Different Beginnings, Same Ending

Each of us has a story to tell. And I would guess that no two stories are ever exactly the same. We come from different parts of the country. We were raised under different parenting philosophies and had different values infused. We may have been raised with financial abundance, or possibly we come from a family with lots of love but little in the way of material goods.

Our choices in life may have kept us close to God or taken us far from Him. But no matter how our lives began or where our paths took us, if we are followers of Jesus, we share something in common….we have ALL been redeemed. And because of that, our stories all have the same ending.

The book of Job details the life of a man whose story was one of blessing and obedience followed by suffering and lament. In his despair, Job complains of a litany of maladies from bad breath to social isolation before proclaiming in chapter 19, verses 25 and 26;

            “I know that my redeemer lives and in the end, he will stand upon the earth. And after

            my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh, I will see God”.

Redeemer. In Old Testament terms, a kinsman-redeemer was a close blood relative who was duty bound to assist family members in trouble. This could mean buying back family land that had been sold in hardship, buying a family member out of slavery, avenging the death of a family member, and  marrying the widowed wife of a family member to produce heirs in that persons name. In all of these situations, the kinsman redeemer comes to the rescue, at great cost to himself.

The most notable kinsman-redeemer in the Bible is Boaz, who was the closest relative of Ruth’s late husband. She was a widow without an heir, which almost guaranteed her a life of poverty. Boaz, however, fulfilled his role as kinsman-redeemer by marrying her, producing heirs in the name of her late husband, one of whom was in the lineage of Jesus Himself. That’s a beautiful picture of redemption. The life of a penniless widow was redeemed for that of the great-grandmother of King David and distant relative of the Messiah.

God is always ready and willing to redeem us; to rescue us and transform our stories. But so often we arent ready or willing to be redeemed. Many of us prefer the darkness to the light.

Sin is alluring, and even the darkest of places can be a comfort to those who find themselves there.

Many of us want to be redeemed but feel unworthy. I have a friend whos husband is not a believer because, while he knows God and believes there is a God, he cannot accept the fact God would save him after the sinful life he has led. He believes he is unredeemable”. How are we to convince someone that they are, in fact, redeemable?! Through prayer…and the reading of Gods Word.

It takes tremendous faith and trust to accept the fact that we are worthy of Gods approval. It is Satan who whispers in our ear that we are unlovable and unworthy of Gods affection. He tells us we cannot be used by God because of our shortcomings and sin. But, if we believe God loves us just as we are, what can’t He accomplish through us? His power is endless!

Yes, each of us has a story. As Christians, our stories, while different, share a similar plot line: we were once sinners in need of a Savior, we admitted our guilt, we accepted His gift of salvation, and He redeemed us! We have been rescued! And best of all, Our Redeemer Lives.

Tara Dye is a longtime member of LIFE Fellowship. She and her husband Paul have three children.

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