austin stone christianity personal

Redeeming Love

At The Austin Stone today, Aaron Ivey led us in worship to song called “Praise for a Fountain Opened” or more commonly, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”.

The last line of the fourth verse, and the anthem we camp out on is:

Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be til I die.

Additionally, Matt Carter preached from 2 Corithians 1:3-5 on comforting those with the comfort we have received from God himself.  Through this song and teaching, a very simple truth echoed in my soul Sunday morning:

We are incapable of sharing love apart from the grace and love of Christ.

I have the tendency in my heart to extend my concept of love to people, which very rarely is tied to the cross.  I wrote a little about this concept in Forgiveness in Marriage, but it’s been ringing in my life in a variety of ways–forgiveness, comfort, love, mercy, and justice to name a few.  I am so prone to attempt to do these things on my own, and never tie the threads of my responses back to the power of the gospel flowing from my life.

We have two choices in how we define love: an internal sense of what it is, or an external foundation from the demonstration of others.  Christ’s sacrificial, atoning death is, according to scripture, the greatest act of love in human history.  Any act of love that doesn’t have this simple fact at its base, is establishing a concept of love outside the foundation of love.

We simply cannot divorce love from that which was demonstrated on the cross.

If I desire redeeming love to be my theme ’til I die, I must continue to dwell on the foundation of love that was demonstrated at Calvary.  I cannot crave one thing in worship and ignore it in my life in the smallest of ways.  I MUST go to the fountain of blood poured out for me if I am to forgive my wife, if I am to comfort a neighbor struggling in marriage, if I am to disciple a college student in the scripture, or if I am to demonstrate mercy to my son in his disobedience.

My secondary thought is that Christ’s love is redeeming what is broken.  If I am to follow my savior, I must follow Him into brokenness, toward redeeming what is lost and broken.  Specifically, this redeeming love leads us to be reconcilers and comforters in every single relationship we have.

Do we desire to love well?  Go back to the cross and be loved.  Do we desire to forgive?  Go back to the cross and be forgiven.  Do we desire to comfort?  Go back to the cross and be comforted.  Do we desire to minister well?  Go back to the cross, and be ministered to.

By Todd Engstrom

Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth.

God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

3 replies on “Redeeming Love”

i was just discussing this with keri tonight. it was more along the lines of learning to extend grace rather than judge. want to not judge – confess your sin, even the smallest ones and you will be pointed to the cross and your need for grace, therefore finding it a little easier to extend it to others.

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