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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The Old Testament prophets were primarily forth tellers rather than foretellers.

They communicated the message of God to the needs of the day.

“Listen to the Major messages of the Minor Prophets’ is the title of the series we will be working through for the next few weeks.

Today we are talking about Joel, Redeeming the Lost Years.


Joel 2:25 NKJV

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming [a]locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

Scripture Reading

Joel 2:18-17 NKJV

The Land Refreshed

18 Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.

19 The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 “But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odor will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”

21 Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!

22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

23 Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.

24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.


In Jesus name we pray.



In most lives there are periods, which, as far as productive labour, happiness in our hearts, or worth to the kingdom of God are concerned, are lost years.

Joel spoke of such a gap in the life of his nation as “the years the locust has eaten.”

Joel’s message was called forth by a national disaster.

A devastating plague of locusts had stripped the land bare of food for both man and beast.

This was followed by famine, poverty, and misery.

Such a time called for some sure word from the Lord, and Joel was God’s spokesman.

Joel has been aptly called “The prophet of consolation.”

This prophecy of three chapters, having only seventy three verses, is made up of tow distinct divisions, the first, chapter 1:1 through to Chapter 2:27 calls the nation to repentance and prayer, the second, chapter 2:28 through to chapter 3:21 records God’s promise to hear the cry of His people, remove the cause of their suffering, and restore prosperity and enrich them spiritually.

The words of our text, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,” form a summary statement, looking back to the national problem and forward to the time of revival and restoration.

Joel sounded a relevant note.

To Israel, God promised years of plenty to redeem the lean years.

To us, God promises to redeem the years we have lost if we will repent of our sins and return to Him.

  1. Note the cause of lost years.

Years are lost because of fear and indecision.

They are lost to God, lost to His church, and lost to yourself.

So many people will watch a loved one walk to the front of a church to accept Christ, but will say to themselves, “I could never have the courage to do that infant of all those people.

But if they really wanted it they could!

The years are lost because of complacency.

Imagine living in the same town for many years and when you pass on, only a few people are at your funeral because you had never become part of a local congregation, just because you didn’t like the people in it, or didn’t have the time.

Years are lost because of self centredness.

Some people live for themselves and unto themselves.

For them life is a circle that grows smaller and smaller.

This violates one of life’s fundamental laws.

Paul expressed it this way in Romans 14:7, For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

Years are lost because people do not discern between the important and the unimportant in their lives.

What is more important if your are called to ministry, being obedient and preaching the Word of God or going to work each day at a menial job?

Years are lost because people are spiritually immature, have a read of Luke 7:31-32.

Jesus showed the foolishness of playing religion.

For example, consider a person who, because of some issue of no consequence, holds a grudge against a pastor or church member and deliberately sulks for ten years, staying away from the church and all its services.

Those are lost years.

The most tragic of all are the years lost because of sin.

How many times have you heard people who have walked away from the church say things like, religion should be less rigid, more liberal, more of the love of God.

What a pathetic defence of indefensible conduct!.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Who are we to rewrite His Word?

Don’t let the locusts of sin eat up the years of your life.

2. Look at the cost of the years.

The locusts, God’s “great army” sent among the Israelites because of their sins, brought Israel to famine and ruin.

To us, on every level, in every relationship, the lost years are costly.

They are costly to the lives of individuals.

Because of fear and indecision, some people lose their immortal souls an go straight to hell.

Because of complacency, some people miss the blessings of the fellowship of God’s people.

Because of self centredness, some people miss the joy of large horizons, and their world shrinks until they are hemmed in.

Because of spiritual immaturity, some people’s lives are soured, misdirected, and permanently off centre.

An unforgiving spirit renders a person unable to receive forgiveness. 

The lost years are costly to the churches.

The business of a church is too important for anyone to indulge I personal grievances.

Christ calls us to be spiritual adults.

If you don’t attend a particular church because you don’t personally like the minister that’s your issue, not his.

If you won’t attend a particular service because the minister won’t let you have your own way by leading worship or leading communion or any other reason, again that on you, not the minister.

Christ calls us to be spiritual adults.

The lost years are costly to the cause of righteousness.

With so many who are indifferent, it is a marvel of grace that the average church can accomplish what it does.

The gospel has been preached for two thousand years, but there is still a lost world.

Why so?

There is too much mud on the wheels of the church.

3. Last of all, note the cure for the lost years.

Lost years can be redeemed.

This is the promise of God, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.”

How are we to make up for those lost years?

For some of us this means refocusing our lives around God at the centre.

Only God can do this as we respond through an act of utter faith.

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, Paul describes the conversion experience, He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

For a person to live for himself and unto himself is for life to revolve around the wrong centre.

Christ os the only true centre for a life.

For others, this means returning to God in sincere repentance that they may be restored.

If we truly repent, God will restore us, and we will be led by His Spirit to adopt a new approach to life’s problems.

But for still others, this means redoubling their efforts for God.

Maybe this means making up for the tithe that you haven’t given God, or serving in your church where God is calling you to serve, or maybe even just looking after your pastor a little better.


The consoling truth is this, it is God who restores us if we return unto Him with all our hearts. 

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings


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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia


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