Kathy Bernard - Publisher

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
 according to the richness of His grace” Ephesians 1:7

REMEMBER those little blue trading stamps that the markets gave out according to the amount we spent on groceries?  Most of us hoarded those stamps but unless we were motivated by something offered for redemption out of the Blue Chip Stamp Catalog they were usually put into little plastic bags awaiting pasting.   Of course when we got a large complete sheet of stamps from the market we could paste a whole page at a time.   We didn’t mind immediately putting those into the empty stamp books that were given to us with the stamps.  Spurred on by something that appealed, we would sit at the kitchen table with our plastic bags and painstakingly paste each Blue Chip Stamp in the stamp squares.  We would get so elated when a whole book was filled, then another and another because it meant we were close to gaining a glorious premium for our faithfulness in saving up the stamps.  The redemption catalog was filled with enticing pictures and descriptions including electronics, furnishings for the house, toys, and a host of great things so when we found something we liked and were missing a few stamps, we would avidly pull out cabinet drawers to see if any escaped somehow.  Truly it was an exciting day when the books were finally completed and we went to the redemption centers to redeem them for the items we had chosen.

WE might, in a tiny way, liken the trading stamp redemption with the redemption of our souls through what our Savior Jesus Christ gave to us by the shedding of His blood on Calvary.  This is the greatest gift man can receive and even after over two thousand years it is still available.   We get the ultimate; eternity with God the Father.  By accepting our Lord’s supreme offering, putting our faith in Him, our names are written in the Book of Life forever.  We come into full value as Christians and finally become complete in all areas of our lives.  The emptiness we experienced is no longer there.   Jesus paid for our redemption, asking only that we follow through with belief in Him in order to gain salvation.

REDEMPTION   means to purchase for a price. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that redemption is “The restoration of man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God through the satisfactions and merits of Christ and comes from the word redemption, the Latin Vulgate rendering of Hebrew kopher and Greek lytron which, in the Old Testament means a ransom-price”.  Webster defines redemption as “to set free by paying a ransom. To deliver from sin and its penalties, as by a sacrifice made for the sinner, to make amends or atone for”.  The high price that Jesus paid was necessary for our right to redemption.  Through that price of shed blood, by our faith that He did, and by following what He taught we are then made worthy to enter the perfection of Heaven. 

IF redemption is freely given, how is salvation needed?  

WE all come into the world with an unclaimed space within us. We do not put words to it but we recognize that we are lacking completion in some way. How we fill that emptiness depends on our recognition of what it is.  Psychiatrists have lined their pockets many times over trying to analyze and offer support to those who feel their lives are without meaning.  Some try love relationships, telling themselves that if they can love someone and someone can love them back, that “hole” will be filled forever and they can relax and enjoy life to its fullest.  Some try the road to promiscuity, going from person to person, hoping to find the answer and if that doesn’t work some use alcohol and drugs to dull the ache. With these measures some can function fairly well for a while and are able to ignore and suppress that vacant place crying out for attention. 

God made this void purposely that each of us feels.  It is His simplistic plan for us to recognize that only He is able to make us whole.  But He does not force Himself on us.  He waits for us to realize we need His love, His compassion, and the joy that only He can bring within our lives.  Only then can we be filled.  Only when we acknowledge that we need him in our lives, that what we feel is a longing to experience Jesus through His redemption can we gain salvation.  With the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord upon the cross, the debt of our sins is paid in full.  Believing in the existence of His sacrifice, seeing what He said, and trusting that He paid brings us to salvation.  Without the acceptance of Christ’s gift in our lives and following His path we are not entitled to enter into heaven.

THE Lord through the person of Jesus Christ has made our spiritual journey to Him within reach.  From His death on Calvary, He bought us each a ticket to heavenly happiness. Once we accept He opens our minds to the endless joy of living forever in glory, without pain, without suffering, without tears.  He will illuminate our understanding and wisdom.  With our spiritual hearts we will feel His magnificent power and through His vast storehouse of love, His sacrifice of redemption for all mankind will save us from the anguish of Hell. 

Like those little blue trading stamps we pasted and turned in at the redemption centers for earthly premiums, we too have been redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.   Because we believe that He paid the ransom and atoned for our sins, we will live forever and ever in eternal joy.

Romans ... 3:23-24  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being
justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”


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