Monday, February 4, 2013

The Road Sign Named Redemption

II Corinthians 5:14
“For Christ’s love compels us…”

      I like watching football with my husband and family. When our daughter left for college, I made a conscious decision to enjoy football. Home with a husband and two sons, I soon realized that if I wanted to participate in much of what my guys liked, I would learn not only to tolerate all their sports but actually enjoy them.

     Although my favorite team did not make it to the Super Bowl this year, I chose to root for the 49ers and enjoy the game. The first half was a disaster as the Ravens dominated the field. But in the beginning moments of the second half, a semi-circle of stadium lights went black, and thirty minutes later as the stadium once again glowed, the 49ers appeared refreshed and energized.

     Anyone who watched this game would probably agree that a commercial interruption popped up so often that it was difficult to remain focused on football. The reported cost of the average commercial was four million dollars. I felt most of them were a colossal waste of company funds as they focused on drinking, sexual innuendos (sometimes overt sexuality-no innuendo needed) and had little or nothing to do with the product being advertised.

     We turned the channel at half-time, but we caught enough of the show in the five seconds of checking to see if it was over to know that Sodom and Gomorrah would have been proud. I was admittedly ticked off as I thought about all the children, teenagers and young adults across our country that were watching the “show” and believing that this behavior is normal. Frankly, I was disgusted.

     But God soon spoke to my heart—“Super Bowl Sunday is a flashing neon road sign”. I admit that it took me a moment to get what He was saying to me. While I was seeing a road sign leading straight to destruction, my Heavenly Father gave me an opportunity to see a road sign leading straight to redemption.

     II Corinthians 5:14 tells us that “Christ’s love compels us…” As Christians, His love holds us in custody, urges us on and overcomes our hearts.  In verse 20 we read that, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

     If I ever needed a reminder about how much my world needs Jesus, the Super Bowl and God’s nudging of my heart did the job. The road to redemption is scattered with those who need to be redeemed. The love of Christ living in me compels me to tell the story—Jesus loves you. It does not matter who you are, what you have done, how you have lived—Jesus loves you.

     Perhaps we sometimes need a short black-out moment in order to turn the lights back on and re-energize us with a renewed vision of who we are in Christ. The road to destruction will always be with us. That means it is our job to lift high the road sign named redemption.

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