Day 261

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”  (Luke 4:16-21)

It’s been a while since I have heard a sermon preached from this passage of Scripture which is from Isaiah 61.  What a lovely reminder to find it waiting on me in the book of Luke today!

I have been studying on how a Christian should view themselves when they are away from God and living in sin.  Obviously we know that we are to maintain a daily, consecrated walk with the Lord and confess our sins, but what about when we lapse?  I talk to a LOT of people who are away from the Lord and feel like the church is against them.  Hey….I AM PART OF THE CHURCH!  I don’t ever want someone to feel as though I am against them.  I always want to try and have the attitude of Christ.  So that has led me to study this subject.

And wouldn’t you know, God gives me a great verse to base my thoughts upon?!

When Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, he says he has been sent to heal the broken-hearted.  This is in reference to being broken from sin.  He is the Healer, not only of physical needs, but more importantly, our spiritual ones.

If you are away from God and happen to be reading this today, may I say that Jesus will not reject your prayer today if you want to talk to Him.  He already knows your situation, your personality, your hang ups and your frustrations.  The best thing you can do is to find a quiet place alone and go talk to Him.  No anvil is going to be thrown from the sky on top of your head.  Your life may seem completely in ruin right now and to be honest, it probably has the chance of getting a lot messier because of sin, but would’t it be better to go through it with the Lord helping you instead of by yourself?

If you are a friend or family member of someone who is away from God, maybe your attitude needs evaluation as well.  Are you behaving like Christ and offering them an avenue of healing or are you standing in the path with your arms crossed and denying them the opportunity to see grace and love from you?  (Ouch! This steps on my toes)

We all know sin brings death and misery.  Let’s keep ourselves away from that path by maintaining our walk with the Lord, but let’s also be willing to reach out to someone when they are so broken by their choices and need a kind word.

We have all been there.  We have all made a mess of our lives.  It is not easy for us to admit, but think back to when you were sitting in a parked car crying and trying to figure out how to get back to the Lord.  Think back to when you held the phone receiver in your hand and knew the other person who just hung up on you had asked for a divorce.  Think back to the time when you woke up with a hangover and wondered how you ever got so far away from the Lord and didn’t know how to come back.  Would you have liked to have had a friend in that moment?  Someone to listen and love you no matter what?  Then be that person to someone else!  Jesus was.

I wonder what it would have been like to hear Jesus in the synagogue that day as all eyes were fastened on Him?  The Bible points out that everyone was paying attention.  I wonder if someone found hope in that moment after He closed the book and the echo of His voice filtered through the air.  I think it must have been an amazing few seconds.  Yet, those are probably the same people who yelled “Crucify Him”.  It’s possible to see Jesus and hear Jesus and still be a hypocrite.

How many people will we continue to push away from the Lord just because it makes us feel better about ourselves?  This is such a huge problem in the Independent Baptist Church that it makes me sad.  It’s as though we have more compassion for the lost than we do our own brothers and sisters in Christ.

“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”  (Luke 9:56a)

Reach out to someone or to SomeOne today…..point towards the Healer or run to Him yourself.  There is great relief there in His presence.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

 

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