Participating with Christ in Redemption

participating in redemptionA short story of redemption

A few years ago, we welcomed a sibling pair into our home from foster care. What was a sad situation became something beautiful. It was not an easy task or an easy road. I needed to keep checking my heart and my motives for my responses. The goal in foster care is to return children to their parents when it is safe for them to return. 

This was a process, and I admit I struggled with what I wanted and what God’s design was for this family. It took time, teaching, and coaching, but the family was restored and the kids went back to their parents. We are blessed to have been chosen by God to help bring redemption to a family who might have lost hope. We are especially blessed to continue to have a relationship with this family because they welcomed us to remain in their lives. To me, that’s participating in redemption.

Even if the kids had not returned to their parents, I like to think we were part of redemption because of our responses to their needs and their pain. In simply recognizing others as people of value and worth (despite their mistakes), we are participating in redemption.

No matter your occupation or station in life, you can participate with Christ in Redemption. In fact, you should be a participant in redemption. If you’re a true follower of Christ, there is no other choice.

participating in redemptionHow to know if you’re participating in redemption

Redemption is “saving or being saved from.” It also “regaining possession.” Redemption means to win back, free from captivity, or pay a ransom. Redemption is restoration.

When someone makes a poor choice or deliberately turns down the wrong road, we have two choices: push them down and away or draw near to them and help them experience redemption. We can choose to keep them at bay and keep pushing them back in the ditch when they try to get up. While this is often our natural inclination, we are called to be part of redemption. It might be easier to keep shoving the person back into the muck of the ditch, but that is not God’s way. It must not be our way, either. A follower of Christ must always choose redemption, because that is what Jesus did.

I Peter 2 tells us to put aside deceit, envy, and evil speaking if we have tasted that the Lord is gracious. We must recognize that, though we’re rejected by men, we are chosen by God. That’s Redemption! If we have tasted the graciousness of God, then we must participate in redemption.

Luke tells us that to whom much is given, much is required. If you are redeemed, you have been given much. God therefore asks much of you – and that includes participating in Redemption. We should ask ourselves: what does He require of me?

Redemption involves suffering. It might include sacrifice and pain. Redemption might require time and treasure. I Peter also tells us that Jesus left us an example, that we should follow His steps. If we do what Jesus did, we will be participating in redemption.

The Lost Sheep

Jesus told the parable of 100 sheep.  There were 99 sheep who were safe while only 1 was lost. The shepherd loved the 99, but he also loved the one that was lost. That is why He went out to find that lost lamb and restore it to the fold. Every one of us has been that lost sheep. Were it not for the redemption we experienced, we would not have hope. That is why we must share the way to redemption with others. Every follower of Jesus must participate in finding and restoring that one lost lamb.

The message of the gospel is that every one is welcome to come, no matter his past or his present condition. The message of redemption is that the lost can be found, the sick can be made whole, and the heart can be changed. That’s redemption.

How is your participation in redemption?

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Photo credits: Pixabay.com

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