Hope Discovery of the Day:
Redemption is the gift that keeps giving.
Scripture of the Day:
“In Him we have redemption by His blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of His grace that He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, He has made known to us the mystery of His will in accord with His favor that He set forth in Him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.”
As we explore the gifts of Christ this Christmas, redemption is there adorned in red, waiting to be unwrapped by those who see their need for the gift of redemption. The gifts we admire and desire at Christmas sometimes come from a place of longing for something to change our disposition or circumstances. We hope for gifts that bring us lasting change – maybe joy or peace, or provision of some kind. But the gifts we give and receive on this earth are only temporary and this gift of redemption lasts for eternity.
Today, when we think of the word redemption, we tend to think of redeeming a coupon (I guess I am revealing the bargain hunter side of me), but truly the significance of redemption has been lost in a culture that has experienced freedom and grown accustomed to it.
Good ol’ Webster defines redemption as “the act of making something better or more acceptable. The act of exchanging something for money, an award, etc. In Christianity, the act of saving people from sin and evil; the fact of being saved from sin or evil.” Another definition of redemption means to repurchase or to buy back.
Everyone is in need of redemption, but everyone might not know it. Unknowingly, we can tend to buy into the pervasive humanistic thinking of our day and think we are “good enough”. But the standard of a Holy God is perfection. We could never be good enough. We need a Redeemer. We could not earn this redemption and we do not set the standards, but One was willing to meet those standards that He set and pay for our redemption.
The greatest gifts given require the greatest sacrifice. When we give, we are expressing our attitude toward the person and their worth. We hope that our gift will be well received and maybe even secretly hope it will give us favor. But giving is just as much about the giver as it is about the recipient. Our heart matters. Our motivation for giving matters. David had learned of the Holiness of God and dared not offer something which cost him nothing. (2 Samuel 24:24). But nothing we could ever give could compare with the gift Christ gave us of redemption.
When Christ gave, he held nothing back. He defined our worth by giving Himself – God in the flesh, in exchange for sinful mankind. He redeemed us by His blood, poured out to pay for every sin – not so we would continue in sin and feel entitled, but so we would know Him and join Him in sharing His message of redemption so others could be redeemed, too.
This redemption is the greatest gift because it is the most costly, most selfless gift and it was not a last minute gift idea. God had this gift in mind before we ever were. Our God Who set a plan of redemption in place at the very moment of the fall of man has a plan of redemption for our lives, too.
We were once slaves to sin when God saw us in our sin and redeemed us to become slaves of righteousness. Redemption is the gift that keeps giving. When we forget out way and our identity in Christ, we remember His gift lasts forever.