You don’t often hear it in today’s churches, and that leaves many new Christians (and not so new) wondering what they’re supposed to be doing. “Okay, I’m saved…now what?” I attribute much of the overwhelming success of books like Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” to this fact.
Well, as I read today’s chapter, it just hit me how spelled out it really is for us. Look at the first few verses of Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.
Okay, let’s break it down even further:
- bring good news to the poor
- comfort the broken hearted
- announce that the captives will be released and prisoners set free
- tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come
Is this all there is to the Christian life? No. But what a great place to start. This is Isaiah’s message to the children of Israel – way back before we were born. But, to apply this scripture to our lives, we – the church – are God’s chosen people today. This message is for us. And, through Jesus Christ, all these things are true – and we need to tell people. This is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ – and the way we live our lives either communicates these truths or leaves people wondering what’s the big deal with being a Christian.
Be an Isaiah today. Tell someone the good news. Comfort someone in need. Pray for the poor and captive and for those that mourn.