"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
It's a new day, a new week, a new year and a new Bible study - yet the same God and the same plan of redemption!
As we begin our study this week, we will be looking at the past and how God's plan of redemption was in place before the world was even formed. How from the very beginning He loved us enough to send His son as a ransom for our sins. As we study on what Christ did for us this week, 0ur challenge is to really meditate on the word "redeemed" and what God's plan of redemption has to do with your life.
My father was in prison from as early as I can remember until I was 12 or 13. He was busted with 20 kilograms of cocaine and over $25,000 in cash. At that time (25+ years ago), he was running one of the largest trafficking businesses that had ever been busted in Alabama. He was sentenced to 15 years, but only served 8. He apparently didn’t mind it too much because nothing really changed. The first time he was ever able to get unsupervised visitation with us, he made a drug deal with me sitting on the sofa next to him. I guess he thought we were too young to know what the “white stuff” was. I should have been, but, at that age, I had already experienced what many adults never have to.
My sister was pregnant at 15. She’s now a METH addict with a severe man addiction as well. She bounces from one man and/or halfway house to another. We’ve gotten her into more programs than I can remember, but it’s never long until she’s back on the streets again.
My brother was an alcoholic before he was legally able to drink. He’s moved on to bigger things since then and currently struggles with drug addiction among other things.
With our background, my sister’s and brother’s stories are not surprising at all. They’re really quite typical. I guess more surprising is the fact that I’m not where they are, but I assure you, it’s by NOTHING I am and/or NOTHING I’ve done! It is simply God’s grace! I have been redeemed!
My grandma got saved when she was 50 years old! She completely surrendered to God, and it showed in every aspect of her life. I began spending more and more time with her, and I’m very thankful for the prayers she prayed on my behalf! We lived with her during my Senior year of high school, and she & I shared a room. As I was getting ready for school or work in the mornings, I would hear her call my name as she started her day in prayer. I wasn’t living a life to be proud of at that time. I was headed down the road to being a statistic myself, but my grandma continued praying, and not long after, I met my husband, Bret. From that moment on, I know his Mom began praying for me as well.
I know I’ve said a LOT, but my story of redemption is as much physical as it is spiritual. Redemption to me means freedom from not knowing who I’d be living with from one day to the next and whether or not I’d be safe, freedom from a life of sexual impurity and promiscuity, freedom from a life of drugs, alcohol, and addiction, freedom from passing on the brokenness I experienced as a child to my children. It means I’ve been ransomed from my past, physically and spiritually! I’m so very thankful that God gave me eternal life with Him, free from hell and damnation! I’m also thankful that He didn’t stop there, He gave me something better on this side of life as well!
"Redemption to me means freedom..." So true Angie! And that was God's plan from the very beginning.