In my town, recycling is picked up every Wednesday morning. My job is to have the empty containers rinsed and out to the curb by 6:00 am. The containers I have emptied have no real value to me anymore. Sometime during the morning the bin is emptied of everything, and then I begin accumulating items for the next week. The payment I get for all of this is the satisfaction that I am helping the environment by recycling.
Recently I was in an area of the country that had lots of buildings with big signs that said Redemption Center. I confess at first, I thought there was some spiritual affiliation to the name. However, I learned Redemption Centers are small businesses that accept empty containers for redemption, which require sorting to obtain their refund value. These empty containers are accepted from the public, and then their refund value is paid.How blessed we are that Jesus accepts us as “empty containers.” Notice above that the containers are rinsed and not washed. There may be some residue in them from the past, but they don’t have to be perfectly cleaned to begin moving toward redemption. Jesus truly is the only One that can fill our void. Other attempts at filling may last for a while, but until we fill our emptiness with Him, we will never be satisfied.
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:22b-24
Empty containers “from the public” (that’s you and me) are accepted regardless of their past, and because Jesus cares about their future, both now and in eternity. No one is ever too far from His reach. Neither is the person you consider “least likely to be saved.” In His eyes we are all the same… in need of a Savior. You are saved by grace, which is undeserved favor, through faith.“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Our “refund value,” the amazing love He lavishes on us, is the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made to save us and give us the promise of Eternal Life. There is no sorting through to obtain your refund value. Jesus paid the price once for all and in “full.” Nothing you can do will earn redemption because it has already been accomplished on the cross.“In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
In Redemption Centers, the owners determine the type of empty beverage containers to be accepted. Not so with Jesus. He desires for us all to come to Him. Have you? Are you in need of a Savior who already knows everything you have ever done? Will you empty yourself of you and receive His love and forgiveness? There will be applause in Heaven as you come!Lord, may we never be so full of us that there is no room for you. Thank you for accepting us when we come to you.