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August 26, 2008

Redeemed


What does it mean to be redeemed?

A few years ago I was asked to speak at a middle-school lock-in for about 400 students. As I began to pray about what the Lord would have me share with them I thought about my dog. I think about my dog a lot, but you know, that day I thought about him in a “spiritual lesson” kind of way. His name is Jake and he is truly a “wonder dog” you just wonder what trouble he will get into next, or what he will eat off the counter when no one is looking.

When Jake was born, his first family was not good to him. Each day he was tossed out into the garage of a small apartment. The floor was covered in his filth and he was clearly malnourished. There were no windows to the garage and he was a pitiful site. By the way he cowed down at any sudden movements, I felt for sure that he had been abused.

Backing up a little, I had recently lost my Dalmatian of 11 years, Dottie, to a sudden aneurism and was brokenhearted, not really looking yet for another dog. I was in the process of moving to Atlanta and thought it best to wait on a new pet until I was settled in my next house.

Then my phone rang. My friend Schoonie, also a dog lover, started out with “just hear me out before you say no.” She proceeded to explain that her friend lived in an apartment complex and her neighbors had a dog they were mistreating and he needed a new home. She went on to explain that he was half Labrador Retriever and half Australian Cow Dog (Blue Heeler). So, in my mind I had this full sized dog that may possibly be extremely ugly…ever seen a Blue Heeler? I was not interested, and besides I needed to wait till I moved. She pressed the issue as she said, “shut up, I am in the drive way, you are going with me to look at this dog.”

So, I got in the car. We pulled up and the ugliest two little yappy dogs ran out to greet us, they were some sort of terrier mixed with some other little breed combining to make up two very ugly dogs. In the back of my mind I thought, if he is one of them, I’m out. Then I looked up to see the most beautiful black and white puppy all stretched out in the grass resting in the sunshine still panting from his hard work of playing. As soon as our eyes met, I knew he was my dog. I played it cool and said, “well I guess I could take him for a day or so and see how it goes.” The family had actually just had a baby and didn’t want a baby and a dog and it was clear the dog was getting the short end of the stick.

I picked him up and handed Schoonie the keys and said, “I guess we should run him by the vet to check him out.” Of course I had already fallen in love with him and we had bonded before we even pulled out of the complex. When we got to the vet, I laid my credit card on the counter and said, “whatever it takes, please check him out and do whatever you need to in order to make him healthy and caught up on all his shots.” And, as simple as that, Jake became my dog. I had redeemed him. I got him out of a situation that he could not get out of on his own. I paid a bill that he could not pay. I gave him what he needed. He weighed eight pounds the day I got him and 13 a week later. He had hit the jackpot and it is still paying out!

Now, back to the spiritual lesson…I took Jake with me that night to the lock-in and shared my heart with the students. Using Jake’s life as an analogy, I explained that as all of us have the opportunity to be redeemed by God. He has already paid a price we could never afford. He has provided us a way out of our fallen and sinful situation that we cannot get out of on our own. God put his unlimited “platinum super gold” credit card on the counter and did whatever it would take to redeem His creation. It cost Him His only son.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ His son. Romans 6:23

We have earned death but redeemed to life through Christ.

3 comments:

amber said...

looking forward to more posts!

Jennifer E. said...

That is awesome! I have heard that story a few times and it is always inspiring!

wheretheboysare said...

Awww - Jake.

Great analogy.

Jackie @ where the boys are