Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 29, 2013

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Hebrews 9:10-14

The value of anything is a function of its demand and its availability.

Also, value is determined by the price someone is willing to pay.

This is why redemption is such a highly prized commodity. Everyone would love a second chance in life but those are hard to come by. In fact, it was impossible to have a second chance until Jesus purchased it through the shedding of His blood upon the cross of Calvary. On that cross He bought back in blood what Adam had lost by his sinful rebellion against God.

Adam sold us out when he disobeyed God in Eden. God had created him especially to tend the garden and produce food to meet the needs of his family. When he allowed himself to be deceived by Satan he surrendered the power and authority given him by God. Jesus, born sinless and living without sin, He became the sacrifice for our sins to settle the debt for those sins.

Being redeemed means you have been bought back out of slavery and into God's glorious freedom. Through the shed blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, God paid the price to ransom you from slavery to sin and death and hell. As the song declares, "He paid a debt He didn't owe to release you from a debt you couldn't pay".

When God redeemed you from slavery He didn't take you as a slave but He adopted you as a child! As a child of God you are a joint-heir of all the riches and all the authority that belonged to Jesus. So, redemption means you were set free - you were bought back from abject poverty and absolute slavery into glorious freedom as God's child! You have gone from having nothing to having everything!

"Redemption" is a term of endearment! Now you understand why?!

September 28, 2013

"When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”  So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly." Luke 19:5-6

While there is not much that is typical about Jesus, this encounter with Zacchaeus was typical of the way Jesus lead people to faith. He met them where they were, engaged them in a conversation, turned the conversation to spiritual issues and then called them to salvation.

Here it was Zacchaeus.

The last few days we talked about the man on the mat lowered through the roof by friends.

Then there was Nicodemus the religious leader who came to Jesus under the cover of darkness.

Don't forget the Rich Young Ruler who came to Jesus hopeful but went away sad.

And, there was the Samaritan woman who Jesus met by the well, changed her life and then she later saved her city.

You would think that someone like Jesus would have concentrated on throngs of people and attempt to convert them by the thousands at large campaign type rallies. But he didn't! He tended to meet people and convert them one-on-one.

Maybe if Jesus had held large tent revivals all across the country with the lute player and the most accomplished harpist to provide musical support, maybe He would have left behind more that just 120 followers.

What was He thinking?

Perhaps He was thinking about the value of each individual person He encountered.

As it turns out, Jesus picked some winners!

The Samaritan woman was so changed after she converted that most of her town!

Nicodemus later used  his influence to protect Jesus when He was being grilled by the Pharisees.

Why do you think Jesus did evangelism one-on-one rather than in multitudes?

Your guess is as good as mine but I am thinking it may have been that way because salvation is a personal and individual decision. If people did get saved in a large gathering it still had to happen individually and one at a time.

The world changes one conversion at a time. Never underestimate the importance of your witness! Don't lose sight of the power of your influence through friendship. Learn to leverage your friendships into evangelism opportunities and we can change our world!