Redeemed by God’s Love
INTRO: The Boy Who Lost His Boat
Little Tommy carried his new boat to the edge of the river.
· He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string.
· How smoothly the boat sailed!
· Tom sat in the warm sunshine, admiring the little boat that he had built.
· Suddenly a strong current caught the boat.
· Tom tried to pull it back to shore, but the string broke.
· The little boat raced downstream.
· Tom ran along the sandy shore as fast as he could.
· But his little boat soon slipped out of sight.
· All afternoon he searched for the boat.
· Finally, when it was too dark to look any longer, Tom sadly went home.
A few days later, on the way home from school, Tom spotted a boat just like his in a store window.
· When he got closer, he could see -- sure enough -- it was his!
· Tom hurried to the store manager: "Sir, that's my boat in your window! I made it!"
· "Sorry, son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you'll have to buy it for one dollar."
· Tom ran home and counted all his money.
· Exactly one dollar!
· When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter.
· "Here's the money for my boat."
· As he left the store, Tom hugged his boat and said, "Now you're twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you." - Good News Publishers, Westchester, IL.
Such is the concept of redemption by God; first, He made us, then, He bought us.
The cost was higher, by far, than a dollar.We cost God’s dear Son His life!
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Being offered this great gift, why then, would anyone choose to forsake it?
Redemption; deliverance; rescue, repurchase, as of something sold.
Redemption; deliverance; rescue, repurchase, as of something sold.
God created you and me because He wanted our companionship, and our love.
As our Creator, He owned us; but, only in the good sense of that word, the way a gentle master owns a loving and faithful dog.
Truly, He is superior in every way.
Yet, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us.
And, just like the little boy, Tommy, who built the boat, and then lost it, and was willing to purchase it back; so, God paid a high price for us to be His again.
You see, He had to pay a price because His original creation, Adam, became lost to Him because Adam chose sin over His relationship with his Creator.
God saw His creation drifting away, unable to force it back into His fellowship because He had given His creation free will, the ability to decide.
And, decide Adam did.
Adam began a chain reaction that would reverberate down through history.
His single act of sin would give birth to a cycle of human atrocities that we still suffer from to this day.
Literally, his one bite of the fruit from the forbidden tree has lead mankind through history with a body count in the billions, perhaps trillions, when we consider the atrocities perpetrated by man on his fellow man.
The spark of Adam’s sin became the raging fires of human mistreatment and human death tolls; persecution of varying sorts
discrimination against genders
oppression of races
IS it any wonder when one considers what is at the core of our being?
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Mankind was and is truly lost.
Apparently, a beautiful and loving God created an ugly and unlovable creature.
That’s how it appears.
That’s why the price had to be paid.
We were truly lost that day.
From the moment Adam decided in his mind he knew better than his Creator.
So God, looking at the atrocities that had been and would be done still wanted a relationship with His creation.
Go did not create evil, nevertheless, man found it by being outside of the very goodness of God.
Imagine your very own children engaged in hatred, murder, treachery of all sorts between one another.
What if you discovered that your firstborn had chosen to abandon all that was good, and chose, instead, a path of death and destruction that would, literally, lead to atrocity after atrocity.
You taught your children that you are the only one who can protect them and they left you anyway.
You taught your children that life is precious and beautiful and they chose, instead, to snuff it out on a whim of inconvenience, or a fabricated moral obligation in your name.
You taught your children that the family should be the cornerstone of civilized society; that little children will never understand, and will always feel responsible for its destruction, and yet, they throw away their families for moments of carnal pleasure, and sin’s brief reward.
You taught your children that to love one another is the pinnacle of life only to discover that the ones who claim to know you and love you best are the ones who drive those who need you most furthest away form their redemption.
In fact, everything you had ever said or done for the good of your children was ignored and cast aside as if you never wanted anything good for them, you never really loved them; “just leave us alone!” they say.
Is there any hurt greater than that?
So why does He keep trying?
Can’t God see!
Doesn’t He understand that we are not worth it?
We are vile and disgusting and not worth His time!
Oh, yes. He sees us for just what we are.
But, he also knows and understands what we could be.
If we would only come back to Him!
Let’s switch gears a little.
A few years ago I attempted an illustration fo God’s redemption using a coffee bean.
I gave everyone present an envelope containing a coffee bean!
At a certain point I instructed everyone to take that coffee bean and smell it.
I asked if there were any coffee connoisseurs in the audience?
I told them to feel free to put it in your mouth and taste it, and many did.
I said you can do whatever you want with it, but I said what you have in your hands is absolutely the most expensive coffee bean in the world.
The type of coffee is extremely rare.
And here was its story: It comes from only one part of the planet, a part of the world known for its great coffee, Indonesia.
Some coffee connoisseurs consider this the most exquisite, exotic, complex-tasting coffee in the world.
A pound of really great roasted coffee beans can cost anywhere from $10, $20,and I found some for as much as $60 -$120 a und online.
Well, genuine Kopi Luwak coffee costs up to $600/pound!
This coffee is so expensive it is sold by the ounce – the only coffee that’s sold in such a small increment.
That’s what Kopi Luwak coffee is.
Kopi Luwak coffee has a very interesting origin.
Kopi is and Indonesian word for coffee.
A luwak is a jungle cat.
It’s about the size of a fox and is active only at night.
The luwak has one very unusual habit.
In fact, this cat is the Juan Valdez of the animal kingdom.
It picks only the ripest coffee cherries and eats them.
After eating them, the cat digests them.
The coffee bean actually emerges from the digestive process fairly intact.
The enzymes in the animal’s stomach apparently add something unique to the bean’s flavor, and growers have learned to harvest these beans for their unique rich flavor.
The big reveal: I said, “So, the coffee bean you are holding in your hands has actually been harvested from…well, you get the picture.”
I said it plainly then, “Every single one of the beans you’re holding has passed through the digestive tract of an Indonesian wildcat.”
At that point in my sermon illustration I could hear several people loudly spit the beans from their mouths.
Of course, I had to further reveal that I was kidding, and I couldn't afford even a few ounces of these beans for a sermon illustration.
They were just some beans I picked up at Kroger.
But I love the point of the illustration...
I told them it reminded me that with God a lot of good things come out of unlikely places.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Yes, we have committed horrible atrocities, some even in His name!
But, God still wants to make something beautiful out of us.
He is the only one who can.
Never forget the illustration of the Kopi Luwak coffee bean!
It can be a reminder of what God can do in your life!
God can “recycle” even the most useless and dirty things into something invaluable in His plan.
He took a stutterer and made him the spokesman for the Living God; Moses.
He gave an immortal noble mention in His Word to an immoral, foreign prostitute; Rahab
No matter what we’ve done, what “manure” we’ve been in, God loves us.
He loved a brave shepherd boy who grew up to be a lying, murdering, adulterous king; David.
He used a hated tax collector as one His twelve disciples; Matthew.
No matter what we’ve done, God can redeem us.
He made a disloyal, scared, backstabbing wimp into the rock upon which His church is built; Peter.
He turned a floundering, directionless wanderer into a spokesman for His Kingdom: Me
God uses people who’ve been through a lot of bad things, and He can use you!
Let God take you the way you are and turn you into something beautiful.
He is a Redeemer who wants to bring you into a relationship with Him.
Let us pray...