Try to Imagine Redemption: Beauty Lost, Beauty Restored. Romans 12:2

Romans 12:1-2Amplified Bible

Dedicated Service

12 [a]Therefore I urge you, [b]brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [c]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Try imagining a father… A perfect heavenly father who loves you a million times more than anyone could ever hope to love anyone; a true heavenly father who is perfect, compassionate, gracious, merciful, loving in all of his dealings with us.

This amazing father offers one of the rarest of all commodities on this planet, forgiveness.

He resets the relationship.

He removes the garbage.

He does not pretend that the sin didn’t happen, but he covers it, he removes the shame, the embarrassment is gone, he makes the relationship what it ought to have been all along – through the life blood of his own Son – Savior Jesus Christ.

Today we will talk about imagining something called redemption.

Chip and Joanna Gaines are unquestionably amazing and very inspiring to me.

Not just them but all of those programs on HGTV.

Are any of you readers with me on this?

So, these people take outdated properties and pour a ton of effort and love and money into getting rid of their former ugliness, restoring the beauty of them.

Presto… Now another family they have their dream house! And suddenly we need a wall with shiplap upon it. And better landscape. And an open concept.

There is a Bible name for stuff like that – redemption.

To redeem something simply means that somebody puts up the effort and the money to buy back or to purchase something so that it can become their own.

HGTV features properties that have seen better days but now they’re going to get a new chance at life.

Tune into Motor Trend and one will observe several TV shows revealing that this happens to old, rusted out automobiles turned into modern classics as well.

The specialty of Savior Jesus Christ is doing this very same thing – but not to property, not to automobiles, and not to furniture, not to rusted blades but to human beings who were originally made in his image but became horribly scarred, disfigured by sin – our sin and the sins others committed against us.

Jesus is called a Redeemer because he rescues the sinner from his/her problems and dilemma’s, he ransoms, he buys back those who have been given up on, he takes the lost and the least likely, transforms them into a trophy of his grace.

You see… Savior Jesus is absolutely interested in…

– Your health

– your heart

– your faith

– your relationships

– what you believe

– the details of your life

– your spiritual sanity

your eternal home

your eternal destiny

But what we are going to prayerfully discover today is Jesus doesn’t just redeem people, but he also lays his hands and redeems every messed-up thing in life.

If you remember the movie “I can only imagine” you see a picture of how God takes an angry and alcohol fueled raging man and can change not only him but also the reprehensible actions of his life that had harmed so very many people.

Only God can do something like that.

That’s why we’re here today because we want God to do something like that…

For you.

For me.

For everyone who with their whole heart and their whole soul and their whole life – freely confess the Lord Jesus Christ as their one and only personal Savior.

If old cars can be brought back to life…

If old homes can be brought back to life…

If old furniture can be brought back to life…

If old-rusted knives can be reforged, resharpened and repurposed, and given an opportunity to refunction and reuse in someone else’s kitchen (Proverbs 27:17)

Why cannot people be likewise brought back to life?

Isn’t this part of what happened in the Prodigal son story? (Luke 15: 11-32)

Good father, rebellious son.

Son demands “rightful inheritance to live his own way – apart from his father.”

Good father gives his rebellious son is inheritance.

Rebellious son wastes his inheritance on everything bad while good father hopes that one day his rebellious son will come home.

Rebellious son spends his inheritance his way but only ends up in a pigsty.

Rebellious son wakes up and feels the gravity of his sin and decides to go home.

Rebellious son does not know, nor cares, what will happen when he gets home.

Good father sees defeated, rebellious son walking up the road and runs to him and smothers him with undeserved grace and kindness and hugs and kisses.

Good father restores rebellious son to the family.

Good father throws a party and it’s at that party that he says this… Luke 15:23 …and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’

Right there, in that Parable, is the power that our heavenly father has called redemption – the dead live again. The lost are found again. The orphan is part of the family again. The dirty or clean again. The useless are made useful again.

The broken are fixed and Messes become messages, Tests become testimonies.

Today, let me paint you 4 pictures of redemption.

I love these kinds of messages because we are talking about what God does and what God does is full of 100% hope, gives max faith to trust him in the process.

Four things today ….

1. God redeems people.

2. God redeems souls, hearts, bodies and minds.

3. God redeems your worst days.

4. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.

1. God redeems people.

What is Redeemer God’s response to all of us less-than-perfect people, and wholly messed up people, and even those who seem to have gone too far?

Romans 5:19-21Amplified Bible

19 For just as through one man’s disobedience [his failure to hear, his carelessness] the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous and acceptable to God and brought into right standing with Him. 20 But the Law came to increase and expand [the awareness of] the trespass [by defining and unmasking sin]. But where sin increased, [God’s remarkable, gracious gift of] grace [His unmerited favor] has surpassed it and increased all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, so also grace would reign through righteousness which brings eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

These verses talk about sin, lots and lots and lots of sin.

• Bad sin,

• more and more sin,

• overwhelming sin.

• Read that no matter how far….

• how deep,

• how messed up,

• how wide,

• how perverse,

• how destructive,

• how utterly damning,

• how stupid,

• how embarrassing sin is to the sinner and what sin has brought to your life- the condemnation, the complications, the associations, the reputation – grace goes absolutely, significantly, infinitely further. It is God’s unlimited character.

The Apostle Paul is saying …. If your sin is abundant, grace is more abundant.

If sin brought the garbage in, grace will take it out and clean out the house.

If sin has made a mess, grace will clean up the mess and sanitize everything.

If sin has stolen anything and everything of value, grace will find those stolen goods and redeem them, buying them back.

If sin has disfigured you, grace does plastic surgery and restores you

If sin has left you laying in the gutter, grace puts you in a mansion.

Grace untangles the knots…

Grace puts broken things back together

God’s grace redeems you or rescues you or buys you back out of sin.

Redeeming grace is God going abundantly, infinitely further than your sin.

Redeeming grace is never lacking nor skimpy.

Redeeming grace is always “so very much more” than anything sin does to us.

Redeeming Grace is exceeding, drenching, saturating, over the top, abundant, and is of the very highest quality as well as the maximum measure of quantity.

Redeeming Grace is never about barely enough or just a little bit; redeeming grace is God always giving you absolutely everything he knows that you need.

Do you see the incredible power of redeeming grace?

– It seeks you out while you are out of it

– It climbs over every obstacle, every sin, every degrading things, all our opposition, all our ignorance

– It pays the price

– It engages our heart and mind and makes us aware

– It gives us the faith to believe

– It does the work to recreate us

– It forgives

– It empowers us anew

– It puts us in the family

– It never brings up the past

– It creates a new future

What more can God do?

Grace in its purest form is our God’s radical redeeming intervention into our ‘rusted’ lives to rescue us from darkness, to forgive us of sin and to transform us – the undeniably undeserving – into followers of Jesus. His grace delivers us the entire gift of salvation without conditions, limits and without reservation.

Grace reaches to the undeserving not to validate but to clean up the mess that sin has made.

Grace is the activity of God intervening in life with God’s resources to restore us to God’s created intention.

2. God redeems souls, hearts, bodies and minds.

Psalm 107:1-9Amplified Bible

Book Five

The Lord Rescues People from Many Troubles.

107 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever!

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,

And gathered them from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the [a]south.

They wandered in the wilderness in a [solitary] desert region;
And did not find a way to an inhabited city.

Hungry and thirsty,
They fainted.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He rescued them from their distresses.

He led them by the straight way,
To an inhabited city [where they could establish their homes].

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonderful acts to the children of men!

For He satisfies the parched throat,
And fills the hungry appetite with what is good.

One way to prayerfully, better understand, the beauty that God created is to understand its opposite: the ugliness and sorrow of being separated from God.

Because of our sin, this world is not the way it ought to be.

Sin has brought hardship and ugliness into our lives and into this world, though God designed it all to be good and beautiful.

We know that God has restoration in mind because we don’t feel “at home” in a world broken because of sin.

We are homesick for a world of peace and beauty.

We are homesick to be with God.

When we’re stuck in brokenness and facing the ugliness of this world of sin, we feel mightily homesick for God’s world of goodness and beauty.

Psalm 107 points out the sorrow and longing of this homesickness.

The world can feel like a wasteland, providing no place where people can rest, no place where they can settle and be at peace.

But the Lord, whose “love endures forever,” offers redemption.

The Lord hears his people cry out in their trouble caused by sin, and he delivers them from all distresses. God brings them to a place where they can settle and live in peace. “He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Ultimately, we know that all of life’s goodness and beauty will be restored when Jesus comes again, the new life he provides us even now gives us an ever- living hope for eternity with God.

Romans 12:1-2New King James Version

Living Sacrifices to God

12 I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b] reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

God’s redeeming grace, the one moment when that supernatural work called salvation – the day that Jesus and the Holy Spirit enter your life – what God seeks to do now is to refocus your thoughts, transform you from the inside out.

He is not going to leave you in the same condition he found you.

He’s not going to continue to let you think the way you thought, to do what you did, be enslaved to those addictions, go right back into everything your life was.

The two big words here in this passage are…

– “Let God…”

That simply means that you put yourself in a position where God can do the work.

The great story of Zaccheaus (Luke 19:1-10) in the Bible illustrates this; when faced with his sin he left it.

He allowed the work of Jesus to not just forgive him of his sin, but he left his sin.

– The other big word in this passage is “transform.”

The redeeming power of God does not happen all at once.

All of your bad thoughts do not just go away at the snap of the proverbial finger.

All of your bad habits don’t just go away either.

All of your previous beliefs don’t just go away.

All of your selfishness doesn’t just go away.

The transformation that God does is a changing of your mind which changes your heart which changes your behavior, but it takes time for this to happen.

It also takes a few other critically essential things: being in the word of God, being in the church, being in prayer, being in fellowship with other godly people, being filled with the Holy Spirit, filling your mind with God things.

And here is a compare and contrast of what a redeemed person looks like…

Galatians 5:19-25New King James Version

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21  envy,  [c] murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

3. God redeems your worst days.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Here is some hope and assurance that we need;

God even redeems the things we think are irredeemable, have no value, that could never be of any good in our life. God’s redeeming grace even covers that.

Look at Joseph as he looks at his brothers who years prior had tried to kill him out of jealousy and rage and then tried to cover up their actions before Jacob.

Genesis 37 through 44 – Joseph is betrayed by his brothers …. sold to traders, lived a precarious life in Egypt – but with God on his side, rose to high power.

Then one day, several years later, Joseph’s brothers enter into his presence.

The brothers don’t recognize their younger brother whom they presumed dead.

Genesis 45:3-5New King James Version

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So, they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

Grace has no time or geographic boundaries covers all the way back to the beginning and grace is so powerful that it takes us all the way to the end.

Not only that but God’s grace is so comprehensive. so thoroughly extensive that it takes all the sin that was killing us and redeems it.

Grace rules over sin and takes away its damage and turns what was bad into something called a testimony.

A testimony is how what sin was using to destroy us God is now uses to destroy sin!!!

Grace makes us right…no matter how wrong we were.

Grace makes us acceptable…no matter how unworthy we were.

Grace makes us favored…no matter how unfavorable we have been.

God redeems…

– Addictions

– Wasted years

– Prison time

– Lost money

– Dumbness

– Stupidity

– Accidents

– Things done against you

4. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.

Psalm 107:1-3English Standard Version

Book Five

Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

107 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble[a]
and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say…

– He has chosen me.

– He has rescued me.

– He lives in me.

– I live in the palm of his hand.

– He is changing me.

– He is making me.

– He is transforming me.

– His hands are on my past. He is leading me into his future.

– His grace is overflowing to me.

– His riches overflow to me.

– My needs are met by his glorious resources.

– I have joy in the Lord.

– I have a song to sing.

– He is working it out.

Philippians 1:3-7NKJV

Thankfulness and Prayer

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Father God, Creator, Author and Redeemer and Restorer of my life, teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your Holy Spirit lead me on level ground. I see your faithfulness and goodness in what you have done for me throughout my life. I think about these things, and I thirst for you. Let me hear of your unfailing love every morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Keep me on firm footing for the glory of your name. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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