One of the ways this is defined in the dictionary is – to save, rescue, reclaim, deliver from sin
We also use the word when we talk about redeeming vouchers
I’m sure most of you at some point in your lives have received a voucher for a present – for books, CDS, just about any thing really. It struck me this week that the voucher itself doesn’t bring any thing good to the holder until it is redeemed
You can read the voucher, the terms and conditions, but it won’t be very entertaining. It’s not until you go and redeem it for the book of your choice that you get the value of it – then you can be inspired, challenged, amused depending on the book you chose.
When you redeem the voucher, the good can come out
You could put the voucher on top of your CD player, but there’s no benefit it that! Again, it’s not until you redeem if for a CD that the good comes out in the form of music that makes you feel like dancing, or relaxes you, or moves you in some other way.
Most of what happens in Ibiza and San An in particular is not in itself bad, its just used in the wrong way.
I’m actually glad that there are drugs – who has ever benefited from paracetamol?! When Tracy had Ellis, she was very glad of the drug pethadine, which is actually heroin in a very pure form. It brought her a lot of relief! I love chocolate, which is made from the same plant that cocaine is derived from. Ketamine has brought relief to horses for years.
Alcohol in the form of wine was a regular part of feasting in Jesus’ time – he even changed water into wine when the wine ran out at a wedding.
Sex was God’s idea – to be an expression of intimacy between a married couple
Music and dancing – the psalms are full of references to music and dance as a celebration of God’s love and an expression of worship to him
None of these things are wrong in themselves – in fact they are blessings of God, good things that he has given. They have been abused and used in ways that dishonour God and damage individuals.
But we’ve been challenged not to sit in judgement on the activities – instead we need to call out to God to see them REDEEMED – reclaimed, the good called out.
From the message
MATTHEW 5: 13 - 16
LET ME TELL YOU WHY YOU ARE HERE. YOU’RE HERE TO BE SALT SEASONING THAT BRINGS OUT THE GOD FLAVOURS OF THIS EARTH. IF YOU LOSE YOUR SALTINESS, HOW WILL PEOPLE TASTE GODLINESS? YOU’VE LOST YOUR USEFULNESS AND WILL END UP IN THE GARBAGE.
HERE’S ANOTHER WAY TO PUT IT: YOU’RE HERE TO BE LIGHT, BRINGING OUT THE GOD-COLOURS IN THE WORLD. (GOD IS NOT A SECRET TO BE KEPT. WE’RE GOING PUBLIC WITH THIS, AS PUBLIC AS A CITY ON A HILL. IF I MAKE YOU LIGHT BEARERS, YOU DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO HIDE YOU UNDER A BUCKET DO YOU? I’M PUTTING YOU ON A LIGHT STAND. NOW THAT I’VE PUT YOU THERE ON A HILLTOP, ON A LIGHT STAND – SHINE! KEEP OPEN HOUSE; BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR LIVES. BY OPENING UP TO OTHERS, YOU’LL PROMPT PEOPLE TO OPEN UP TO GOD, THIS GENEROUS FATHER IN HEAVEN)
Our prayers can often be against what we see that is wrong, or destructive or upsets us.
We’ve been stirred to pray more about calling out the good that God intended, bringing out the God colours and God flavours – REDEEMING what God has made