26th July 2020

Ransomed from Futility 

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.”
1 Peter 1:18-21 (NLT) 

Amy Hempfel’s story ‘A Man in Bogota’ is a fictional account of a wealthy man kidnapped in South America and held for a million dollars ransom. It takes his wife around three months to get the money. The kidnapped man wasn’t in the best of health with a heart condition, but his kidnappers need him alive to collect the money, so they won’t let him smoke, and they make him exercise daily. They even change his diet. His wife pays the ransom and they let him go. When his doctor examines him, he says the man is in excellent health, far better than before he was kidnapped. This story asks: “how do we know that what happens to us isn’t good?” Though this man was held captive by kidnappers, he was also unknowingly captive of a lifestyle affecting his health.

‘Ransom’ means that someone is “bought back” from some captor, which can be a person, but also a negative mindset, an addiction, or a set of bad habits (as in this story). Although we may not realise it, we have all been held captive by a negative mindset.

The verses, above, show that humanity has been ‘ransomed’—bought back from “the empty life [we] inherited from our ancestors,’ where we move through this world without knowing who we really are. Often we believe we are alone in our suffering and struggles. The good news, as these verses tell us, is that Jesus’ sacrifice absorbs the negative mindset and thoughts of separation from God.

Jesus took our pain to the grave, and then he was raised in glory. And when he rose, so did we. Even as the man in the story found release, so we have freedom in Christ!

Prayer
Merciful Father, may we know the fulness of freedom from being in Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study presented by Michelle Fleming

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About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Michelle Fleming is an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

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.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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