Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Redemption


Change.
Renewal.
These are two words that describe redemption. Redemption is a gift, but not without work. That may stun some of us. We learn early that we do not earn anything from God through works. We can not get His favor through works. We can not obtain salvation through works. We can not receive joy, peace, healing, provision, direction or anything else from God through what we consider good acts, good deeds or acts of sacrifice. Why? Two reasons:

1: There is nothing GOOD in us!
2: God is faithful and just, He always does what is right.

Where does that leave us with my first statement “Redemption is a gift, but not without work”? Let me explain. God is a God true to His word. There are places where we read of great reward, blessings that He wants to give us. Each of these blessings have a required action. There is a difference between works to gain and works of obedience. Work is any action we do, the difference is the motive behind the work. The work required for redemption is summed up in one word: obedience.

"What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22

Nothing flashy, nothing we can brag on ourselves, nothing we can do better than someone else – just the
surrendered heart. The Bible tells us  in that obedience is better than sacrifice. We read in Hebrews 5 that Jesus was perfected, proved and learned through obedience. Yes even Jesus had to surrender to what the Father wanted Him to do.

When we surrender ourselves initially it is through acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ as we admit we are a sinner, turn from our sin and ask Jesus to be ruler of our life. After this we learn through Bible study how we should live our lives. Through prayer we hear Gods voice and commit our days to Him as we ask His help to live holy. Then daily we take action and choose to obey God and let Him change us, perfect and prove us through our obedience or do things our own way in rebellion and stay the same.

I used to think redemption was something I just received life stepping out into the rain I receive a soaking. Like a rainstorm, Gods redemptive work to transform our lives to the best for us is available. Like the rainstorm does not force its way into our shelter, will God force Himself on us. We must take the step towards Him, out into the rain and from under our shelter to receive. Our shelter is pride, self preservation and control. We must learn to trust God to have our best interest at heart and to be faithful to complete redeeming us. Trust and Obey, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

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