Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

 Ephesians 1:7-8a (NIV)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.

 Aren’t you grateful that God calls us by our name rather than by our sin?  When we seek God’s forgiveness and we turn away from our sin, what a humble blessing to be free and live in His grace and mercy.  There is no sin too great or too small for the Lord to forgive. Do we live free?

 The word “redeem” means to buy back, to save by payment of a ransom; to free from the consequences of sin. “Redeemed” is not just a church word-it’s our identity.  The Lord Jesus Christ paid a price for our salvation, and His redemption overflows (Psalm 130:7).  We are not just a little bit free; we are abundantly free! Do we live redeemed? 

 Why is it hard to let ourselves live redeemed?  Our past can keep us feeling underqualified to grow as a disciple or lead others in discipleship, but the opposite is true. Perhaps it is because the enemy tries to bring up the past.  Wounds heal but can leave scars. The enemy attempts to use our scars to shame to drag us back to a dark corner, to keep our testimony quiet and in hopes of making us ineffective. But Jesus tells speaks Truth over these lies.  It is through His blood that we can have redemption and by His authority we are told to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). 

 Discipleship is not often neat and tidy because human life is not neat and tidy.  But oh, what beauty and power is displayed when our story points to Jesus! Broken people sharing redemptive stories, imperfect people letting God shape and mold them, and people falling but getting right back up again.  What hope we share with the world when our life with Christ is lived out with those around us.  

 Not one of us is perfect, and we each have moments of regret, whether things we did or perhaps even things we didn’t do. There is a song called “Greater than Our Regrets,” by Tenth Avenue North that sings our cry to God in these moments.  The song has a powerful video as well. A few of the lyrics are below.  

 May these words help guide our prayer and conversation with God today:  

                        When the past it comes to haunt me
                        It tells me what I’ve done
                        It reminds me what’s gone wrong
                        When my sins are laid before me
                        My Lord, You take them on
                        Yes, my Lord you take them on 

                        So if I fall, and if I fail
                        I will trust your mercy is
                        Greater than all of this
                        And if I bend and if I break
                        I’ll trust the hands that hold me are
                        Greater than all my regrets
                        You are greater than all my regrets
                        You are
                        Greater than all my regrets
                        You are, You are

   –lyrics from “Greater Than All My Regrets,” by Tenth Avenue North

 When the enemy drudges up the past, we have to fight the urge to wear it.  That is not who we are anymore. We can stand today and not crumble back into our past sin cycles because Jesus is our Rock & Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).  He is truly greater than all our regrets. 

Father God thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, and for your grace and mercy that lets me live forgiven.  I praise you today…I am redeemed! Teach me to live in that freedom. I know I break your heart sometimes, and I thank you are greater than all of my regrets. And as seek and live in your forgiveness, teach me to forgive others and extend grace and mercy.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.   

PSALM 139:13-14
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
 my soul knows it very well.