“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you — I, Whom you have redeemed.” Psalm 71:23
As an early teen, I mastered the art of cashing in on others carelessness. It was the perfect arrangement and the reward was sweet. You see, back then (you know I’m getting old when I have to say that), beverages came in tall 12 oz. or 16 oz. glass bottles. Remember? Depending on your age, you may have to learn instead of remember. HA!
At any given moment you could walk up and down the street and find any number of bottles along the roadside, in the ditch or even in the trash. Thrown away and discarded, these bottles had value! For me, it was a cash-cow! I quickly learned that if I collected them and took them to the gas station market right down the street, they would give me 10 cents for every bottle. That was a no brainer for me! Do the math! For every 10 bottles I got a whole dollar! It didn’t take me long to fill the brown-paper grocery bags with my collection of discarded gold! And I walked away with a refreshing Nehi Grape Soda and a candy bar — that’s what I’m talking about right there!
I was talking with my son recently about what it meant to be redeemed. This childhood experience of mine was what came to mind. To redeem something means to exchange something for it’s value! It truly is a “cash-in” moment. So when God says that we have been redeemed — that would suggest a few things. First of all, it suggests we have value! Even in our state of sin and disobedience, He reminds us that He has already made the exchange — He’s already “cashed-in” for us! Second, it suggests in the exchange there are winners! At the gas station, the attendant won because she received benefit from the glass recyclers and I received my Nehi! It was a Win-Win! It’s a Win-Win with Christ and me too! Christ wins in fellowship with us, knowing that His child is trusting in the life He intended us to live. I win because I CAN live without condemnation because of Him! And third, once I hand over those bottles — I don’t have to carry them anymore! And let me tell you, if you’ve ever tried riding a bike holding two paper sacks filled with empty glass bottles you’d come to realize how challenging that really is. I can’t say I didn’t lose a few bottles along the route. Like our walk in Christ, we no longer have to carry the burden, sit beneath the weight or position ourselves under the pressure of the past any longer.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” II Corinthians 5:17
We are no longer bound to those things, the chains have been loosened and we have been set free! We are able to then sit in the shade of His everlasting love and enjoy the sweetness of His delight and sip on the “Nehi” of His Spirit that lives within us.
But it’s one thing to know the meaning of redemption, it’s another walking and living redeemed. What in the world does that look like and how do you do it? It starts with faith — belief in trusting the Savior because what He says is true (Isaiah 45:19). Through belief you teach your heart and mind to know and recognize the truth! What looks like reality isn’t always true — that’s why your compass has to point in the direction of “He” at all times (see yesterday’s post). Then, and only then, will you walk as does the blind man. You become fully dependent upon the ONLY one who can redeem!
What does this look like in your life? We all have issues, crisis, struggles, challenges, worries and busyness. How do you live redeemed?