August 26, 2016

Isaiah 63:16 But you are our Father,
though Abraham does not know us
or Israel acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name.

This is a very interesting verse, because it transcends all racial justification for salvation. Isaiah himself was certainly Jewish, but this verse could easily come from a Gentile. It is saying that God is Redeemer, in much the same way John said He is Love. (1 John 4:8) Redemption is certainly one of the great themes of the Bible, but we don’t really think about it very much, even though we sing hymns like Redeemed! How I Love to Proclaim It. I think that’s because we don’t like to admit, in our own hearts, that we need to be redeemed. Redemption involves something that has been lost – taken, stolen, sold – and then buying it back, with money or something else of value. Even coupons fit into that category, because the company distributes them and they become worthless until someone brings them in and receives either money (a discount) or goods for the company to get the coupon back. Human beings are of great intrinsic value, but when we wander from God we become slaves to sin. If we come back to Him in repentance, He redeems us with the blood of His Son. One of the biggest reasons people don’t get saved is that they don’t want to admit they need it … that as they are, they are serving the devil and are headed to the same fate that awaits him.

I don’t remember how clear a concept I had of my own sin when I committed myself to Jesus Christ at age 7 (though I do remember going to my father and talking to him about my desire to be baptized and become a Christian). I do remember how very aware I was of my own sin when the Lord tapped me on the shoulder in 1972 and showed me a mirror, and I saw the blackness of my pride. I knew then that it didn’t matter how stellar my parents were; I myself had to be humbly obedient before God, or I was in total denial of my Lord and Savior. I am very, very thankful to know God as my Redeemer! Since then I have sought to share the good news of the Kingdom of God, and everything that includes, with as many as possible, but I haven’t met many receptive hearts. Human beings as a race seem to be largely deaf and blind! However, since God got through to me, I know He can get through to others, and I must never give up. I want as many as possible to sing, Redeemed! How I Love to Proclaim It, and really mean it!

Father thank You for the privilege of proclaiming Your Gospel. Help me never give up, but let Your Spirit use me to bring people to repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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