Acts 3:21 – Whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

The Father’s aim is the “restoration of all things.” In the Garden, the Lord looked down the annals of time and said, “The seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent” (Genesis 3:15). God was laying the foundation for the “restoration” of His intended purpose to restore mankind. Repentance is the beginning point of this process.

Forgiveness is the result of repentance. Repentance essentially means to see things from a higher perspective (God’s vantage point). It requires us to change our minds and behavior accordingly. Peter’s strong message in Acts 3 was, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

True restoration takes time to allow God’s truth to filter past layers of guilt and shame, to bring about deep down change at the root level. It takes time to rebuild equity and trust. It takes time because the heart of man is deceitful. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Jesus knew the heart and thoughts of men. “Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4).

Forgiveness and trust are not one in the same thing. Believers can be confused over these two areas. Forgiveness is when your heart is free to love a person that hurt you, to have the mind of Christ towards them. Trust is built upon proven character. Paul instructs us with a word of wisdom. “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:5-6). One who walks in this word has a clean heart.

Father, I pray that restoration would become an important goal for me. I pray for wisdom in my inner actions and relationship with others. Give me speech that is filled with grace and seasoned with salt. Help me to know how to respond to each individual with whom I connect.