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The Godwin Family:
Ben, Michelle, Nathan (19), Emily (15), Noah (8)
What’s In Your Redemption File?
An excerpt from Ben's new book coming soon
The Bible is a book of redemption. It tells how God took a negative (the fall of man) and turned it into a positive (the plan of Salvation). In fact, the Scriptures contain a collection of stories about redemption—how God took people’s messed up lives and turned them around for good. God is a master at bringing good out of bad situations. Someone said, “God can take our mess and turn it into a message.” How true.
God is a God of redemption; it’s in His DNA. In fact, being a Redeemer is so much a part of His nature that it is also one of His many names. Eighteen times in the Old Testament God is referred to by His title “Redeemer.” Redemption is God’s specialty and it weaves its way like a scarlet thread through the pages of Scripture.
The word “redeem” means “to buy back from captivity with a purchase price.” We were all enslaved to sin, held hostage as it were by Satan. But Jesus paid the ransom price—His own blood—to buy us out of captivity and to set us free spiritually. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ….” (1 Peter 1:18-19) We were like puppets manipulated by selfish, sinful, and satanic influences until Jesus cut the strings. Now, praise God, we serve a new master!
I heard an illustration of redemption when I was a kid that I never have forgotten. I found it recently reprinted in Chuck Swindoll’s book The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart. Read it carefully. “The boy who held his little boat and said, ‘It’s mine, I made it,’ suffered a keen disappointment. One day, with exuberant anticipation, he carried his boat to the shore of the lake and sailed it on the clear, blue water. The little boat skimmed along as the gentle breeze blew its sails across the rippling waves. Then suddenly, a gust of wind caught the little boat and snapped the string the boy was holding. Out farther and farther the little boat sailed until at last it vanished from sight. Sadly the boy made his way home—without his prized possession. It was lost.
The weeks and months went by. Then one day as the boy passed a toy shop, something caught his attention. Could it be? Was it really? He looked closer. It was. Yes, there in the display window was his own little boat. Overjoyed, the boy bolted in the store and told the owner about the boat on display. It really belonged to him. He had made it, hadn’t he? ‘I’m sorry,’ the shopkeeper said, ‘but it’s my boat now. If you want it, you have to pay the price for it.’
Sad at heart, the boy left the store. But he was determined to get his boat back, even though it meant working and saving until he had enough money to pay for it. At last the day came. Clutching his money in his fist, he walked into the shop and spread his hard-earned money on the counter top. ‘I’ve come back to buy my boat,’ the boy said. The clerk counted the money. It was enough. Reaching into the showcase, the storekeeper took the boat and handed it to the eager boy. The lad’s face lit up with a smile of satisfaction as he held the little boat in his arms. ‘You’re mine,’ he said, ‘twice mine. Mine because I made you and now, mine because I bought you.’”
God can say the same thing about us—“You’re mine twice!” First, He created us. Then He lost us by virtue of the Fall of Adam. Thankfully, He bought us back at the cross as His own prized possession. Paul expressed this concept, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price….” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) We have a Redeemer! We have been redeemed! We have been bought back out of captivity with a ransom price. Now we need to let redemption permeate every area of our lives.
What about you, friend? What’s in your redemption file? Have you experienced first-hand the redemptive power of God? Do you know Christ as your personal Redeemer? Has God brought good out of the bad situations in your life? Has He turned your life around? Can you say, like Job, “I know my Redeemer lives?” If so, Psalms 107:2 instructs us, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” In other words, we need to declare what God has done for us. We need to proclaim how He has redeemed us and turned our life around.
Your redemption file is not classified, it’s not top secret. Let others read your redemption file. You need to share it with everybody in your sphere of influence. Share it with your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, and every one you come in contact with. You may feel inadequate or unqualified, so did Moses, Gideon, Peter, and a host of other Bible characters. But look how God used them. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar or have a degree in theology in order to effectively share your story. The woman at the well simply said, “Come, see a man….” (John 4:29) If you’ve been redeemed, then say so—tell people your story of redemption. Declassify your redemption file and share it with the world!
Ben & Michelle singing at the Goodsrpings Full Gospel Church
Ben preaching at the Goodsprings Full Gospel Church
Ben at a book signing
Ben Godwin grew up in Tampa, Florida. He was struck by a car while riding a bicycle as a boy. Then he received a miraculous healing. He began preaching at the age of thirteen. He has been involved in full-time ministry since 1987. Ben served as an evangelist from 1987 until 1994, when he began pastoral work. For the past fourteen years he has served as the pastor of the Goodsprings Full Gospel Church, thirty miles west of Birmingham, Alabama.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from Christian Life School of Theology, based in Columbus, Georgia. He has been blessed to preach in over half of the United States as well as Russia, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. He has shared his miracle testimony in hundreds of churches, schools and youth camps. His testimony has been featured in several magazines and on numerous television and radio programs. He also hosts a weekly TV program called The Word Workshop.
Ben's book, God's Strategy For Tragedy, explores the following themes:
- Do miracles still happen today?
- Why does God allow tragedy?
- How should we respond to tragedy?
- How can you receive a miracle?
God's Strategy for Tragedy provides solid answers to these and other questions and illustrates, both from Scriptures and real life, how God can turn tragedy into a testimony.
Watch our weekly TV program The Word Workshop.
If you live in the Jasper, Alabama, area or in Walker, Winston, Fayette or Jefferson Counties, you can view our telecast on Jasper's new digital TV 16-1 or Charter Cable channel 10 or Galaxy Cable channel 8. The program airs on Mondays @ 9 p.m. and Tuesdays @ 12 (noon). If you live outside the viewing area, you can watch via live stream at TV16HD.com. Our show features Gospel music and Pastor Ben's Sunday sermons. The program can also be seen in parts of Jefferson, Cullman, Fayette and Tuscaloosa counties. DVD's of each broadcast are available upon request.