Rediscovering Redemption

Chronicling the work of Redemption in the lives of Followers and Leaders. Articles, research and meditations from the writings of Dr. Joseph J. Bucci. Get blog updates by following Joe on Twitter @Re_Redemption

Joseph J. Bucci

A Redemptive Stroll Down Memory Lane

I went on a trip and met a man who reminded me of all the things I wanted to be. I wanted to be God-centered and pursuing a mission to reach the lost and I wanted to have an impact in people’s lives for the Kingdom of God. Along the way it became about me and God removed me from something I felt so passionate about to remind me that I had lost sight of what I wanted to be. It became about me and not about God and I left my family behind. So He took away this “dream” and recast it as His own work and showed me that I had misplaced this dream with a zealous selfishness. It took a few years but I realized I could have lost those things most precious to me if I had stayed where I was. The Lord also showed me that I was still God-centered and pursuing a mission to reach the lost and having an impact in people’s lives for the Kingdom of God. But I was doing it in a balanced way.

On this same trip I met a woman who was an old acquaintance. This woman reminded me of the way I used to be. I used to speak my heart for spiritual things and work to keep the focus on what was most importance. Some of this got lost in my selfish pursuit of distractions and also in my trying to please others. Both this man and my old friend reminded me that all of the things I hope to be and want to be still reside in me. It is just the sin in me that has become too much of a focus. I thought back to John the Baptist (Matthew 11) and his expectations, not only for Jesus but also for himself. John’s discouragement in prison was that he expected Jesus to do and to be what he envisioned. Now here in prison John could not be what he expected of himself (out preaching and baptizing). He tried placing these expectations on Jesus. But Jesus would have none of this. “Blessed is te man who does not fall away on account of me” (Matthew 11:6). Jesus really predicts His own experience and all those who would turn away or fall away from their own unmet expectations. Right after speaking this to the disciples of John, Jesus turns to the crowd and tells them that this man John was one of the greatest men who ever lived (in terms of pursuing righteous works here on earth). But in terms of the Kingdom of God, even the least person in the Kingdom (redeemed and cleansed by His own blood to be shed) would be even greater. Righteous works and things done for God are great. But greater still is a blood-bought soul who lays down their expectations and their own righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and takes up the mantle of living in God’s kingdom here on earth. It is not me living up to mine or others expectations but seeking God’s ultimate control and authority over every part of my life and living my life fully and faithfully. This includes living today as a member of God’s kingdom here on earth, and forgetting the past expectations of myself and others (Philippians 1:27; 3:12-14).

Lord, how grateful I am that I have been given this “second chance” to be forgiven and that you purchased my salvation and gave me a new life. I was once dead in my disobedience and sin – but now I have been made alive and united with Christ, brought near by the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:1 & 13). Please redeem every part of my life, and use each and every part of this redeemed life to bring glory to yourself alone, not as I expect but as you sovereignly choose.

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Joseph J. Bucci

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