Why We Need a Redeemer

THE WINNER OF THE FUN BOX CELEBRATING THE OVER IT. ANNIVERSARY IS MELISSA W. CONGRATULATIONS, MELISSA! EMAIL ME AT kristine@morethanyourself.com FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…” Psalms 103:2-4 NIV

Ruth. One of my favorite women in the Bible. Ruth’s future didn’t look too promising, but that didn’t stop her from making history.

Ruth lost her husband early in their marriage, and she soon separated from her sister, whom I’m sure she’d come to depend on for love and support. I mean, who else could identify with her situation and understand like a sister?

But in spite of all that, Ruth knew the meaning of the word commitment. Her words have become a well-known testament to faith in God. Talking to her mother-in-law, she said:

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

A hard worker by nature, Ruth didn’t give up when bleakness persisted. She took it one day at a time, doing more than expected. Why? Because it was the right thing to do, of course. And that’s just the type of character God can use to fulfill His divine plan.

 

But she couldn’t do it without a redeemer.

 

“If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.” Ruth 4:4

 

As Ruth’s intended redeemer, Boaz rightfully presented Ruth’s situation to Elimelek. Ruth and Noami anticipated the outcome of that meeting. Elimelek was the nearest kin to Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, and he could have taken Ruth in, vowing life-long responsibility to the two women.

They had nothing to worry about though. God’s planned redeemer was in place. Boaz stepped in, binding the promise that would seal the covenant and continue the family lineage with the birth of their son, Obed, future grandfather to King David.

We can learn many valuable lessons from Ruth's life, including this:

God’s plan for her life could be fulfilled because she was redeemed.

God used Ruth to continue the lineage from which His son Jesus Christ would come to earth. And God will use us too, because through a life with Jesus, we are redeemed.

Blessings,

Kristine

You Are YOU, Because of God's Grace

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10a NIV)

The music blared from the cassette player.

I'm sure the lyrics brought tears to Jesus’ eyes. Not the good kind, either. In fact these band members spoke openly against faith. I knew that. I also knew they promoted a careless, disrespectful lifestyle.

But in my independent teenage mind, none of that mattered.

Looking back now, I realize the damage I was causing. I sometimes reminisce about the past and cringe at some of the choices I made.

I’m sure many of us have memories from the past that bring a heaping load of regret.

Sometimes when those shame-filled times pop into our minds, we quickly pray them away. We dig into God's Word to remind us who we are in Christ today. Because if we don’t, the enemy may try to grab onto those thoughts and consume us with feelings of defeat and discouragement.

Being able to take those thoughts captive is an important part of growing closer to God.

There are also times when the memories of past mistakes serve an important role in our lives.

Paul points this out in 1 Corinthians 15. Those sins of the past reveal God’s power and define our purpose.

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10a NIV)

Because of where I was and who God is, I am what I am. (Tweet this.)

Paul points out he is not even worthy to be associated with the apostles. Even so, he realizes it is God’s plan to use him, and God is able to do more than Paul can imagine.

Matthew Henry’s commentary puts it this way, “When sinners are, by Divine Grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful.”

Have moments of your past been burdening you?

Are you haunted by thoughts of a lifestyle you’d honestly rather forget?

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can take those thoughts captive. Then we can see them for what they are – a triumph for God’s goodness and grace.

Dear Lord, I am thankful to be rescued and renewed, yet still growing and learning with you each day. Help us today to see our past the way You see it, as a testimony of a life transformed. Allow our focus to be on the journey we are taking with You, and may others be changed by seeing the change in us. Amen.

Blessings,

Kristine

(This post originally appeared on morethanyourself.com February 28, 2015.)