Friday, February 1, 2013

Love is Redemptive

Redemptive: Acting to save someone from error or evil.

Revelation states in chapter 2, during the letters to the churches, "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent." (verse 2-5)

Thousands of years before this letter was penned lived Abraham, the patriarch of Israel.  We see his story start in the 12th chapter of Genesis when God says to Abraham, leave your family and then promises to make his descendents as many as the stars of the sky and the dust of the earth.  So Abraham (Abram at this point) leaves his family with his wife Sarah and Lot.  He starts out on a journey of his own away from his family.  On a new journey with a God who gave him a promise.  We see him travel across ancient Mesopotamia and down into the land of the Canaanites (present day Israel).  And in verse 8, he camps his tent perched on the hill lands between Bethel (literally meaning "house of God") and Ai ("City of Ruin).

Sidenote: Isn't that so often where Jesus meets us.  He provides the bridge from our ruin to the house of God.  I find that interesting in regards to where Abraham builds his alter and calls on the Lord.

Anyway, back to the main point at hand.  Abraham calls on the Lord for the first time.  He, by faith, starts a two sided relationship with God.  I imagine this as a very intimate moment in Abraham's life, here camped on the hills, looking over the land that God has promised him, and communicating with God.  It's where we see the first love of Abraham.

Eventually, due to a immense famine in the land, Abraham goes to Egypt to survive.  And in coming in to their land, he devises a lie to protect himself by telling them that Sarah is his sister.  A big ordeal happens when Pharaoh finds out and he sends him away.  Abraham has sinned.  The man who has so far in the record, lived a faithful, righteous life, has fallen short of the promise that God had for him.  By lying he has shown that he didn't believe God would make a great nation out of him because he feared more that the Egyptians would kill him.  Now he's in a rut.  The Egyptians have sent him away from their rich agricultural lands, back to a place of famine.

But here's the key.  Pay attention to this part right here if nothing else.  What does Abraham do.  Chapter 13:1-4 reads, "Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord"

Abraham returns to the very same spot where he called on the Lord, where he had his intimate moment of seeking the Lord.  He returns to his first love.

God's love is redemptive.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.  Go to where you met God the first time, when you were excited to meet with Him, to study his word, to pray, to worship.  Maybe it's a physical location, or a location of mind, or a location of the word.  Whatever it is, go there, repent of where you have fallen from, and God's redemptive love will ignite your lampstand again.  It is such a beautiful illustration that so often gets read over in the haste of reading through Genesis.  But in it we find what Abraham found out on his journey of faith.

Love is redemptive! 

1 comment:

  1. Scottie, I absolutely love this. You have an annointing. Don't let any man or ministry get in your way, you are called and don't need the approval of men. Bless you in Jesus Name.

    Cindy Osmer Banks

    I went to school with your Mom.