God Paid for Me. What Am I Doing With That?

I like to buy music. Probably too much. But I like it. I like finding new music to listen to while I drive to work, while I write articles at work, if I’m just lounging around my apartment.

The newest music I bought was the album If I Never Speak Again by Hearts Like Lions. Before I bought the album, I listened through it on Spotify, considered music from their past (like their excellent EP These Hands) and weighed up how much I would listen to it. Considering those considerations, I bought it.

Worth it so far.

The question this leads me to is this: God paid for me. He put a lot of thought into it. Am I responding to that well?

Heavy.

It’s not a question in my mind that God paid the highest price for me. His Son died.

“But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.” – Psalm 49:15

“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10

But what am I doing with that payment? God paid His Son to set me free from the eternal bondage of sin. There’s two ways I need to learn how to respond, two ways I need to deal with this better.

First, I need to know that I am loved and forgiven. 

I can’t let myself continue to be burdened with my guilt and sinfulness. I need to recognize it, but not at the expense of remembering God loves me and cares for me. My sin sucks the joy out of me, yes, but it doesn’t take away the fact that He’s saved me from its eternal consequences. That is the most joyful and wonderful part of being paid for.

But that’s not it.

Second, I need to act like I’ve been paid for.

Just like Hearts Like Lions’ album is serving the purpose it’s been bought for right now, I need to serve the purpose I’ve been bought for.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

What am I doing with the body and the life God bought for me, what He bought from the depths of sin and Sheol? Am I making wise decisions? Am I fighting sin with all that I’ve got?

Far too often, the answer to those questions is no.

So asking the question “What does it mean to be that God paid for me?” can be both an encouragement and a challengeIt can remind us of our blessed position before God, but also our call to be more for Him.

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Redefining Peace: True Peace Isn’t a Feeling

 

“Peace I leave with youmy peace I give to youNot as the world gives do I give to youLet not your hearts betroubledneither let them be afraid.” — Jesus, in John 14:27

I think we’ve mistaken what peace really is.

We read verses like the one above, which is awesome, and we interpret it as, “OK, having peace means I won’t feel worried and I won’t have fear. So if I feel worry and fear, I’m not at peace.”

That’s how the world defines peace. We have an upsetting feeling in our hearts and so we say, “I’m just not at peace.”

But Jesus says, “Not as the world gives do I give to you.” Jesus gives us a peace that 1) the world can’t give us and 2) is different from the world’s definition of peace. Google defines peace as “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.”

The reality is that, for a Christian, true peace begets the earthly sense of peace, if we really lean into it.

Jesus told His disciples in John 14 that he’s giving them peace. The peace He gives them, and what we receive as well through the giving of the Holy Spirit, is ultimately a spiritual peace.

Through Christ, we are at peace with God. We are no longer at war with or at enmity with or against God. We are taken into the fold and held and loved. That is true peace! That is the reality for every believer. We no longer need to fear that God will abandon us or leave us, the ultimate lack of peace.

It’s not a feeling. It’s a reality. But that reality can lead to a feeling of earthly peace.

I was reading in Proverbs 3 this morning and there were a couple mentions of peace. They go like this:

  • Verses 1-2: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”
  • Verses 17-18, speaking of Wisdom: “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.”

This peace comes from a reliance on wisdom and teaching, namely, teaching from God’s Word and a reliance on God. In this same chapter, Solomon tells his son, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (v. 5-6).

Because we’ve trusted God with our lives and received true peace, we are able to find earthly peace. We’re able to find, as Proverbs 3:8 says, “healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

This was an important discovery for me because I often struggled with a lack of earthly peace. My anxiety and depression would drive me crazy. I had a peace with God based on my salvation, but I couldn’t apply it right.

I couldn’t say, “I’m good with God. Because of that, God has ordered my steps and said, ‘Fear not, for I am with you.’ He’s said that ‘for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’ He’s said that I should not let my heart be troubled, nor afraid.”

Now, I can say that. Sometimes. It’s tough sometimes to cling to that peace, but it’s there for the taking. I just had to redefine it.