When I was a child growing up in West Virginia, my parents saved Top Value stamps and S&H Green stamps. They earned stamps for purchasing goods like food or gasoline from participating merchants. Cashiers would dole out the stamps by using a plastic dialing dispenser. People would lick the stamps and paste them into booklets, then redeem the stamps for merchandise found at redemption centers. There was no on-line redemption at that time, because Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet.
Connie remembers her mom redeeming her stamps for some luggage. A friend’s wife redeemed her stamps for a golf bag and clubs for her husband. A comedian said that, as a teen prank, he and his friends would steal the redemption sign that was placed out in front of a certain store and would set it in front of the funeral home, leaving people to question whether the undertakers dispensed the stamps or redeemed them.
Today, stamps are out, but S&H green points are in. You can earn them for every dollar you spend. Green points are earned at stores like Restoration Hardware, Shop ’N Save, Sears, Illuminations, and a host of others. And now, you can redeem your points on-line.
Although we cannot earn points in any way to purchase our salvation, the primary reason that we – His saints - have the blessings of God is because Jesus took a pasting then redeemed us at His Father’s redemption center – the cross. That cross was the restoration hardware of God’s own choosing where Jesus traded His life for ours. It was there that Jesus purchased us – valuable souls - with His own blood, and our sins were forgiven. Hallelujah!
Calvary was the site of the original Shop ‘N Save. It was there that God took Jesus, who knew no sin, and made Him sin for us. He bought us when we were slaves to sin, and He made us slaves of righteousness. Having warned mankind about sin and His impending wrath through His prophets, at the cross He showed us the softer side that His seers foretold.
Additionally, at the cross, God took the goodness of Christ and poured that into us. Now, as He pours the riches of His grace into us, the illuminations we are given are provided by His Holy Spirit. Though we had nothing to trade for our salvation, we are able to offer him our lives at the altar of worship and service.
In a way, God issued a stamp for our souls when He elected us at the foundation of the world and stamped our names into the Lamb’s Book of Life. We couldn’t earn it, but in Him, we stand forgiven! As Phillips, Craig & Dean sing, “His favorite song of all is the song of the redeemed.” Praise God, for you can sing: “I know my Redeemer lives!”
Mountain Time Moment
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace