Reflections

Jesus our Ransom.

A reflection on Psalm 49

“Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit.” Psalm 49:7-9

The truth here is that no human being (no matter who they are!) can make the payment to God for their life. We cannot barter with God for our lives. We cannot do anything or give him anything that will gain us more days of life – it is outside of our control.

Especially as we look at the Bible as a whole we see that our problem of sin, the debt we owe God is unpayable by us – none of us can pay it. We owe God what we cannot afford.

But I love what the Psalmist goes on to say in verse 15:

“But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.”

In fact, God has done this… He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our ransom. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mathew 20:28), “Christ Jesus… gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Do you realise you cannot add an hour to your life by trying to be a better person, or to do good… In fact both you and I have an unpayable debt that we can never work off… but Jesus paid our debt. Jesus is our ransom. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Oh, to know and enjoy this truth! To be set free by it and live in response to it… to live in the joy of the eternal life God has given us in His Son… lets enjoy Jesus – our Ransom.

 

Reflections

Call out to the God who will never fail you.

A reflection on Psalm 25:16-18
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.”

Sometimes people have the picture of followers of Jesus as those who have it all together, or at least who pretend too. But here in the Psalm we see the picture of someone who is calling out for God’s help, someone who feels ‘lonely and afflicted’, do you ever feel that way?

To be human is to struggle. It is to have ‘troubles of heart’. For the follower of Jesus, there is Someone to turn to in this. Someone without limitation and weakness. In this same Psalm, the psalmist has called God ‘my God, in you I trust’.

It is this trust in God, that is based upon who He is and what He has done. And Jesus has perfectly revealed this God to us. He has revealed God’s heart of love, care and compassion for helpless sheep and those in need and distress.

There is a call here in this Psalm, a calling out to God: ‘Turn to me’, ‘bring me out of my distresses’, ‘consider my affliction and my trouble’. The Psalmist is convinced that God is there, that He cares, and that He acts for the good of His people. He brings them relief and peace in distress. He brings salvation and rescue, and complete forgiveness for ‘all my sins’.

Are you lonely? Are you afflicted? Do you have troubles in your heart? Are there things for which you want to be forgiven? Call out to God for help and hope. He will grant you relief, He will grant you rescue, He will grant you forgiveness.

It may not come in the way you thought, it may not come when and in what you wished. But He – the gracious One, the Almighty King will give you all you need to have peace, and joy in the midst of pain, and trouble and struggle.

Call out to the God who will never fail you.
He is always good and faithful and true.

Reflections

…saturated in God and His goodness.

a reflection on Acts 27:
“…Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. (Act 27:22-25)

I was struck yesterday reading through Acts 27 with Paul’s identification of himself. Paul refers to God as the God to whom he belongs, and whom he worships, in whom he has faith (puts his trust in).

He will go on later in this story to lead the 272 people on board to eat some food after 2 weeks of abstaining because of the peril their ship had been in, being sure of God’s word to Him of rescue and safety, giving thanks to God in front of them all and encouraged them all.

And this escape from death and following rescue is exactly what happens.

Looking at this passage, Paul was a man saturated in God and His goodness. He belonged to God, he worshipped God. He had faith in his God and gave Him thanks – publicly.

I want to be a person saturated with God more and more. I belong to Him. I want to be defined more and more as a follower of Him, trusting in His word, and full of thanksgiving to Him. Join me in making this your prayer to God:

Father, I belong to you. I am a worshipper of you, a follower of Jesus your Son. Saturate me in you. Help me to trust you and fill me with thankfulness to You, that I might overflow it to all I meet. Thank you for your goodness to me, in Jesus Name. Amen.