Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Power of Forgiveness and Redemption

I never cease to marvel at the wonderful power of forgiveness and redemption found in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

That is the message of the Bible, from Genesis 3:15 in the Old Testament, all the way through the end of the Book of the Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. It explains that we are a fallen race - alienated from a Holy and Loving God, who desires to bring us back into relationship with Him. The Bible is a beautiful love story of God reaching down to fallen man and purchasing him back from the slave market of sin.

Not only does God seek to redeem the unregenerate soul, but His forgiveness is always available to those who, although once His, may have wandered away from Him. (Read the famous story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15). Sometimes we do wander from Him. It is never His choice for us to do so, but like the father in the parable, He is always looking to restore us to the relationship (and all that goes with it) that we may have foolishly spurned, like the younger son in the parable.

Many of us are examples of the same concept.

Now, I know that the Enemy seeks to discredit such experience. The Accuser will cast doubt all around our testimony of the same. But the fact remains that God is a "God of the second chance". He calls erring children to come home, and sometimes uses harsh measures to catch our attention and to make us realize our need for Him.

Whenever a high profile person falls into this category, it is very easy for us to doubt. The story of Michael Vick is a good example of that. Who among us is not familiar with the rise and fall of the football superstar quarterback. His despicable actions of financing and operating a dog fighting ring, led him not only to public humiliation, but to financial ruin, suspension from his career, and 23 months in a federal prison. But something happened to Vick while incarcerated at Leavenworth. Through the work of the Holy Spirit and the help of another well known football personality, Vick came back to a long neglected relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

It is very easy for doubters to scoff at what we often call "jailhouse conversions", and I'm sure that many of those "conversions" lack validity. However, God can, and does use such circumstances to change men and women's lives if they will but respond with repentance and trust. Former White House Counsel and Watergate co-conspirator, Chuck Colson is a perfect example.

I've never been a big fan of Michael Vick, and certainly not after his shameful, arrogant and inhumane activities came to light. But I rejoice in the news story I read last night on Baptist Press regarding Michael Vick, forgiveness, redemption and his public testimony of the same.

Here is the story from Baptist Press. Please click on the link and be blessed by the story of redemption. http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32239

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