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  • Writer's pictureJacob Vanover

Please Recycle

Redemption is a fantastic work of God in which we who Christ redeems can rejoice evermore!

One of the true blessings of redemption that makes it so rich for the recipient is that none are deserving.

The tragic rebellion of Adam and Eve has left a horrid stain of sin upon all of their posterity, us! Now there exists within us a treacherous nature so set on treason against the throne of Heaven that it will even betray us to our doom.

But thanks be to God! The Mighty God of grace walked into Eden with a heart committed to redemption! God wasn't going to throw Adam away! God wasn't willing to return man to the dirt heap from which he originated.

God saw value in Adam. Though he was in ruin from what he was, God recognized that Adam still had the potential to become something new, so God recycled!

It is not the nature of God to throw people away. It is not the will of God that we throw people away. The fruit of the Spirit, which the Lord of the harvest looks for in His children, is meant to equip us to love people, endure people, and ultimately do as our Father did with us, redeem them.

There are outstanding accounts throughout scripture where God's people recycled instead of casting away, and wonders were recorded.

David had a group of renowned men surrounding him. These men were known for their courage, heroism, and loyalty. Many may not know about these men that before being David's "Mighty Men," they were outcasts —men who no longer had a place within their tribes, villages, or families. But David saw value in them, giving them hope and purpose and ascribing their value. David recycled these lives, and they were devoted to him for doing so.

I can't help but think of the great Law Giver, Moses, who had failed in his strength, was rejected by his people, who he longed to liberate, and made a villain by the people in the palace who raised him. Still, God saw fit to take a man who had fallen from grace and opportunity and recycle him from the lonely desert to lead millions and interact with Himself on the Mount of Fire.

Let's not overlook Rahab, who hid the two spies, or the leapers who came and told the starving folks of the besieged city that the enemy was gone and food plenty to eat. Both are excellent examples of people thrown away, but God saw fit to recycle.

Shall we mention Abram, a pagan in UR of the Chaldeans, called to Father the Hebrew people?

How about Samson, gifted above so many, wasting all of that potential but recycling on his last day to liberate the people of God?

We could go on and on about redemption and repurposing, discovering over and over again how God recycles lives for His good pleasure! Isn't it time we learn to recycle the people who falter and fail in our midst? As the scripture states, shouldn't we set out to restore them in a spirit of humility when we discover one overtaken in a fault? I truly believe God calls us to recycle and throw away!

How do we recycle:

1.) We must align our hearts with the Holy Spirit:

Only by having the heart God intends for us will we be able to recycle and do so with a spirit of humility and grace.

Pray earnestly for a new heart that craves to be in sync with the God of Heaven.

2.) Accept everyone is incredibly flawed and has a sinful nature - everyone:

Only when we fail to remember our sinful nature and once-lost state that we resist recycling lives.

If we get too caught up in ourselves and our exploits, we will compare ourselves to others and exalt ourselves with pride. Pride is a grievous error!

We never are to compare ourselves to sinful flesh, but to look steadfastly to Jesus Christ! When our eyes are on Christ, we experience true humility and correctly see our true selves and nature. Compared to some men, our nature with saying, oh, look at me! But compared to Christ, we will exclaim, oh woe is me!

It's from a place of humility and needs we are prone to recycle.

3.) Recognize the value in others:

The rich man tosses away things with no thought because he says to himself, " I will buy another. That man does not see the value of the thing, only the availability of his riches.

You take another man, not so well-to-do, who can't simply buy another when he wills. This man will see the value in preserving and recycling the item for future use.

One man was able to see the value of the item. And purpose in himself to recycle. He saw that there was still usefulness and potential for something good.

We must see people in this light! We must recognize that though they fall, fail, and err, they may be able to be recycled for God's glory!

4.) Determine to save the planet one recycled soul at a time:

Actions speak louder than words. The sentiment is nice, but a recycled life is better!

Now, Let's determine that we will be the people of second chances—that one person at the workplace who will try to salvage someone who appears on their way out. Determine to be the coach who sees that one player trying to throw away their potential and realigns that individual's values. Commit to being that church member who, upon hearing someone has sinned, seeks to redeem the soul instead of casting it away.

I grew up during the launch period of the recycling ideal. As a kid, we can help save the planet if we recycle was the ideal of the day. As I look at life today and see the masses of hurting people and misguided youth, I can't help but fully agree that if we recycle the lives about us, we can do our part to save the host of individuals who inhabit the planet.

Jesus can redeem and recycle to make us new. May we honor His labor of love by following His example.

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