Links Daily Devotional

Redemption

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14, NIV 1984)

Redemption is a popular word among athletes and sports fans these days. Applied in this context, it means that an athlete (or team) has met the disappointment of a painful loss with a turnaround win. This week, that word applied to an athlete like it may not again in 2012. The athlete was Kyle Stanley.

Just one week after letting a seven-shot lead slip away on a devastating afternoon in San Diego, Stanley roared from eight shots back to win in Arizona, edging Ben Crane by one shot and 54-hole leader Spencer Levin by two (Crane himself started the day eight behind Levin as well).

When I speak to believers about the idea of redemption, I encourage them to remember—if they are old enough—those days when supermarkets dispensed Blue Chip and S&H Green Stamps according to the amount of dollars you spent. These little stamps, licked and pressed into collection booklets, were like credit card rewards programs before credit cards.

Now what did you do with these stamps once you had collected enough? You took them to the redemption center, exchanging these essentially worthless squares of gum-backed paper for a shiny household appliance or some new dinnerware. Not bad! And when we consider redemption in this way, we get a very good picture of redemption as it is lined out in Scripture: the exchange of something worthless for something exceedingly fine.

Before Jesus, we lived in the dominion of darkness, subjects to another king, the one who would have us do anything but worship God. In any eternal sense, our lives were worthless—something most strongly argued by the existential nihilists. But God, in his grace and sovereignty, made note of our plight and provided for us the most stunning of opportunities. Through his Son, he allowed us to come in faith, carrying only our sins, and turn them in for Jesus’ own righteousness. That, friends, is the Good News in a nutshell. Better by far than a PGA Tour trophy.

Jeff Hopper

February 10, 2012

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday through Friday at www.linksplayers.com.