Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Two or three years ago, encouraged by my husband, I paid $100 for a new pair of jeans. The first response from most people was, "You paid WHAT?!" I can totally understand their shock. I had never paid that much nor have I since for a pair of jeans. It was a "first". After several months had gone by, I came to the conclusion that they washed, dried and eventually wore out like any other garment. At the time I purchased them, they seemed above average for that type of clothing item. To some people, this doesn't seem like a high price at all and to others, a person's sanity comes into question. How much would you pay for a life? There are many scenarios that come to mind here. Most of us have read books about or watched movies about or perhaps experienced in real life, the story of the father or friend who stands between the killer and his target and says, "Spare him! Take my life instead! It's really me that you want anyway." That is what Jesus did for us. He said to the "thief" who came to "steal, kill and destroy", "Take me! I lay down my life for my sheep", "It's really me you want." Have you ever had something you valued deeply, only to have it stolen from you? Then somewhere down the line you find it in the hands of another and you have to buy it back? You don't care how much you have to pay because to you, it's value is incalculable. That is exactly what Jesus the only begotten (one of a kind or class, unique) Son of God did when he died on the cross for Humanity. God became man and bought back, redeemed, what was already his. Because mankind, who originally walked with God in the Garden, was led away and enticed by their own lust and separated from God because of sin and proceeded to walk in the ways of evil, it was necessary for God to take action. He so highly valued his precious ones that he gave his own life to redeem them. We are those precious ones. God's people Israel were redeemed from captivity, Isaiah 51:10 and Zion (Jerusalem) was their destination. Not just a destination but a destination sought with joy and gladness and singing. Being set free from enslavement, torture and torment should bring nothing short of unbridled elation in and from our very being. We as the Church, "have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel." Hebrews 12:18-24 NLT. All that said, Psalm 107:2 says, "Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies." NLT. When we accept our redemption and come to understand what we have received from the Lord's sacrifice, we WANT to speak out! The words in a song by Colton Dixon express the cry of my heart: "Let them see you, in me. Let them hear you, when I speak. Let them feel you, when I sing. Let them see you, let them see you, in me." The more we walk in His presence, we walk in fullness of joy, everlasting joy and it becomes evident to others that we have something they want. Something that will fill the empty hole in their lives that was put their by "separation". We can lead them to the place where Christ bridged the gap; removed the "separation"; made a way for the emptiness to be filled with all the fullness of God's Spirit within and along with it, a flood of peace and deliverance from shame and entrance into our inheritance as Joint Heirs with Christ. I Peter 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us AGAIN to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." He has brought us out of the Kingdom of Darkness and into His Marvelous Light. Join me in "Speaking" Redemption! The World needs to HEAR!