We live in a broken world, a world filled with pain and suffering and things that are not right. From the very beginning, when God created the world, He foreknew that sin would enter the world. He knew that brokenness would be a way of life for us. He knew that nothing could be done to save the brokenness without Him moving in a mighty way.
God sent His one and only Son to save us, to redeem us, to pay a price we could not pay. He reached out to restore us and bring us back into a relationship with Him. Every day we have the opportunity to enjoy a relationship with our heavenly Father. Because Jesus suffered the wrath that was to be our punishment, we can enjoy His “wrap-around presence.” This is because God has stooped down to us to bring us back into His holy presence.
When the world is beating you down, when you are lost in your brokenness, be reminded of the stooping down gentleness of God. Who am I that He would even consider me? Yet, our God moves through the brokenness with gentleness. He does not attack our brokenness, but beautifully works through it and makes us new. Strange enough, when we take something broken and try to repair it, the end result is never something better. Superglue and duct tape only go so far. But we serve a God of the impossible. With God, we are a masterpiece. He makes us great—better than we ever were. With Him moving through us, navigating through the brokenness, each day we are made more into the image of His Son. All because He has stooped down in gentleness.
“You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness you strengthened me and made me great!” – Psalm 18:35 [TPT]
If something is held for ransom and you cannot pay the price, the thing being held is not released. The reason something is a ransom is because the something is held until the price is paid. If not paid, the release doesn’t happen.
As we look in the Bible, we read about how we cannot redeem ourselves from death by paying a ransom. We cannot pay enough. We cannot afford the price. We don’t have what it would take. No matter how hard we try to gain what is needed for the ransom, we will fall short. Redemption certainly does not come easy. Yet, it has come. It has a name. JESUS. He has paid the ransom. He has paid the debt in full. We have redemption through Him. We are released from the grave; we resurrect because of Him. We find ourselves with an eternal life through faith alone in Jesus Christ. It is through grace alone that the ransom was paid in full.
Today, remember that you have not redeemed yourself. You put your faith in the One Who paid the price that only He could pay. Thank Jesus Christ for being the once for all sacrifice. Thank Him for the redemption that you receive through Him alone. Live out your redeemed life. Remember, you are free so live free! Live free and point others to this freedom! Let people know Who offers redemption. Let people know Who is reaching out His hand! Point people to JESUS!
“Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.” – Psalm 49:7-9 [NLT]
When Elisha gathered around with the sons of the prophets, there was a famine. Barrenness, sickness, affliction and famine were seen as judgment from God for sin. As we read again and again, the curse of sin is judgment and death.
These people were in search for food. When they went around to gather something to eat, they gathered wild gourds. From the text, it did not seem that they knew what the food would bring. They simply wanted to fill their need for food. But when they added this unknown item into the stew, it became deadly. They cried out, “There is DEATH IN THE POT.” Elisha had to add flour to the stew for it to become safe to eat.
We often try to add things into our daily lives to fill voids. We are facing a famine – the curse of sin. Through Christ alone the curse is no longer. We grab anything we can to fill our needs; however, we do not always understand what we truly need. Elisha poured flour into the deadly stew. In the same way, we can seek to eat from the Word of God, and become blessed by the “meal” of Christ. Through prayer and God’s Word we are sanctified. In 1 Timothy 4:4-5 we read: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer” (NASB). It doesn’t matter how deadly the stew of your life has become; nothing is too dead for God to raise back to life. He will repair. He will revive. He will restore. He will redeem.
“One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ And they could not eat it.” – 2 Kings 4:39-40 [ESV]
When I was a little girl, I remember when I went to the mall with my grandmother, my mother, and my sister. When we were about ready to leave, we had a few things we wanted to look at yet. My mother and grandmother wanted to go and do their own thing. I was still pretty young, but I was old enough to know better. They told me when I was finished purchasing an item, to meet at this certain place and they were going to do what they had to do and then they were going to meet me there.
I had different plans. I said I was old enough to meet them out at the car, that I could walk out to the car by myself and everything would be fine. My grandmother and my mother said absolutely not, that they would meet me at the spot and that was it. So I finished making the purchase that I needed to make and I decided I was going to go out to the car. I was gonna show them, because I could get out to the car by myself.
I was out by the car. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. No one was coming. My grandmother and mother in the meantime were frantically searching for me, with my sister, dragging her around everywhere looking for me and wondering where I was. I was lost they thought. It took a long time before finally they came out to the parking lot and they found me. I got in trouble of course. I should have gotten in trouble because I didn’t listen.
It reminds me of how we sometimes don’t listen and we all at one point or another were lost. I was thinking back to Luke 15, where you can find the lost sheep and lost coin parables, and how the coin and sheep were valuable. We are very valuable to God. He doesn’t want any of us to not be with Him. Just to imagine ninety-nine sheep and one gets away. He goes after that one. Each of us are that one at one point or another. We are all thought of as an only child. To imagine that kind of love.
A lot of people think love is emotion. The word love is about action. That is how God loves us. He comes and He gets His lost sheep. He is with you through it all. He doesn’t leave you. He shows His love. The way He shows His love was to send His Son to redeem you and to redeem me. That’s action- that’s what love is all about. We are asked to love one another, to serve one another, and the love that we are to have is a love filled with action.
Read Luke 15