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A Study in Stewardship - Week of September 9

  • 2020 Sep 09

Discovering God's Design

The Expanse of Redemption

Verse:  Zechariah 14:20-21

The book of Zechariah ends with a remarkable statement about the expanse of redemption (see Zec 14:21). Above and beyond God’s ownership as Creator stands his ownership as the Re-creator who extends redemption “far as the curse is found.” God cares even for the little things that were spoiled by the fall, and he wants to restore it all. By affirming God’s redemptive interest in minuscule details like cooking pots, Zechariah reveals the enormity of God’s victory. Not only has Christ’s finished work secured salvation for sinners; it also has cleansed every nook and cranny of creation from sin’s decay.

But the last day—the culmination of God’s ultimate re-creation—isn’t here yet, we may argue. From the very moment of our conception, we’ve been living in eternity. Granted, the best is yet to come, but the here and now already is replete with foretastes. The trouble is, we’re eternal beings with a finite mentality, and we tend at times to get confused.

Devotional writer Donna L. Huisjen shares an anecdote about redemption and transformation:

My sons-in-law were refinishing my kitchen cupboard doors in my basement. The sanding process had generated quite a layer of dust, and they had asked me not to stir this up until the last coat of polyurethane had dried—a rationale for procrastination with which I was happy to comply.

At one point I stepped into their workroom to check progress. The doors were beautiful, but I was more intrigued by the ceiling. Hanging from the exposed rafters was a labyrinth of cobwebs, each delicate threat outlined and highlighted by a layer of fine dust. This unexpected sight was momentarily breathtaking.

Cobwebs and dust. The stuff of beauty? At least temporarily, yes. If our original foreparents hadn’t succumbed to temptation, we wouldn’t be sweeping webs from basement rafters. But God does two things that allow beauty to triumph against all odds: he redeems and he transforms.

God buys back or takes back aspects of creation to allow beauty to prevail in a sin-damaged world. You may have felt dirty in the aftermath of [some messy situation], but he chose you and pulled you back from the grunge. Why? For him and for his glory. And because he loves you. After God reclaims, he also transforms. He changes the nature of something (like dust or your heart).

God wasn’t responsible for your drifting off in the first place, but if he wants you back, you can’t stop him from redeeming and transforming you. You can help, though, by moving toward him. No matter what your past, he wants you. He made you from dust, and if he needs to, he’ll use cobwebs and dust to make you startlingly beautiful for his pleasure and for your benefit. Trust him!

Think About It

•What ordinary, everyday things has God redeemed in your life?

•How does beauty give you hope for the future?

•How can God use you in his grand plan?

Pray About It

God, thank you for the beauty you give us in our fallen world. Help me to enjoy it even as I long for the complete redemption of all things.

This devotion is from the NIV Stewardship Study Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

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