I am Redeemed

Re blog: From the Mouth of a Sailor

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:6-8, NKJV

What it is about the sea that would harden a man? Isolation, perhaps? The limited company of other seamen who have also been calloused?

Intriguing question, best left to those who specialize in human behavior. Maybe the real question for me would be how does that hardened seaman become a Christian? A flagrant enemy of God, arrogant and derisive. So calloused to both God and man that he takes upon himself the business of slave trading without so much as a tickling in his conscience. What causes such a man to spin a 180?

John told us. Grace. Amazing grace. A grace that pursued him over more than two decades. Across the span of countless ocean journeys, three continents, military service and ultimately into the devil’s work. Think Amistad. That’s John’s business. Cruelty. Cold blooded murder. Kidnapping, human trafficking. Slavery.

Why would the God of love pursue such a man? Why wouldn’t the God of justice strike him dead in his heinous sin? He sent an abyss in Newton’s soul, rather than taking his breath. He demonstrated power in a hurricane, but withheld destruction in the storm. Why would the King of Heaven go to such lengths for one despicable man?

Grace. Unfathomable love. Mercy unparalleled. Favor so Divine it turns the soul from darkness to light. The same unmerited favor that is poured out upon me. That chose to redeem me rather than lose me.

Amazing grace.

I am Redeemed

From the Mouth of a Sailor

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:6-8, NKJV

What it is about the sea that would harden a man? Isolation, perhaps? The limited company of other seamen who have also been calloused?

Intriguing question, best left to those who specialize in human behavior. Maybe the real question for me would be how does that hardened seaman become a Christian? A flagrant enemy of God, arrogant and derisive. So calloused to both God and man that he takes upon himself the business of slave trading without so much as a tickling in his conscience. What causes such a man to spin a 180?

John told us. Grace. Amazing grace. A grace that pursued him over more than two decades. Across the span of countless ocean journeys, three continents, military service and ultimately into the devil’s work. Think Amistad. That’s John’s business. Cruelty. Cold blooded murder. Kidnapping, human trafficking. Slavery.

Why would the God of love pursue such a man? Why wouldn’t the God of justice strike him dead in his heinous sin? He sent an abyss in Newton’s soul, rather than taking his breath. He demonstrated power in a hurricane, but withheld destruction in the storm. Why would the King of Heaven go to such lengths for one despicable man?

Grace. Unfathomable love. Mercy unparalleled. Favor so Divine it turns the soul from darkness to light. The same unmerited favor that is poured out upon me. That chose to redeem me rather than lose me.

Amazing grace.

I am a trophy of grace

I am a Trophy of Grace: A Joint Post

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. ~ Colossians 1:21-22

From Jen

I love watching the Rehab Addict on HGTV. I dream of restoring an old house, bringing it back to what the builder intended it to be when he raised its walls and crafted its character. I actually grieved when a rickety old house in town was demolished. The city saw an eyesore held together by termites. I saw a masterpiece begging for redemption.

Nicole says something rather profound about her passion for rescuing old homes in her sound bite for that show. She says, “These homes are my projects—they’re my treasures.” Think me insane, but that statement actually beckons tears. Not because of her, or her homes, but because of the verse above.

I’m not only Jesus’s project of love. I’m His treasure. By nature, I’m an ugly, condemned woman waiting for destruction. But because He bought me, reconciled me, and redeemed me, I am now His prize. The trophy of His grace.

From Susan

My son loves his soccer trophies.  He sets them all out on his bookshelves so he can daily delight in their golden shininess.  But the thing that seems to give him the most pleasure is when he can show them off to a visitor.  When he does, he wants his guest to admire the beauty of the trophies.  But more importantly, he wants his friend to praise him, the soccer player, for doing such a great job.

As I read Jen’s words and thought about the verse she chose, I saw Jesus himself presenting me – redeemed and remodeled by his own hand – as a trophy to God the Father.  “Look, Father, what I have done.  Isn’t she beautiful?”

The praise belongs not the trophy, but to Christ Himself, for doing such a great job.  He remade me through His grace, and by the time I reach Heaven, He will have perfected me.  He paid a dear price to do this, his own death and suffering.  How He must love me to be willing to do that for me – not only to die, but to clean me up, to gentle my hostile mind, to forgive and eliminate my evil deeds.

Praise the trophy-bearer.  Praise Him for his amazing grace.