by Meredith Mills
I’ll never forget what I saw that day.
I had heard of slavery, but to me it was a remote problem – a shameful period in our nation’s history and a distant atrocity in far-away lands.
And then I saw them. Flesh and blood people trapped in the insidious web of human trafficking. Sex slaves and beggars lining busy streets. Drugged children and lepers waiting for alms. Victims of human cruelty and depravity.
I saw real-life slaves that day. I looked in their eyes and felt as though I gazed into their souls.
And my heart broke into a million pieces.
So this is what slavery looks like.
The powerless trampled by the powerful. The weak exploited by the strong.
No mercy. No hope. No means of escape. Only the monotony of a slave’s daily existence.
The event I describe took place during a mission trip to Bangkok, Thailand several years ago. It is burned in my memory, tucked away in the deepest corner of my heart.
Yet in reality, it’s a picture of my life. I’ve experienced sin’s heavy chains, enslaving me to destructive habits I despise but keep on doing.
And I’ve felt the crushing condemnation of a Law I can’t keep, no matter how hard I try.
I know the tyranny of a master who cares nothing for his slaves.
But thank God, Someone came to my rescue. Someone stronger than my old master. Someone rich enough to pay my ransom. Someone so relentlessly loving He’d exchange His own life for mine – and yours.
This is God our Redeemer. Lavish in love. Extravagant in grace.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8 NLT).
Let that sink in for a minute. Our God is rich, abundantly wealthy…in kindness and grace.
He looked on us in our wretched slavery, when we had nothing to offer Him, and He loved us.
He wanted us.
He knew we’d broken His law. He realized we’d not always love Him in return. Yet He loved us and was delighted to make us His own.
Do you feel it? The overwhelming realization that, no matter what, you are wanted.
I’ve spent the past several days reading through Ephesians one. Our Redeemer’s abundant generosity is striking. For those united with Christ:
- He has given us every spiritual blessing.
- He loved us, chose us and decided to make us holy – all before He uttered creation’s first life-giving words.
- He made plans for our adoption so we could be close to Him, though we were once His enemies because of our sins.
- His richness of kindness and grace compelled Him to pay our ransom and purchase our freedom.
- He poured out abundant favor on us, showering us with kindness.
- His incredibly great power works on our behalf – the same power that brought Jesus back from the dead.
Abundance. Riches. Greatness. This is the lavish love of our Redeemer.
Have you experienced it? Do you know His redemption? If not, I invite you to check out In Case You’re Wondering.
If you know Him, I rejoice with you in the freedom He gives.
How have you seen Him as Redeemer in your life? How does His redemption affect your daily life? Please comment below. Let’s get to know Him better together!