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Rockland Redemption

Rockland Redemption

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)

I was traveling up the coast of Maine through a city called Rockland.  As I drove through the city looking at all of the sites to be seen, I viewed a sign on a recycling center, which read, "We will accept them any way".  What they were basically saying is, we don't care what condition your recyclables are in, just bring them in through the gate just the way they are, and we will redeem them right here on the spot.

As I drove by, I couldn't help but smile as I immediately drew a comparison to how Jesus looks upon those who seek Him for forgiveness and redemption.  He too, is willing to accept each of us in any way we would come to Him.  We just need to come through His gate (Matt 7:13-14).  It doesn't matter what we have done in our past.  It doesn't matter whether we are rich or poor.  It doesn't matter if we are educated or common.  It doesn't matter whether we are Jew or Greek.  This is exactly what Paul was speaking of when he wrote to the Church in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

There are so many people who falsely believe they must somehow clean up before they turn their lives over to Jesus and come to church.  They often perceive the church to be filled with people who have it all together - this couldn't be further from the truth.  The fact is, every person in the church are just as much in need of Jesus' mercy and grace as the worst of sinners - sin is sin, no matter what you call it or how you justify it.  

Thankfully, God's redemption plan doesn't call for sinners to be sinless or cleaned up and perfect before they can be forgiven and redeemed.  It calls for a person to have a change of heart and purpose to follow Jesus - to make Him their personal Lord and Savior.  God isn't concerned with the outside condition of us as much as He is concerned with our heart.

But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)

It is God's desire to create in us a pure heart - one that's sole purpose is to be focused on Christ and devoted to living in His will.  Hear me in this; we will never be perfect as long as we live in our mortal flesh-and-blood bodies, and God isn't expecting that.  But we can keep our minds focused on God, His Word and the things He has commanded us to be thinking upon (See Phil. 4-8).  When we seek to live a holy life we will be blessed as we do the things God has asked of us (John 13:17).

When we give our life to God and accept Jesus' payment for our sins - when we confess Jesus as Lord and believe - we have been redeemed by His blood, which was shed upon the cross.  

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:17-19 (NKJV)

We have been purchased at a price and therefore we are now acceptable to God, as our sins are forgiven (1 Cor 6:19-20).  God can now start the process of transforming us into the image of His Son - a transformation process that starts when we accept Jesus and continues until we see Him face-to-face (1 Cor. 13:12).   

Hey Christian, let's make it a point to spread the word about this amazing redemption plan that is available to all.  It is the gospel message of Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor 15:1-4).  Everyone is welcome!  Come as you are!  Enter through God's gate into His amazing grace and be redeemed.

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Peter 1:17-19, how are we redeemed?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Look up 1 Cor 6:19-20.  What does this verse mean to you as a redeemed person?

APPLICATION: Remind yourself each day that you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and that you have been bought and paid for - you are not your own, but are God's.

Father, Thank You for redeeming me through Your Son's blood.  Thank You for buying me back from the bondage of sin and for freeing me from it as well.  Help me to remember that I am free to choose not to sin today, and please provide me with the strength and the wisdom to identify the enemy's plan to tempt me.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000