When I was a little boy back in the 1960s and early 1970s I loved picking up old Coke, RC and Pepsi bottles and turning them in to the Safeway grocery store for money. The return deposit fee on one bottle brought me 5 cents. Ten bottles brought $.50; good money for an 8 year old in 1969. “Bottle redemption programs” were a boon to a kid eager for some pocket change.
I recall vividly that most of the bottles were pretty nasty. Scratched, filled with dirt, chipped, sometimes filled with dark brown liquid whatever….it was a dirty job picking up the bottles, but in exchange for a little work, I could earn money….something highly valuable to me.
God, too, is in the business of redeeming old nasty bottles for bright shiny nickels. He takes our old stuff, our dirty laundry, our bad habits, our broken and scratched selves and he restores and redeems us to new…to something even more valuable….He restores us to a relationship He originally had in mind for us.
The next time you feel dirty, scratched, worn out, less than valuable, filled with dirt or filled with “whatever”….ask God to come touch you and to redeem you for something more valuable, something you actually are…the real you that He sees.
What do you want to ask Him to redeem today?
“In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.” – Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
P.S. I found the Merriam Webster dictionary definition of “redeem” to be perhaps the best spiritual message in the entire dictionary. Read over the definition below and see if any of the definitions move your heart.
I bet one of them will. When you are moved, stop and thank God for what He’s done in your life.
Definition of REDEEM from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
1. to buy back : repurchase; to get or win back;
2. to free from what distresses or harms: as to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to release from blame or debt; to free from the consequences of sin.
3. to change for the better : reform
4. repair, restore
5. to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby; ; to remove the obligation of by payment (2) to exchange for something of value <redeem trading stamps>; to make good: fulfill
6. to atone for: expiate <redeem an error>; to offset the bad effect of (2) to make worthwhile : retrieve