Redemption

Ephesians 1:23 (the message)
The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

As I read that verse this morning, it kind of hits me once again how Jesus wants to use us.  If we are a part of His Church, meaning we are born again believers with the Holy Spirit in our hearts,  then we are His hands and feet.  We are the vessels by which Jesus brings His presence to others.  See, sometimes I know in my life I will be praying for people and asking God to move in their hearts and lives, to help them see how much He loves them and how much they need Him.  And I certainly believe God honors that prayer and I’ll keep praying it however long it takes!  But what the simple verse above reminds me of is that because the Holy Spirit lives in me I am one of the ways God will speak into the lives of others!  As a Christian, I take my faith and God’s presence within me every where I go…in every conversation…in every opportunity He is waiting to flow through me.  I am the hands and feet of Jesus.  So  much more than a platitude…

Does that mean I’m going to live perfectly and float on clouds and never hurt or offend people in my life?  No, not by any stretch.  As the apostle Paul describes, there is a fierce battle raging on the inside of all of us that are Christ-followers.  We want to do what God wants and yet we don’t!  We don’t want to give into our flesh and the carnal desires of our mind yet we do!  This is why earlier in the 1st chapter of Ephesians Paul tells them He asks God ” to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him — endless energy, boundless strength!”  I love this!!!!  I am born again and saved for eternity the moment I sincerely place my trust in Jesus, but God has extravagant work He continues to do in my life as I trust Him!  I believe an important part of that work is the realization and living out of the fact that we are the hands and feet of Jesus…we are the vessels by which He speaks and acts and fills the earth with His presence.

We need to be vessels and not just containers.  I can invite Jesus into my life and then settle down with my own salvation, but God’s best, I believe, is that we grow into vessels as He works in us.  As we become channels by which He flows through our lives, we not only have more of Him ourselves but we share in the redemption story of others.  Which I believe is the essential point of life…redemption. 

Father, I thank you this morning for the clear directive and reminder in your word that we are meant to live as channels for you.  Jesus, we are your hands and feet.  We are your words and our lives are the very instruments you use to reach others if we allow you to work in us.  I ask for myself, as well as those who will read this post, that you make us sensitive and increasingly aware that we carry your presence with us.  I ask that as we pray for others you show us we are your answer because you live within us.  Let us be affected.  Let our complacent and possibly hardened hearts be broken and tender before you, God.  I know how easy it is to drift into a mindset where life is all about me.  I go there frequently but am so thankful you reel me back in.  Lord, don’t let this post be another inspirational read that is forgotten in my life or the lives of others.  Let us be acutely aware of the wounded lives around us and how You long to touch those lives through us.  And Father, if it is our own life that is wounded I believe this is a reminder that Your loving arms and healing hands are at work.  In the name of Jesus.

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