“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but He does what is still more wonderful: He makes saints out of sinners.” – Soren Kierkegaard
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Romans 10:13
Redeem: “gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment” – New Oxford American Dictionary
Cancelations abound. Redemption is required. That’s the world we live in today. That’s the world we’ve lived in since Eve first ate the fruit of temptation and shared it with Adam. However, we also live in a world that has been redeemed. In the garden, God lost us, in a way, to sin. At that point the plan of salvation went into full effect. The plan to redeem us back again through the payment of Jesus’ life. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to stay redeemed? Life is full of redemption stories gone wrong. Drug addicts clean themselves up, then fall back into the life. Many find it easier to steal than to work. Over and over, they try to live an honest life, but just can’t. Relationships fall apart… We can’t do it on our own. And it’s not enough to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then go on like nothing ever happened. Relationship is required. We need to be close. We need Jesus in our hearts. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when He is old he will not depart from it.” Isn’t that what Proverbs 22:6 says? But how do we do that? It sure seems like a lot of us aren’t going the way we should. With a new baby, I find it hard to put my faith in that verse. I’m afraid I’m going to do everything I can to raise a Godly woman and that I’m going to be seen as a failure. I’m afraid that she’ll fail and that people will say, “I told you so.” Standards are hard to commit to. We can never live up to them. So why have them? Why are they so important? They’re the ticket to what we need. Jesus is our Savior. Nothing could be truer. But with Him come standards. We aren’t saved based on our works. But our standards show who we belong to. There is another definition for the word Redeem, New Oxford American Dictionary says it is to, “compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).” We’ve been given a standard to live by. A standard laid on us by our Creator. We are reminded of it every day through the Holy Spirit. Most of us call it, our conscience. However, we all know that we can’t live up to it fully. That while we need those standards to approach the gate. We also need a redeemer. When you purchase a ticket for an event. How much is that ticket worth? A couple cents maybe? It’s worthless without a redeemer. Someone who recognizes the value of the pass that has been purchased for the opportunity to enter. For us that redeemer is Jesus. Our good works are worthless alone. We need a Redeemer to recognize their value. And so we show up at the door with a ticket that’s been washed accidentally. That’s been folded up in our back pocket. Forgotten about. Dropped in the mud and stepped all over. To anyone but Jesus, our ticket is laughable. At one point it may have been pristine. At one point the letters on it were clearly legible. At one point it wasn’t torn apart and dirty. Now, the best we can present is an illegible, musty, worthless piece of garbage. But Jesus sees it for something more. He sees it for its real value. He sees it as priceless. The standard hasn’t been met. But it’s been valued. He alone can redeem it. He alone can compensate for our faults we’ve added to the standard. We can’t redeem ourselves. We continually fail. But Jesus can! He will never fail. I’m reminded of the song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United, “Your Grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and you won’t stop now.” There is something powerful about those words. That He’s never failed and He won’t stop now. And if for some reason you find yourself lined up at the door. No ticket in hand. Look to God. There will be no line at the will call. Just a question. Can I be yours? And at that point we realize the synergy and symmetry in our relationship with God. That while He is the only one that sees our true value. We must also see His. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in…” – Revelation 3:20a Make Jesus yours today. The door to Him must first open in our hearts. Become His. Eternity awaits through that door in our soul. So whether we’ve been serving Him our entire life, or we’ve never taken Him seriously, we can all pray the prayer of the sinner and ask Him into our lives. It’s a prayer we can and should pray continuously. Because only through Him, can we be redeemed.
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone in kindness today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,