Follow by Email

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Redeemed


 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (NKJV)

"For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God." Romans 3:23 (NKJV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

"But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)

For some time now, I have not had opportunities to sit down and write a blog.  My days are filled with good things, but they are full.  My evenings sometimes consist of meetings or catching up on needed household chores.  My husband and I are involved in a ministry that also takes up a significant portion of our time.  Then, throw a few other things into the mix, such as church, consulting business, and caring for a precious 10-month old grandchild each day, and you've got a very busy lady whose time for writing is limited. But, make no mistake about it, I miss my writing time very much, and I miss the opportunity of connecting with those who read my blog. 
 
A couple of weeks ago, my small group leader gently asked if I had stopped writing my blog.  He said, "I used to enjoy reading it." I could not help but feel a bit of sorrow as I assured him that I did not intend to stop writing and that I knew the Holy Spirit would give me a message at just the right time. So, tonight, I sat down to my computer, thinking I was going to write a blog entitled, "When God Has Another Plan." I guess God had another plan for my writing tonight! You will be able to read that one in the future, but as of now, this is what seems to be pressing on my mind.  Perhaps someone out there has a need to read what I have to say.  If so, then my job is done.  So....Bob (small group leader), here goes!!

Because we are all human, there are mistakes and failures along the road of life. We sometimes make poor choices that are not pleasing to our Creator. The Bible calls this sin. It's a word that doesn't sound pretty. It doesn't sound pretty, because sin isn't pretty.  Mentioning sin--talking about it, is also becoming more and more unpopular in today's politically correct society, and even in many churches. But, this word is used over and over in God's Word, because God has never, nor will He ever like sin. Sin is breaking a law of God. He is offended by it and it hurts Him when we sin. But, even still, He loves us.

I suspect there are many people who truly relate and "feel" the words of the song posted above entitled, "Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave. Yes, I know it isn't a song written by Fanny Crosby or Charles Wesley or some of the other ancient hymn writers, who, no doubt, were inspired greatly by the Holy Spirit. These great hymns have stood the test of time and continue to minister to me, inspire me, and give me great hope through the message of their words.  But, the above song also has a message and I believe the lyrics and music are divinely inspired.  It's about how God can take any one of us and change our lives.  It's about how He can clean us up, and in spite of ourselves, use us in various ministries and give us a testimony of His faithfulness to our lives.  In doing so, we are able to tell others what salvation through Jesus Christ has done for us and can do for them, if they will only believe.

The Christian life does not guarantee that we are spiritually immune to slipping, falling, hurting ourselves and/or others.  But, through our faith in Jesus Christ, there is a process in which the unpleasant sounding word of "sin" can be replaced by one that gives much comfort, assurance, hope, and peace. That word is "redemption." 
 
Webster's Dictionary defines the word "redemption" as follows: "The act of redeeming; rescue; ransom; that which redeems; salvation."  Redemption is the process of being rescued or brought back to the safety of the fold. Redemption brings us to a place of rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

How wonderful to know that God loves us enough to rescue us time and time again when we fail Him.  In human thinking, we might compare it to that of a parent who has gone through many difficult situations with a wayward or rebellious child.  Any loving parent will freely give the love that is deep within their hearts to that son or daughter and welcome them home with open arms.  This is what God does for us.  Jesus is our Shepherd. He cares for His sheep and He will always rescue the one who has gone astray and return that precious one to the safety of the fold.   

How thankful I am to say that I have been redeemed and am not the person I used to be.  Even more importantly, I am thankful that I am not yet who I will be, for God is not finished with me yet! 

PRAYER:  Dear God, thank you for redeeming me through your Son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus, thank you for loving me, for saving me, and for walking with me through this life.  You are everything to me and I love you.  Please bless each person reading this message and bring hope and restoration where needed.  Give peace and comfort in every situation that might arise in each of our lives.  I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.