Sunday, December 21, 2008

Forgiveness and Redemtion

Tonight I want to share a few things that have been weighing heavily on my heart lately. We have had some soldiers that have gotten into trouble lately and as the Army so often has to do, they were punished. But the military is not interested in punishing soldiers just for the sake of punishing. The military is more concerned with corrective training that is designed to redeem a soldier. The military does not give up on a troop because they have made an error in judgment. The military understands and encourages soldiers to overcome their set backs and bring him/her back around to becoming an effective and productive troop.

I was thinking about the measures that we use to redeem our soldiers when I thought about the redemtion that came from the great sacrifice that Christ made for us. In Romans 3:21-26 Paul says, "But now a righteousness from God apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonment through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

When I look at what the Lord did to redeem us from our sins, I can't help but to wonder why we can't offer forgiveness and redemption to those who have done us wrong or has hurt us in someway or another.

In your life, you will have someone who will dissapoint you and let you down and conversely, in your life, you will dissapoint someone and let them down. Sometimes the hurt and pain of the betrayal of trust will last years and can become difficult to overcome. But, when we look at the hurt that our sins have done to our Lord by all rights He should punish us and bring judgement upon us. However, what did He do? He sent his Son to die for our sins so that we can be redeemed and so that we could come back into His presence.

What a lesson for us. If you have hurt someone, seek forgiveness from that person and at the very least make an effort to redeem yourself. If someone has hurt you and comes to you asking for forgiveness, give them a chance to earn your trust and allow them the opportunity for redemption. You can bet that a person who seeks your forgiveness will devote themselves to earning your trust and will do anything to regain your friendship. God puts people in our lives for a reason. If someone comes to you to seek out your favor, why do you turn them away? Does Christ turn away those who seek Him? No. And this should be our example.

How you treat others is a direct measure of your character. We can profess to be Christians and attend church and do all of those things that give us the appearance of being a disciple, but fail to follow the example of Christ, then we are poor Witnesses and we lose credibility. God took Paul, who was responsible for the persecution and death of a number of Christians, and made him, perhaps, one of the most effective disciples of Christ. Imagine what your forgiveness and offer of redemption can do? God changes hearts and molds people so that they are not the same person that they were years before. He is always moving us forward. Allow your heart to reconsider past hurts and offer forgiveness and redemption when the opportunity presents itself. Why would you not want to reconcile a past friendship or right a wrong when possible? Forgiveness and redemption are the basic fundemental principals of our Christian faith. I pray that this message is well received and touches your heart. Christ is our Savior and the Holy Spirit is our guide, please fill yourself with both.

Remember the joy of past friendships and the excitement of companionship with those whom you have loved. What will it take to change your heart?

"I don't have alot of prospects that can give some kind of peace.
there is nothing left to cling to that can bring me sweet release."

Jars of Clay...Work

Let Christ be your sweet release.

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