The people I see

June 22, 2009 — Leave a comment

I love the passage in Isaiah 61:1-6 that Jesus read when he stood up in the synagogue in his hometown. It gives a neat capsule of the people we encounter every day in our lives:
 
*bring good news to the poor
those who don’t have what they need to live the full life God wants to give us–the life Jesus talks about in John 10 {good pasture, full life}
 
*comfort the broken-hearted–
those who had something and lost it [dreams, relationships, peace]
 
*to announce release and freedom for the captives and prisoners
those actually taken away from the sheep pen, like the sheep stolen by the thief/wolf in John 10
 
It’s helpful for me to think about people in those different categories. It also encourages me to see that God’s anointing is mostly to proclaim what He does, rather than do it myself. I’m not responsible to give the poor the full life, but to tell them about it. I’m not the one who frees the captives, but I announce it. I don’t restore what is lost, but I tell people God will do it.

One ‘action’ I can do though is to comfort people, and another is to give them a crown of beauty, oil of gladness, and a spirit of praise. It seems to me that happens when I affirm someone, and share the joy of who God is and what He has done for me. I know what an encouragement it is for me when someone points out something good in me or praises me for what I’ve done, or reminds me of God’s grace. It brightens my entire day. It brightens me.

No wonder then that the result of all this is:
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” [Isaiah 61:3b]

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