Isaiah 61 - part #5

His Thoughts:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on 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. To proclaim the year of the Lords favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” – Isaiah 61:1-3

My Thoughts:
“He” has sent “Me”. You can look around, but I don’t think you’re going to find a more absurd phrase in the Bible. What is He doing sending the likes of us to accomplish so great a mission? As Paul said in 2 Cor. 2, “Who is equal to such a task?”

Do you ever feel unqualified by your talents or disqualified by your behavior? I do. Do you ever feel too uneducated, too small town, or too inexperienced? I do. So many humans have such an inferiority complex that they can’t climb out from under the weight of their own unworthiness. They are reminded by the inner jury of their own soul that they are guilty of unspeakable personal felonies leading to a verdict of GUILTY. You can just see them living life with a “guilty as charged” sign hung around their neck. For people like this, it’s nearly impossible for them to accept God’s invitation to join him in this rescue mission to recover the jewel of great price, the human soul.

They can’t wrap their arms around the idea that God would send them in his stead. His reputation on their shoulders. His success dependent on their movement. People’s healing hanging in the balance with us standing in the gap on behalf of God. We are the ambassadors…the spokesmen…the reps of redemption. This is a tall order. This is an epic invitation in need of a heroic volunteer. Who is equal to such a task?

No wonder the hero’s and heroine’s who live out this mission are called “oaks of righteousness” by God. They are the strongest breed of believer. They are the deepest rooted in their allegiance. They weather storms and shelter pilgrims. They are slow growing and long lasting. And their presence reminds people of the splendor of God…they are “display” booths of his truth that endures to all generations.

I’m a part of a church plant…so I love the phrase “a planting of the LORD”. It’s something that he is always doing as the gardener of the gospel. He is planting type of God. He is growing people and grooming people to GO. To be on mission. To live out an organic experience of God in this world, to this world. I happen to think that church planting is the best kind of “planting of the Lord” to display his glory…but that’s just my bias. ;)

He sent Us. Holy Hope coming through Fragile Followers. Unreal.

Comments

Sam said…
I was checking out churches in Lowell on the web and I found myself on your church website so I listened to your Feb. 4 message. Fierce. Thanks for finding yourself at Christ's feet.

I sent an email to Pastor Phil regarding a "fellowship" I want to pull together within my own broken family and I'm thinkin I picked the right church. Its too bad I'm in Carson City or I'd be visiting your church often.
I do feel that in a way we (not necessarily contrary to your Feb. 4 message but as I look through the Bible God did use the worst of 'our own' circumstances to exhibit his Glory), as disciples, are to bear the world in humility and surrender and love for the sake of the Gospel - so that the strength of the Holy Spirit can be exhibited in our weakness and we might be the ones that "did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death". I've connected Matthew 11:12 and Rev. 12:11 together for a long time. I'm not a calvinist but I do believe that sometimes, as children of a King, we are called to carry the ball when we know we physically aren't going to make it through the line and its through the faith in God's sovereignty that we can be assured that whatever suffering we are experiencing will be redeemed somewhere in the story. I don't know if you picking up what I'm putting down but "count it all joy" fits what I'm saying.

stay in the fray bro.

sam

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