My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Comprehending the Mission
Christy on the streets of Manchester, stopping to speak to one of her clients.
Is. 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
This passage from Isaiah is read by our Lord and he uses it to identify himself as the One who is fulfilling this mission. Jesus was able to quote this passage because he had full comprehension of his mission. It also reveals the Triune God, the Spirit who anoints the One who will then send the Spirit. The co-mingling of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because it is the LORD, or Yahweh, who has anointed the Son. Therefore, once the fulness of God is revealed, then the mission begins to unfold.
The Messiah was to preach good news, touch those who were brokenhearted, provide a pathway for freedom for those who were held in captivity. God’s people were to find a way out of a bondage of their own making. In the end there would be an open door into the place of God’s favor, where God would be the judge, and all those who have been wounded will be comforted.
Jesus, through his baptism and temptation, had already taken upon himself the role of the Suffering Servant. He fully comprehended his mission and ultimately it would lead to the ideal of justice and righteousness, brought to fulfillment in the cross.
Jesus’ full comprehension of his mission should be enlightening to all Christ-followers. As we follow Christ, we should also follow him into mission for he sent the Spirit to anoint us. We journey in life to draw closer to Christ, to become his reflections in this world. In this way we become Christlike disciples in the nations.
As Christlike disciples we should also comprehend our mission. We are to be engaged in sharing the good news to the oppressed. There are many ways in which people can be oppressed and sometimes we simply need to have our eyes opened to that truth. It may be those who are impoverished, or it may be your next door neighbor who suffers in silence at the hands of an abusive spouse. The number of brokenhearted within our own communities is probably quite staggering, and yet we may not know who they are. Silently suffering from a broken heart we have wounded individuals within our reach on a daily basis.
The Israelites were being held captive by their enemies because they had been unfaithful to God. They were also being held captive to the Law, and to the religious leaders who lorded it over them. They were in bondage to a legalism that made them prisoners to their own faith. We are to join Jesus is proclaiming liberty, a freedom that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Spirit fills us and turns our hearts of stone into a heart of flesh. Now, instead of seeing religion as a form of bondage, it should be a place of freedom, reflected in the love of Christ.
There is no promise that this life will be devoid of suffering. Our Lord was a suffering servant who gave up his life for all of us. We are to be servant leaders who speak up for those who have no voice, and who seek justice and righteousness. In doing so we will be able to bring the comfort of the Spirit to those who mourn.
Our oldest daughter, Christy challenges me when I see the way in which she has embraced her mission. She feels called to be a voice for homeless people in the UK. As a follower of Christ she feels compelled to speak up for those who have no voice, seeking justice for them in a system that often sees them more as a bother than an individual with needs. I have seen her heart break over those who suffer and sometimes she wonders whether she's making a difference, but she goes in the anointing of the Spirit.
Jesus fully comprehended his mission. Do we?
Lord, I pray that I would embrace your mission boldly. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Ex. 33:4 ¶ When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. Ex. 33:5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’” Ex. 33:6 Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
The people had sinned before God by making and worshiping the golden calf! They had taken their golden jewelry — the earrings and other items they had gotten from the Egyptians and used them to create an idol. Now, in an act of humility and repentance they were to take off all of their jewelry and ornaments. It was a time of mourning over their sin and it included intentional action on the part of the Israelites. Application:
We don’t do all that well with humility and repentance! It seems that we live in a time when we try to carry on…
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…