I remember a day at Jacob’s Well, right before I hit 60 days in the program. Our amazing Pastor Charlie came in to speak with us and let us in on how he was led by the Holy Spirit to open Righteous Oaks Recovery Center in Meridian for men, Jacob’s Well Recovery Center in Poplarville for women, and now Damascus Road Recovery Center for men. He shared Isaiah 61 with us and I was moved. I am a bit of a history buff, so I did my research on this after he left that night. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2a.
Let me set the stage for you. Jesus is getting ready to start his ministry. He will over the next 3 ½ years reach out to people just like me in a culture that is seemingly just like ours. He will reach out to the sick, the blind, the lame, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the homeless, the brokenhearted and then some. Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth, in his hometown. The ruler of the synagogue always laid out the plans for worship 4 or 5 years in advance. The people would sing and pray and then the scroll would be opened, read, and then interpreted. Jesus walked in that day and was viewed as the visiting rabbi, even though it was his hometown, and was given the honor of reading the scroll. He opened it and read…
Isaiah 61:1-2a – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim 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, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…
Can you imagine the gasp that must have come from the people when he slowly rolled up the scroll, handed it to the ruler of the synagogue, then calmly sat down and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)? BOOM!!! After reading through the rest of Isaiah 61, I was encouraged to know that Pastor Charlie and his wonderful family (who had all been redeemed from the gates of hell themselves) were starting their own ministry in the wake of what Jesus did. That is just awesome and I am so grateful. If they had not listened to the voice of the Lord, I would not be sitting here writing…I would be six feet under. I hope to follow in the footsteps of Christ one day myself!!!
Isaiah 61:2b-11…and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy 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. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
I love the Lord’s promises, and there are many in this scripture!! I can’t wait to see it all unfold in my life as I do my part to follow His ways in eager anticipation of His glorious return!!
You can read Isaiah 57-61 about Isaiah’s prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah
To further your reading, consider this from:
2 Corinthians 3:3 – You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
We, as ministers of the Gospel, cannot take credit for what God alone can do in the hearts of human beings, CONVERSION. We must be willing to do the work of God, ministering to those in need, ministering to the lost, helping others along their path but the power comes from the Spirit and the Spirit of God alone!