, that injustice to take place, we need to understand that we have lost the ability to claim fair treatment.

And a really good example of this, I think, is in Luke 23. A thief himself. And the, one of the thieves hanging on the cross in Luke chapter 23, verses 39 through 43. It says in verse 39, One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us! But the other rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds. But this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And he said to him, truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. And so the thief on the cross was able to recognize very quickly That he was facing just retribution for what he had committed, the crime that he had committed.

And so, when we're honest, I think that we understand that injustice, it really demands payment. And that payment, a lot of times, is very painful for us. But again, why, why does it have to hurt so bad? Why does restitution have to hurt so bad? Why four times? Why not just an eye for an eye, right? Well, I think if we read in Exodus 22 as well, um, we understand that restoring fourfold, it makes restitution for broken trust.

Look with me again in Exodus chapter 22 in verse 9. Exodus chapter 22 in verse 9. It says, and this is after the list of a number of different laws where they're talking about the restitution that needs to be made for different negligence theft, different things like that. It says in verse 9, for every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing of which one says, this is it, the case of both parties shall come before God.

The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor. And so Exodus 22 verse 9 really kind of gives us the full picture because it helps us understand the restitution. Restoring fourfold ultimately makes that bridge back where broken trust is now mended and now reconciliation is made more possible.

So you may think about the aspect of broken trust when it comes to sin and injustice. Think about in the relationship of marriage where, okay, you and your spouse decide maybe you're not gonna spend, you know, it's just Black Friday, maybe your wife says, hey, it's not in the budget, I don't want you to go get that new rod, reel, that new that new bow or whatever that you were gonna get, I know it's on sale, but we don't have the money, it's not in the budget, and you go behind your wife's back and you maybe buy it anyways, we say, I mean, it was on sale, right, you know, it was, it was just a bow, it's not gonna break the bank, like, we're not hurting that bad, Well, you know, it may have cost whatever amount of money that you paid for it.

Let me say 50 bucks. I know a bow is probably a lot more expensive than that. It may cost you 50 bucks but maybe it cost you, you know, 50, 000 dollars in emotional, you know, credit points or some, a breach of trust with your wife, right? We all know what that's like. Or maybe not keeping the promises that you make to your children.

You tell your kids repeatedly, Hey, I'll be at that game this afternoon. I'll be at that recital. I know you've been working really hard. You've been practicing. Well, maybe you start letting work get in the way and that becomes a pattern of behavior. And now you've broken the trust with your child. That may take...

years to get back at times. Maybe you're a person that is not really a good steward and so people start lending you things or letting you borrow something and you're not really, you don't really take good care of things that people entrust you with. Maybe that's not even physical things, maybe it's just secrets.

Maybe people confide in you and you're kind of loose with your lips or maybe you just don't care very much about the, the care that a person has for a possession they've entrusted you with. And then you go and you spread their, their dirty laundry out or maybe you destroy something that they've given you, you know, that's the type of thing that really takes a lot of time to bring trust back.

And not only that, you know, you're keeping this person possibly hurting them from being, or having the desire to actually share and to be generous with other people maybe in the future as well. And so when we think about Excess 22 and this law that, with the... These donkeys, this ox and the sheep, you know, there's a lot more at stake here than just some animal.

I mean, first of all, for them, in their context, you know, it wasn't just like, you know, today you've got a donkey in maybe your backyard or something just because you can have a donkey, I guess. I mean, that was their livelihood, that was transportation, that was something that helped them with their agriculture, for their...

Production of food and tilling the soil. Or for sheep, you know, maybe they're, they provide meat. They provide wool for clothing and different things like that. I mean, there was so much more at stake than just a sheep, and potential really is lost in these type of situations. You know, future offspring from that sheep that you may have had future plowed fields that you may have had an income off of, that now you can't till the ground because you don't have this animal.

You don't have that, those four sheep that you were hoping that were going to come in this year because you stole the one. I actually don't know how many sheep, or you, lambs? Yeah, lambs that are sheep. Anybody know that? I'm not sure. I'm a cow guy, so ask me about cows, I can tell you, but I have no idea about sheep personally.

But anyways, so injustice I think often occurs when the perpetrator really doesn't value the other person. That they're stealing from. They care a little about that person themselves or a little about the possessions and what they mean to the owner. So you think about in Nathan's case law here.

You know, that lamb, that little lamb, that little daughter lamb that is representative of Bathsheba here, you know, it didn't mean anything to the rich man. David had a whole bunch of wives. He didn't need this lamb, he didn't need this woman, and yet he took her anyways. But to that poor man, to Uriah, that was like a daughter to him, or an actual analogy, it was his wife, right?

And so he didn't really care about Bathsheba and why he was taking her, he thought she was beautiful, but he didn't take into account what she meant to Uriah. And so, so often I think our sin may seem really small in our own eyes. When we ask this question, you know, why is four times necessary? But I think if we really take into account the person that we've hurt, so often our sin is so much bigger than we ever really imagined in the first place.

And then, let's continue on here and understand as well that, you know, our sin, As we said, it's so much bigger than we could ever imagine. So even in the case of David here in 2 Samuel chapter 12, it was so much more than about this sheep, about, about Bathsheba. It was about something even more serious than that.

And David's sin ultimately he recognizes was against God. And ultimately he recognizes even though he has sinned against this man, Uriah, he has sinned against God. And so he admits that in verse in, or ultimately admits it in Psalm 51. But, you know, it's, it's, Samuel says, or Nathan says, in 2 Samuel 12 verse 9, he says, Why have you despised the word of the Lord to do evil in His sight?

You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. And David, as we know, the famous Psalm chapter 51, he recognizes how he sinned against God. And this is what he says in verses 4 verse A, or the beginning of verse, Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

And so David, after recognizing He has sinned against Uriah. He, he says here in Psalm chapter 51, no, no, no, no. It's, I haven't sinned against even Uriah. Ultimately, he recognized, I have sinned against God. And this causes the mind to think about Joseph in Genesis chapter 37, when Potiphar's wife approaches him, wanting to lie with him.

What does he say? You know, how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? He doesn't even mention Potiphar here. He goes straight and understands that he would be sinning against God. But I think, you know, here's the problem when it comes to the recognition that, you know, our sin ultimately leaves us beholden to God, is that, you know, we, we can make restitution with, for breach trust with our brother over time.

It may, it may take a while depending on what we've done. Maybe it's something really trivial and a little thing. It may, you know, be something as easy as saying sorry. Maybe it's something really big that really wrecks a relationship between two people. But you can generally, most of the time, mend those relationships.

But when it comes to God, there's nothing that we can do to make restitution for our sin, including our own lives, you know, because those all belong to God. You can't give God the breath in your lungs, that's His. You can't give Him your body, your blood. You can't give Him any of these things because He's given you all of it.

They already belong to God. And so for us, you know, sin is like debt. For me, when I got out of college, I worked as a loan officer for a very short period of time. As you can tell, my career has shifted a little bit. Thank goodness. But debt was always something that I was surrounded by every day. And you know, you always get looking at people's credit reports.

You're looking at people's credit and understanding what kind of debt they have. Your debt follows you around everywhere, doesn't it? It's not something that you can escape from. But for us, luckily, this insurmountable problem that we have in front of us is and being unable to repay this debt that we've incurred that we cannot make restitution for or repay.

We have the Lamb of God that John chapter 1 verse 29 talks about. The Lamb that came to make restitution for the sins of the world. And Christ came, He paid that debt, and paid it in full. In order that the reconciliation between the relationship between God and man could be put back together. And so now, in light of this newfound debt that's been paid, now that's got to be reflected in my own life.

And first I think it has to, it has to start first and foremost with our relationship. With our brother, we've gotta turn to our brothers who we've sinned against, and we've got to seek to establish justice and trust. And so Christ restitution calls us to seek, re reconciliation with our brother. And so one thing, just really quickly, we wanna be clear about we're not making restitution because we're trying to just do it for suffering's sake.

We're not somehow appeasing God by just beating ourselves up really bad, suffering in this, in restitution. Christ suffered, Christ made the restitution for that debt that we could pay, or we could not pay. But the point is that our desire for justice and our expression and our, and our desire to be like Him really is an expression of our commitment to God.

Because justice is really very core to who God is, it's core to who his people are supposed to be. When you consider all the way back in Genesis chapter 19, uh, verse 8, or 18, talking about Abraham he says, For I have chosen him that he may command his children and his household after him. to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised.

And not only, you know, are we to be just people in reference to our relationship to God and how we live, but also, you know, we've got to be really concerned with the horizontal relationships that we have as well. So you consider Amos chapter 5 as well, a really well known passage. Even though you may offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them.

And the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs to the melody of your harps. I will not listen, but let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream. To the point, Amos, if you read Amos, There's a lot of social injustice going on.

People are taking advantage of other people, just exactly what's going on here in 2 Samuel chapter 12. The rich are taking advantage of the poor and they're getting away with it. And Amos says, you know, you guys are coming up here, you're worshiping, you're offering all these sacrifices, you're acting like everything is okay with God, and yet you're totally missing the point here because you're neglecting your relationships with the people around you.

You're taking advantage of other people. You're not loving people. So we've got to be really concerned with our relationships being restored. Not only with God, but also with our brothers. I mean, I'm sure we've probably all heard people that say, you know, my relationship with God is just right, you know, I'm good.

But then, their life is a mess, you know, They're maybe have nothing to do with their kids, They're divorced, they've talked terrible about their ex wife on their back, Their life is just a wreck, and yet they're claiming to be a Christian, And yet... They're out here and not trying to seek any type of reconciliation with the people around them.

And I think probably one of the greatest Biblical examples of what this practically looks like, and when understanding you have now had this debt paid for you, this restitution has been made on your behalf, what you're supposed to do, I think Luke 19 is a really good example of this. Luke 19, with the story that we all know really well, we won't read every bit of it, but But Zacchaeus, you know, Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he.

One, a song that we teach kids, but we'll start in verse eight. And so, you know, Jesus has come to Jerusalem or to Jericho. He's passing through, he sees Zacchaeus, this little short man, this, he's an outcast on many levels. He is short, he's a tax collector, he's working for the Romans. People do not like this guy.

And who knows, maybe because he had all these strained relationships with people, maybe he tried to stick it to people by really hiking up their taxes, who knows. But as he passes by, he just is climbing up this sycamore tree, he's wanting to see Jesus. He wants to see the Master Teacher. And as Jesus passed by, he says, Zacchaeus, hey, come on down.

I'm coming to your house tonight. And everybody's like, his house, man. And so starting in verse 8, this is what we want to focus on. And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold. And Jesus said to him, today's salvation has come to this house since he also is a son of Abraham.

For the son of man came to seek and to save the lost.

So Zacchaeus really, I think is, it's interesting here. He really shows himself to be the true son of Abraham. And when he read this text in light of what Genesis 19 says I think it becomes really clear because he understood that he had to make that restitution. For the, that broken trust that he had made with others.

And what I really liked about Zacchaeus as well is that he wasn't going to limit the restitution that he needed to make to the law. He was willing to take, take it even further, he was willing to take half of the goods of his house and to sell it to the poor. And I think sometimes, you know, when, when people are convicted of their sin, they, they understand restitution reconciliation needs to be made.

They want to make it right, but so often their attempts are really half hearted and they really just seek to do the bare minimum. What is just the, what is the max that I really need to do to make things right? Instead of going above and beyond that. And you think about Christ, Christ did not withhold anything from us to make restitution.

And so if we're going to be following in his footsteps, I think Zacchaeus really understood this well. We've got to be giving to, or we've got to be willing to give everything it takes willingly. to restore peace with our brothers. And another passage here, Proverbs chapter 6, sorry, I'm bad on my slides here this morning.

Proverbs chapter 6, verses 29 through 31. In the context, the father here is talking to his son about adultery and the dangers of adultery. And he says in verse 29, So is he who goes into his neighbor's wife, None who touches her will go unpunished. People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry.

But if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold. He will give all the goods of his house. And the proverb writer here recognizes, again, just like Zacchaeus did, just like David did the kind law that's based in Exodus 22. But I think it's interesting here that he, he changes it to say that, you know this, this adulterer is gonna be paying sevenfold.

And to follow Jesus, I think, you know, a lot of times it's going to take definitely the fourfold. We need to be willing to give the abundance of the fourfold that that already is. But we need to even be able to take it to sevenfold or even half the goods of our house if it may be to make things right.

Because if we follow Christ, we can't place limits on what we're willing to do, what lengths we're willing to go for the sake of our brother. And just to be clear too, in Proverbs 6 as well I think it's interesting, you know, in the context of adultery, this person is giving abundance of sevenfold because they're really trying to keep themselves from getting killed.

But, and what you find out by the end in verse 35 is ultimately that the husband that who has been, his wife has been taken he's not going to take any of that payment. He's going to end up killing you because of what you've done. And so we're, we're so blessed to have the grace of Jesus Christ to be able to have that restitution made not on not needing our lives to be taken on that, on, in that same way as in Proverbs 6.

But here you know, think about restoring the relationships that you have maybe with people within your family or immediate circle or even within the church as well. Oftentimes when people place limits on what they're willing to do to make restitution, Oftentimes they're not even really willing to do it in the first place at all.

They're the people that say, that's not fair, that's just too much, that's way more than I did to you. They let their pride stand in the way of the person that they hurt. And then maybe there's other person, they do the half hearted attempt, right? They try, but really they just kind of add further insult and pain to the people they've hurt.

Because they use a lot of false or misleading apologies. They say, well, you know, I'm sorry I offended you, or we're all guilty of various sins, or I know we both share some type of a blame. That's the last one really gets you to, like, Oh, man, yeah, this makes me angry, right? And then third, you know, to mend trust, true restitution restitution, it needs to be made.

It's a heart that says, really, you know, look, I'm sorry for everything that I took for you, and whatever it costs, whatever it takes to mend that relationship, I'm gonna make that possible. As 1 John 1, 9 says, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We've got to own our sin and we've got to seek to make restitution. But then lastly, on the flip side, when a brother comes to us with that willing heart, we're now the person who injustice has been brought upon. We've got to also grow towards forgiving them. And I think we need to be really wary of an overactive sense of justice that has no room for mercy.

You know, the type of person that kind of cloaks their greed and justice and when they've been wronged by somebody. And, you know, the law is now on their side, because they've been the one that's wronged. And so they say, well, fair is fair, it's the law. You know, give it up, give it to me, give me everything you've got.

But there's no room, really, when it comes to their debtors. There's no room for mercy there when it comes to their debtors. And a great example of this, really close to what we were talking about in class this morning, in Matthew chapter 18. A really well known parable of the unforgiving servant. You know, Peter comes to Jesus and he has this question, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him?

As many as seven times? Stop at seven, right? Seven fold? Well, Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy seven times. And so the story goes on, we won't read every bit of it, but, you know, there's this servant, he's got this debt of ten thousand talents, which is like a ridiculous amount of money.

I can't remember exactly how much it probably would have been, but it's an obscene amount of debt that this guy has. And so the master comes, he's going to sell this guy and his family into slavery. He gets on his knees and he begs and he pleads, and the master forgives the debt. Yeah, he lets him go. But then some of his servants are around, and they see this servant who's been forgiven, and he's choking out this other servant who's only got a hundred denarii debt, this small insignificant debt relative to the great debt that he had been forgiven, and he's choking this guy out, wanting to throw him in jail as well.

And this is what at the end of verse 32 in chapter 18, this is the response of the master to the wicked servant. It says, Then his master summoned him, And he said to him, you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant as much as I have had mercy on you?

And in anger, his master delivered him to the jail jailers until he should pay all his debt. So also, my Heavenly Father will do to every one of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. So I think we gotta understand, you know, when, when we're looking to repay sevenfold for our sins, we've also got to be willing to forgive 70 times seven.

And the point is, you know, as long as our brother is seeking forgiveness from us. We should try to restore that relationship by extending mercy and compassion to them. You know, the Lord's Prayer needs to always be in our lips, as it says in Matthew 6, verse 12, and forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.

But I think as well, and Matthew 18 makes this clear, forgive us needs to be something that comes from the heart, as it says in the end of verse 35. It shouldn't be cheap. We shouldn't be people that give cheap, meaningless forgiveness. If we don't want our brother to make cheap restitution for us, then our forgiveness should not be cheap either.

And it can take time to forgive someone depending on what they've done. You know, the severity of their actions. It may take a lot of time. But however, as recipients of injustice, we got to do the hard work. And it is hard. Mending relationships is really difficult. And we've got to come to that place where we can give forgiveness to the point where that relationship can be restored.

And so, this morning, ultimately what I hope is being conveyed is that restitution, I think at the outset when we look at restitution, it's something that seems excessive, maybe unfair just kind of a lot. It's really painful and hurtful. It seems like maybe it's not making things better at times. Thank you.

But restitution is a blessing. It's a blessing that God gives us. And even though on the outside, looking in, it may seem kind of unfair, but restitution, you know, it's painful because sin is just evil at the end of the day. And sin hurts people, and trying to make our sinful decisions right at times can be something that really is upsetting, and it really will demand a lot of things out of us.

So, if we're going to commit ourselves to giving what is necessary, or what is even above, like Zacchaeus said, I think we learn a lesson. And the lesson that we learn is that we learn that our brother is more important than possessions, or our feelings, or even our pride. And in restitution what we do ultimately is we're placing our value not on the things that we've stolen or the things that we may have desired.

We're placing that value back onto our brother. And not the, the things the, the other peripheral things. You know, when you think about Christ, surely it was painful for Him to pay our debt of sin and to restore us to God. But if it weren't for Him, we would be, those people, lost in debt to sin, needing to be saved, continuing to fracture our relationships with one another and with God.

But by God's grace, we've all been saved. By Jesus Christ through his res through his restitution that he made through his death and through his resurrection. So this morning, hope I can leave you with that, whether maybe right now you're the person who has hurt somebody and maybe you need to go and seek out restitution.

Maybe you're the person this morning who, who has been hurt and you really. Even though it's been hard and difficult for you to want to even be around that person, maybe you understand deep down you still have that desire for that reconciliation. Well, this morning recognize that each and every one of us has the opportunity, if we've not already had, to be reconciled to God.

to mend that relationship with our Heavenly Father, our Creator, in order that now that may be reflected in our lives as well, that we can go out and manifest restitution, His mercy and compassion and grace to other people, so that we can have fulfilling, lasting godly relationships with each and every with each and every one of the people that we come in contact with.

So this morning, if you haven't decided to be reconciled to God, come... Come and express that faith that you have in Jesus Christ. Come and to confess your sins. Seek repentance and keep in step with repentance. And come and be baptized into a watery grave. Follow after Jesus footsteps, the path that He took to make restitution for the sins of the world.

And then seek, as we are all trying to do, to live a life of faithfulness to Him. So this morning, if you have a need, come now as we stand and as we sing.

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