Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 – July 20 – Beauty for Ashes

Blogger's Note: Today's journal item posted a bit late due to early morning Bible teaching @ Church followed by physical therapy for my hip.


Study from God’s Word Isaiah, Chapters 61 - 64 … Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 61: 1 – 3 … NIV He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted … to comfort all who mourn … to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes … and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

My Journal for Today: Do you recognize the passage from which several phrases were taken from Isaiah 61: 1 – 3? This was a prophesy spoken about the Messiah by Isaiah some 700 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem; and you Jesus scholars, reading here, may recognize that it also is found in that famous declaration Jesus made in the Temple right before His ministry on earth began [see Luke 4: 1 – 13]. Jesus was asked to read The Law in the Temple that day, and it was opened for Him to read from Isaiah’s prophesy, which Jesus did. Then as The Lord sat down that day, he spoke words of terror and hope to those there in the Temple, and to all of us forever, when He said (see Luke 4: 21), "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Those words must’ve exploded in the ears/minds of those in the Temple that day who knew what Isaiah was prophesying in that Scripture. The Word of God which Jesus read that day was declaring that the hope of mankind would be found in the Person and ministry of the Messiah; and here, some 700 years later was a Rabbi declaring that He was that Messiah. Wow! That must’ve been a bombshell.

And the words of this prophesy by Isaiah, and the repeated declaration of truth by Jesus, are really quite hope-filled, yet exceedingly challenging. As it says in today’s abbreviated version of Isaiah 61: 1-3, we read of a Messiah speaking of “good news for the poor, … healing for the brokenhearted, … freedom for the captives, …light for those in the darkness of prison, … and sight for the blind.” And so, how cool is that? And Jesus was restating this [in Luke 4: 18-19] as His mission in life, which gives us direction to find our mission as well since it should be the goal of every Christian to live like Jesus, make choices like Jesus, and to become like Jesus.

As I told a group of men this morning, it ought to be very helpful for disciples of Christ to find their purpose in life in the purpose which was prophesied for Jesus and to which He declared as His mission for His earthly ministry. So, my dear one, if you cannot find what you do or how you live within the directions of Luke 4: 18-19, I seriously think you should rethink where you are and what you’re doing in this life. For all who desire to follow after Christ (as He ordered of His disciples in Luke 9:23), we can do so by fitting our life choices and worship into Christ’s Messianic mission statement (again, Luke 4: 18-19).

Check it out, my friend; and if you don’t find your self [and your life] in that passage, start afresh TODAY to find a place to work your life into the pattern Christ painted for Himself.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I want to walk where You walk, live as You do, and make choices which shine Your light. I want to be a Luke 4: 18-19 kingdom warrior. Amen

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