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Sunday Replay 10.05.08

Some Sunday’s are better than others – any pastor will tell you that.  And yesterday was one of the best I’ve experienced during my ministry here…

Worship was exactly what I needed!  The songs turned our attention toward God and His goodness, and also challenged us to live a life that makes a difference.  The worship band was tight and the vocals were also very good.  I so appreciate the vision the worship band has, and their commitment to not settling for “o.k.” when they serve an awesome God! 

I was so excited to preach Sunday, I was about to bust.  The second installment of our “Taking It to the Streets” series focused on learning to see like Jesus sees.  We looked at Luke 4:14-21, Jesus’ announcement of His ministry in Nazareth.  We saw that the statement Jesus made there was His mission, and it is our mandate.  Jesus said His mission was to

  • Preach good news to the poor.  In that day, poverty was seen as a judgment from God.  Jesus brought the good news of the Kingdom directly to the poor – telling them that the Kingdom was present with them.  The Kingdom of God is that place where His will is done, and in that Kingdom, everyone eats, has a place to live, clothes to wear, and the truth about Jesus shared with them.
  • Proclaim freedom for the captive. Jesus is talking about freedom for anyone who feels trapped, feels they’re being held against their will in a circumstance or situation that they feel helpless to confront and unable to control. 
  • Recover sight for the blind.  In Jesus’ day, the blind were thought to be suffering the consequence of sin – theirs or their parents.  Jesus declared recovery of their sight – in other words He released them from shame and condemnation.  We always tell the truth about sin – but we let God bring conviction, not condemnation – through His word and by the Holy Spirit.  In other words, back off, show mercy and grace and love and kindness, and let the Holy Spirit do His job…  He’s way better at it than we are.
  • Free the oppressed.  Jesus came to set wrong things right. He came to help the helpless. He came to bring justice to those who had been victims of injustice.  We are called to stand up for people who’ve been done wrong, who need help, who need an advocate.
  • Proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.  In Israel, every 50th year was a year of Jubilee – in that year all slaves were set free, all property returned to its original owner, and all debts were cleared off the books.  It was a time of celebration and rejoicing.  Jubilee was a symbol of the freedom that Jesus would gain for us on the cross.  People who are enslaved by and in debt to sin, can be set free, debt of sin is paid, because Jesus died and rose again!  Jesus was announcing an entirely new age of freedom and liberty.  Jesus is our Jubilee both now and forever!

Jesus’ mission is our mandate – and it’s people-centered, outwardly focused, and compassion driven.  If we can see people as He saw them, sees them, we will overflow with ideas and discover dozens of practical ways to show them the love of Christ.

Two weeks until our Sunday of Service – not Sunday services, but first, next week, we will look at how God turns small things done with great love into HUGE things that change lives, and the world!

Have a great week!

  1. October 7, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

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