In Psalm 107:2 we read, Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story. I’m sure the sailors rescued from the island had a story to tell to their family and friends. They will probably be telling that story for years to come. When God rescues us, we also have a story to tell, one that others need to hear. The story of our redemption will be an encouragement to other Christians and it may help those who are not yet Christians to have confidence God also offers to save them.
We are refocusing on what it means to be a Redemptive Family (picking up where we left off when the lockdown happened). Today we remember that this redeemed family is a family of faith.
I am intrigued by the bible story of Enoch. “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5:24) Enoch reminds us that a life of faith is not complicated, it is a simply walking with God. Enoch’s faithful walk with God inspired the writer of Hebrews who refers to him saying “Enoch … was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:5–6). Expressions of faith, such as prayer, worship, acts of kindness … please God.
God’s children are called to live by faith, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17) Enoch’s “faithfully walking with God”, and Paul’s “live by faith” are different ways of saying the same thing. When we walk with God we are living by faith. Christians need to exercise their faith daily. This may not be easy; as this day unfolds and … my employment is on the line, do I put my faith in God; at the bedside of a sick loved one, or when my own health is in question, do we put our faith in God. When I don’t see God, I don’t hear God, is God still there?
The writer of Hebrews defines faith saying, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is this confident hope and assurance focused on what we do not see. Because I don’t see God, every day my faith is tested, stretched and applied. Because it is faith, I need to make a conscious choice to apply it, to hold on to it and to express it in my living.
What difference does this make? We are redeemed and enter God’s family by putting our faith in the redeeming grace of Jesus, his life, his death and his resurrection. And having been redeemed through faith, we then live by faith. And knowing the joy of redemption and living by faith, we hold the door open so others can enter and also become part of God’s family of faith.
Read one of the redemptive stories in Psalm 107 – does this reflect your experience in some way?
What is your redemptive story and how do you tell it to others?
How has your faith been pleasing to God today?
If you have not yet asked God to save you, why not do so now?
Rev John Malcolm