February 9, 2011
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1 ESV)
My eyes welled up as I read this verse on the calendar on the wall in my office yesterday afternoon. As I processed this unexpected emotion, I realized that underneath was a longing to see Jesus doing all of those things to a greater extent. A few minutes later the phone rang and on the other end were some friends I’ve been ministering to, a couple who would probably identify themselves as “all of the above.” It was an S.O.S. call. It was as if God was letting me know what he longed to do in their lives, and commissioning me to go on his behalf. And so I went with my friend and coworker, Steve, and with a greater longing and a deeper faith that God was at work and I was being privileged to see it and be a part of it.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12–14 ESV)
What do we do with promises like this? I think we should believe and then ask and then believe. There’s no doubt that he still accomplishes those things today. But he does so on his time in order that the Father might be glorified in Christ. I have to lay even my desire at the cross for the greater purpose that Christ be glorified. I have to trust his timing, which is rarely ever my own. Then I have to look around me and realize that Christ is doing these things, even in my own life.
And so I ask you, Father, in Jesus’ name, to help my friends hear the good news of Christ, his love for them, his invitation to come to him and receive rest, his promises of peace, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life. Bind up their broken hearts; bring your healing to them. Set them free from being bound by the law of sin and death and bring them under the law of the Spirit of life. Open the prison doors, give them a route of escape from the chains that bind them, sins done against them, sins they have done, addictions and the strongholds of the Enemy. Help them to know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Bring them into your family at Trinity Church where they can be loved and built up in you. We need them as much as they need us. Amen.