“Redemption…”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

For the past couple of weeks, I have been having these ‘echoes’ from God.  It seems everywhere I turn, I keep seeing one message: Redemption.

Not quite knowing what to make of it, I just kept praying and asking what I am supposed to take away from this one word.

Amazingly, this realization has taken root in my heart over these days:  One word can change your life.

Don’t believe me?  Let me ask you this.  Do you have any regrets?  I know we all have some things, (maybe very minor) that we wish we hadn’t done.  But many of us, I believe, carry burdens of regret and shame for actions or attitudes in our past.  Some times these burdens are so big that they imprison us, and we are unable to move forward in life because we are chained to our past mistakes.

There are so many things that the enemy of our souls uses against us: broken relationships, bad decisions, addictions, failures…

See, as redeemed children of the living God, we are targets of this enemy.  If we actually live into His promises of grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation – then, friends, we are truly a threat to the plans of the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy, don’t you think?

So we continue to hear the voices in our heads (and maybe our environment):

“You don’t deserve to be happy after what you have done.”

“Everyone knows what you are.  You will never be trusted again.”

or my personal favorite:

“God can’t be in the presence of sin, therefore He could never love you.”

Now, I am not superficially saying that Jesus forgives us so all is well.  Some of us have to deal with the real consequences of our bad decisions – sometimes for the rest of our lives.

However, what I am saying, is that the guilt and feelings of worthlessness that so often consume us are NOT OF GOD! The fears created by these emotions can paralyze us and keep us from the lives and relationships that God has for us.  They rob us of peace.  They steal our joy.  And they can also kill any hope we have of a better future.

If we come, in a state of repentance, truly asking for the Lord’s forgiveness and a new start – He will give it to us.  He said so.  His grace covers everything we have ever done or will ever do.  And His heart is to restore us in a loving relationship with Himself.

We can’t change our past.  However, we can allow Christ to change our present and our future by letting Him change the way we think. It is not His will that we live in bondage to the memory of our mistakes.  And this is the meaning of REDEMPTION.

Hallelujah! My Redeemer lives!

Gracious Lord,

How I praise You.  Your thoughts toward me are more than I can imagine.  After all the bad and regretful things I have done in my life, the things I wish desperately I could take back – You stand in front of me with your nail-scarred hands and say, “Come, you are forgiven.”

How can this be?  I cannot understand it, but Lord, help me to accept it.  Help me to live into this life and to be the disciple that You want me to be.  Fill my heart with, not only gratitude, but also peace.  Help me to understand that I already live in freedom through You, and that I am no longer a slave to my past. 

You are a good a gracious King.  My Savior. My Redeemer.

In Your holy name I pray,

Amen

Maybe it takes you, as me, a while to process these magnificent promises of God.  I share this song with you because, as I focus on God, sometimes it helps me to quiet my mind of all outside distractions.  I love this song by Chris Tomlin because it helps my soul to assimilate this wonderful truth – that I can stand blameless and redeemed because of what He has done for me.

Peace friends.