Daily Dose, Jan. 19 — All Things New

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 
(Isaiah 43:1-2)
As a kid, I remember getting the glass bottles of Coke. When we finished, we would keep them and take them to a grocery store, where we could redeem them. I can picture now the crates of bottles stacked up with containers bottles of Coke, Fanta … and even some odd bottle of Tab thrown in. I loved the idea that you could take something that was used up and spent and exchange it for something of real value - cash! Redemption is a powerful idea, and it is a strong idea and image all through the Bible. God is always at work redeeming - taking something that’s spent, used up, and of less value - and exchanging it for something of real value. God chooses to partner with us in our redemption. He doesn’t force redemption on us any more than an empty bottle of Coke could walk itself to the store and into one of those crates. But sometimes, we allow ourselves to be lazy partners. We fool ourselves into thinking that redemption amounts to “slapping a fresh coat of paint” on an old and tattered wall, when what really needs to happen is for the wall to be ripped out and replaced! Think about that image for a minute. Are you truly listening for God’s voice, and are you open to his pointing out the places in your life that are in need of more than a “fresh coat of paint”? Are you willing to surrender those pieces of your heart, mind, and thoughts to God’s care? Do you trust him enough to truly let him redeem those areas, exchanging it for something that’s brand new and of inherently more value than what you’re hanging on to? “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” --Rev. Brad Greene