I love words. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with words. I can remember lying in bed at night spelling words to my mother before I went to sleep. I got my first full-time job because I could spell. I’ve done crossword puzzles most of my life and do three of the “biggies” every day! Did I mention that I love words?
Grace and redemption are two great words. Redemption mean that we’ve been bought back with a price or ransom. No further payment needed. That’s what Jesus did for us! Grace is sometimes seen as an acrostic:
Jesus paid it all. Again, no further payment needed. I get to enjoy/relish in/ bathe in the everlasting goodness of God.
Two of my favorite verses about this subject – grace and redemption – are found in Paul’s letters in the New Testament –
Colossians 1:13 and 14 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Ephesians 1:7 tells us, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…”
Powerful reminders of the great reminder that the God of the universe, through His Son, Jesus, granted to us. We need to be reminded of that love, sacrifice and ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.
I grew up in Washington, DC and have lived there off and on for most of my life. It’s my favorite place on the planet. One of the advantages of having those experiences is to learn things that might not happen to the normal American. During the Nixon Administration, it was well-known in DC that Chuck Colson, was the “hatchet man,” which meant he could release people from their jobs/careers at whim, oftentimes.
At some point, Colson was arrested, tried, convicted, etc. and was sent to prison. During his time there, he became a follower of Jesus, which seemed unlikely to me at the time. However, I learned that a trusted friend had been invited to baptize him and I asked my friend for his assessment. He was convinced that salvation was real. When Colson was released from prison and became the founder of Prison Fellowship, he and I attended the same church. I heard Colson say that had he not gone to prison, he would never have known what grace was about! An amazing perspective on grace and redemption.
You can find biblical stories that fit these words as well. The story of David and Bathsheba shows God’s grace and redemption in action, especially with David. One of my favorite other stories about these topics of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. I had a prodigal so it may be why that story resonates with me. In the Bible story, a man’s younger son comes to ask for his share of his father’s inheritance and then fritters it away on frivolous living. Once he comes to his senses and realizes that the workers at home are doing better than he is, he decides to return home with hat in hand and become a worker in his father’s fields.
Then the great story of grace and redemption unfolds. The father sees the young man coming and runs to greet him, he restores all of the son’s rights, and throws a BIG party and restores him to the family. The older son is not happy but that’s for another time!
This is what God does for us. He sees us coming and runs to greet and forgive us, and then lavishes His grace and redemption all over us.
It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone from God, repent of your sins and return to God. God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). No matter how deep the stain of your sins, God can remove it and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you’re stained as red as crimson, He can make you as white as wool (Isaiah 1:18). Stop running away from God. Whoever comes to Jesus, He shall not cast out (John 6:37).
Questions to Consider:
- Often the hardest part is forgiving ourselves. Is there anything you have done that’s still holding you captive?
- Are you keeping yourself in a proverbial “penalty box” and that’s what’s stopping you from fully embracing God’s grace and forgiveness?
- Does someone in your family or workplace need grace, specifically, the chance to restore his/her relationship with you? Become the “agent” of grace today.
- In what ways are you still defining your life, leadership, or relationships by how you have been hurt? If so, why is that?
Pray about steps you can take today to extend grace and forgiveness and free yourself from the bondage of the past.