11th December 2016

Three Spiritual ‘R’s

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NKJV)

Teachers tell us that to lay the foundation for a good education, students need to master the three academic Rs—Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithamatic. Let’s look at three spiritual Rs that help us understand God’s plan for all humanity—Redemption, Restoration and Reconciliation. These three are “feel good” words, even when not used in a religious context. We like it when something is reconciled, restored and redeemed. Like when our checkbook reconciles with our bank statement. Or when a broken life is redeemed. How about when something that is broken is fixed and thus restored? I have a huge model of a sailing ship in my office. During an office move, it was broken. My good friend Scott Wertz restored it. Now you can’t tell where it was cracked. I love that it looks brand new.

In his parables, Jesus often used the “feel good” aspect of redemption, restoration and reconciliation to help us understand how God “feels good” about bringing humanity to salvation. There is the parable of the lost coin, and also the one about the lost sheep. Jesus wants us to know that God loves us. We are his highly-valued possessions, and he wants us back with him, where we belong.

It’s God’s nature to seek to live in friendly relationship with his creation. Jesus told us: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Ephesians 1:4 says, “He [God the Father] chose us in him [Jesus] before the creation of the world…” Let’s not read over this exquisite point—God wants us! We belonged to him before the world was created. To borrow an old phrase, we were a gleam in God’s eye before he spoke the cosmos into existence with all its matter, energy and attendant processes and multiplicity of life forms. We belonged to God from even before that beginning. God’s love has been outgoing throughout eternity and he is drawing people back to himself.

Once this fact of God’s love and purposes for us and all creation has sunk in, there can be only one response—gratitude. And that gratitude is expressed in worship in every aspect of our lives for the wonderful reconciliation, restoration and redemption that is ours through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer
Gracious, loving Father in Heaven, we are grateful for the redemption we have in Jesus Christ that restores us and reconciles us to you despite our sins and weaknesses. Thank you in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach

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joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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