Monday, December 15, 2008

God, our Redeemer

The Return of the Prodigal Son- Rembrandt

Lately I've been deeply impacted through music, not that this is anything new with me but it has been so overwhelming. I guess you could call it an awakening of sorts...but maybe that is too dramatic of a title. Anyway, I think my heart was stirred by the Christmas concert I attended a week or two ago and I continue to be challenged and moved through beautifully written songs.

All of the thoughts and emotions I've been working through came to head today at church. I'll admit I walked into church this morning in a bit of a mood. It's frustrating now to admit such glaring sin but honestly I was in no place to sing songs of worship to God. I didn't talk to many people before the service began and did a good job of isolating myself to the point that anyone would have noticed that I was in no mood to chit-chat. I'm terrible, yes I know.

My heart was hard and I was unwilling to allow the Lord any room to correct my attitude. It was when the sermon began that the Lord truly started to address the issues in my heart. It was one of those instances when you immediately feel regret as well as a good dose of humility as you realize how ungodly your actions were. Father forgive me.

After the service ended God was gracious enough to allow me to talk with some girls from my community group. Both of these conversations were such a blessing to me. I was encouraged just to hear such honesty as we talked and shared about our lives with each other. When Jon and I left church I thought to myself, "I didn't deserve any of this." God is so good and compassionate, abounding in love. This morning I was rebellious, ambivalent, and moody but by the end of church I had been humbled by my Savior, tired of my sin and encouraged by my sisters in Christ. It was a wonderful morning.

So how does this fit into all that I've been working through over the past week or two? Well I've been meditating on the fact that our God is a redeeming God who can turn any situation, or any wayward and broken life into something beautiful. This is what Christ was doing in my heart just this morning at church and it continues to happen every day I relinquish control of the dark parts of my life over to my Savior.

Redeem: to buy back, to free from captivity by payment of ransom, to release from blame or debt

I am so humbled by the fact that I am a redeemed creation; the old has gone and the new has come. There are no words to express the joy and amazement I feel when I consider what Christ has truly done for me.

Lately I've heard a lot of heartbreaking stories of people living lives controlled by sin and unwilling to accept the redemption Christ has to offer. I feel so torn hearing these stories because I know that if it were not for the grace of God I would be in that same place, completely controlled by sin and overrun with depravity. It is only through the blood of Christ that I am where I am today.

Being overwhelmed with this truth has led me to cry out to the Lord for him to make this revelation known to those living without Him. There is hope, forgiveness and ultimate redemption in the Cross of Christ. It doesn't matter where you come from or what you have done. Praise God!

This is one of the songs that I've been meditating on lately. I hope it encourages you as much as it has me.

Hosanna (Andrew Peterson)

"Our Redeemer - The Lord Almighty is His name - is the Holy One of Israel."
- Isaiah 47:4

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