To Bind Up The Brokenhearted….From Ransomed Heart Ministries Daily Reading.
Christ did not die for an idea. He died for a person, and that person is you. But there again, we have been led astray. Ask any number of people why Christ came, and you’ll receive any number of answers, but rarely the real one. “He came to bring world peace.” “He came to teach us the way of love.” “He came to die so that we might go to heaven.” “He came to bring economic justice.” On and on it goes, much of it based in a partial truth. But wouldn’t it be better to let him speak for himself ?
Jesus steps into the scene. He reaches back to a four-hundred-year-old prophecy to tell us why he’s come. He quotes from Isaiah 61:1, which goes like this:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
The meaning of this quotation has been clouded by years of religious language and ceremonial draping. What is he saying? It has something to do with good news, with healing hearts, with setting someone free.
Christ could have chosen any one of a thousand other passages to explain his life purpose. But he did not. He chose this one; this is the heart of his mission. Everything else he says and does finds its place under this banner: “I am here to give you back your heart and set you free.” That is why the glory of God is man fully alive: it’s what he said he came to do. But of course. The opposite can’t be true. “The glory of God is man barely making it, a person hardly alive.” How can it bring God glory for his very image, his own children, to remain so badly marred, broken, captive?
Spring...God’s gift of renewal
ONE thing I love most about Spring is the feeling of beginning anew! For a season, cold and bitter winds and squalling white dust forces the trees and shrubs into a quiet hibernation . The above ground parts of plants, the leaves and stalks, will die off, but underneath those leaves and stalks life remains living off stored food until their internal calling forth of blooming reminders of Gods’ creation!
Funny how this component of God’s work can be a reminder in our own lives of how God can renew a Spring in us. I have had many bitter, cold times in my life where, on the surface, I may feel or even appear dead. Not really doing much of anything for the Kingdom….my prayer life stagnant… No figs…only leaves and maybe broken at that! But then comes that internal call of the Holy Spirit that brings forth the life that only He can sustain during those seasons of Winter! And when He does, our Faith once again blooms with beautiful fruit! Why? Well, that brings me to another reason I love Spring…EASTER! When we recall the fulfillment of the greatest love….the ultimate sacrifice…a garden full of promises that adorn our faith journey and fertilize it and keep it strong so it survives even the most bitter of Winters!
Jesus survived His Winter and He is alive! One day to return and take those that put their faith and trust in Him to that new Garden of the tree of eternal LIFE!
It’s Not About the Ministry John 1:1-40
Ministry is a huge part of my life. It always has been. From the earliest days of my childhood I remember a sense of empathy for the hurting…for those in need. From the earliest days of my adulthood, I remember a desire to help those same people. I truly believe this is nothing more or nothing less than a gift from God. This gift has been through many hills and valleys of the refining process. Thus eventually ending up in Ministry synonymous with the journey of Jesus’ ministry as described in the first chapter of the gospel of John. There is a witness to the needs of the ministry. Those whom God has called to witness to you the call. Then there is the encounter with Jesus! There is the time in the desert spent searching for nothing else but the voice of the Holy Spirit that speaks the word of confirmation. We can’t nor does God expect us to go it alone. God provides the members of the body of His church to walk the ministry sojourn with you. You will find that the few, but very faithful God has brought in your midst will help you stand. These people will be unmistakable and invaluable to you. God has placed them strategically in your life to bring glory to His work! Do not be afraid to depend on them…and pray for them because they are praying for you! Just like you, they are not perfect. And there may be disappointments, but God has a purpose for them too! They are not chosen because of any attraction they have for you or your talents or your faith! They are present for the same reason you are…obedience to God. When it comes time to carry your cross some may desert you, for a season…but guess what? This is that time for you to be totally dependent on Him! And when you take a step back and look at what just happened….you will figure out that it was never about the ministry. God does not need the “Ministry”! Your relationship with God is what it’s about! You see Jesus walked this earth, He had a ministry…He had a call…He had those to help Him. But in the end who was there? It was just Him and His obedience to the will of His Father! It’s not all about the ministry..it’s about obedience, it’s about you and HIM! To the Glory of God the Father! Amen!