My favorite Redemption story is, of course, my own; but we all feel the same way about this. We all love to sing about our redemption. . .
“Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Redeemed by His infinite mercy Whose child and forever I am.”
I have sung this great hymn with bank robbers, murderers, liars, forgers, cheats, the addicted, alcoholics, rapist, muggers, thieves, runaways, prodigals, prostitutes, self righteous, convicts, ex-convicts, the rich, the poor, the up and outers, the down and outers, you name it. The theme of Amazing Grace is a song of our redemption that echoes around the earth, and it has to be music to God’s ears. I was in a summer conference in Moholm, Sweden in the mid eighties, and they projected words in English on and overhead for a Redeem Team I had taken with me to the summer conference to sing with them. They were singing: THERE’S A SWEAT, SWEAT SPIRIT IN THIS PLACE. One letter changed the whole message of the song. It was not a perspiration spirit in this place we were singing about. It was a SWEET, SWEET SPIRIT IN THE PLACE. Once you are redeemed and you know that you are, you can take the SWEAT OUT.
I guess they have always been around. I call them Elder Brother Churches, but I sure would not want to be a part of one of them. You know, a church that frowns on redemption stories. But, people like that are like the poor who you have with you always. Jesus had to deal with the problem, and here is what he said about it. When the religious crowd of Jesus’ day complained that He was spending too much time with the sinners of society, Jesus told a few redemption stories.
He started with the story of the lost sheep. "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" Luke 15:7. A man owned 100 sheep, but one day while away from home, one of the sheep was lost. Jesus gives us an example of what it means to be a part of The Redeem Team. He went looking for the lost lamb. Think about it. That is where the real party begins. The shepherd went home and had a Bar B Q because it was the real reason for a fiesta.
The Redeem Team will give us plenty of opportunities to throw a party. There is rejoicing in heaven when redemptive acts take place. The Big Brother condition shuts your praise system totally down, and I don’t want to ever be a part of that crowd; but they are out there, and they see no need for repentance and salvation. Do you think it is possible that those who see no need for it have never been redeemed themselves?
I’m redeemed by love Divine. Glory, glory Christ is mine!
Your Redeemed Pastors,
Cleddie and GayNell