Manifold Redemption

We are all saved from sin by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. But that does not mean our salvation stories are all the same. Sin leads us into all sorts of damning situations, and God’s steadfast love is always there to redeem us.

Psalm 107 is a good example of this; urging the redeemed of the Lord to praise their Redeemer for his manifold redemption. In this Psalm we encounter four different scenarios that allude to Israel’s past, but are not identified with any one specific event. These four places of deep trouble offer us a glimpse into the varied and wonderful ways in which God redeems his people. 

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Unto to Us a Light Has Dawned

For my morning devotions I have been meditating on Isaiah’s famous “to us a child is born” prophecy. I wanted to read the prophecy in its context and see what fresh light might be cast over these well-trodden verses. So often we take the familiar words of the Old Testament and transplant them directly into their New Testament application without giving thought to the context in which they first applied. Our application of the words may be correct, but we miss something of their full meaning by pulling them out of the soil in which they existed. 

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The Lord Is My Portion

What do you do when you lose everything?

That’s what ran through my mind recently as I watched footage of the floods in southern British Columbia. The rising waters forced hundreds to evacuate the area, leaving behind homes, farms, and businesses. And the rain continues. For those hardest hit by the floods, what they had spent years building was gone in a moment. They experienced not just a loss of home or business, but a loss of a life’s work, a dream, perhaps even a loss of hope. 

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Don’t Love The World

In his first epistle the apostle John gives us the familiar command, “Do not love the world or anything in the world”. But what exactly does it mean to “not love the world”? 

Some Christians have taken it to mean that we ought to shun earthly delights and goods and focus our lives on heaven above instead. They do their best to not participate in culture and remain separate from the heathen world. 

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“I’m Sad”

One night at the supper table our kids were taking turns praying before we started the meal. Moments earlier our second youngest daughter had been kicking and screaming because she didn’t get to sit beside her sister. Consequently, she didn’t feel like praying so I attempted to convince her that God still wanted to hear from her even if she was angry. Through sniffles and snobs she prayed: “Father Heaven, I’m sad. Amen.” 

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Guaranteed!

As pilgrims making our way through the harsh elements of life, can we really be sure that we will reach our destination? In short, yes. In fact, both our survival and arrival are guaranteed. This is God’s promise to us as the Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians.

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The Pollution of Sin

Within the city I live in, there is limited natural, green space in which to escape the cacophony and the concrete. But there is one place my family and I frequent that gives us some sense of escape. It is a small water reservoir with a dirt path on the perimeter and populated by a variety of birds and flowers. It’s a nice place, other than the the greenish, contaminated water, the beer bottles, the lost shoe, the bag of garbage, etc.

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Multidimensional Gospel

When it comes to theology, we tend to take a doctrine and strip it down to its basic form, leaving out all the intricacies and complicating details. We zero in on a particular verse or repeated theme in Scripture and then we say “That’s what it is all about.” We do this so that we can fit the doctrine neatly in our minds, keep it there, and pass it on to others.

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The Terrible Awesome Resurrecting Power of God

The ending of the gospel of Mark can be surprising – a group of women, close friends and family of Jesus, get up early in the morning to visit the tomb where Jesus lay so they can give him a proper burial. Instead of finding Jesus wrapped in burial clothes, they see an angel in white robes who explains that Jesus has been resurrected and can be found in the region of Galilee. 

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