Highlights In Today's Reading:
Some think they can fool God. But He knows our real motives and the intents of those whose prayers and fasting He rebuked. Look at this fast (58:6-7) and its blessings (vs 8-14). Wow — our pride hides God 's face from some of our blessings in fastings (59:2). Now Isaiah looks forward over 600 years as The Redeemer shall come to Zion (59:20) at Christ's second advent. The reader is brought into the very presence of Jesus as the lines in these Messianic chapters 60-63 are quoted in the New Testament as the very words Jesus quoted concerning Himself.
Jesus stood in the synagogue in Nazareth and read these words, saying: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach (the) Good Tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah 61:1). Then He proclaimed: This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:18-21). He is the Promised Messiah, Son of David, the Savior, the Redeemer of the world. Unto Him the Spirit was given without measure — He is the anointed of God (Isaiah 61:1).
Our Lord first came as a Servant to bind up the brokenhearted and to set the captive free. And each of us, as His followers, should also preach (the) Good Tidings unto the meek and proclaim liberty to those who are entangled in sin. This ministry for the Lord is one of the highest privileges of the child of God. Our labors on behalf of less fortunate ones reveal our nearness and likeness to Him.
A Christian cares about other people and is a living demonstration of God's love and His gracious will (Romans 5:8). Furthermore, when the needs of others are made known to us, we have the privilege to bring these needs before God in prayer and then to do what we can to comfort the brokenhearted.
This message of Good Tidings in all the beauty and grace of its meaning was fulfilled in the Person and completed work of Jesus Christ; but, it also sets forth the principle of true Christian service. Ours is not a ministry dependent upon superior talent and intellect. Let us stand before this text and say — in reverence and humility: "I am but a vessel, an instrument, an agent; I am not the master, I am but a servant; Lord God be Thou my inspiration, my strength, and the completeness of my life."
Like captive slaves, we are by nature in bondage to sin — to the flesh — to the world. Christ has come to proclaim liberty, to break the chains of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual captivity to all who will repent of their sin, be born again, and then follow Him as Lord of their lives. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36).
Thought for Today:
The psalmist said: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so (Psalm 107:2). Who can we tell what Jesus has done for us today?
As the One anointed to preach Good Tidings (Isaiah 61:1). Jesus read this passage to the rulers of the synagogue (Luke 4:16-22) but stopped before reading the completion of the second verse, thus showing that He fulfilled the first part but, the second part, the day of judgment, was yet to be fulfilled.
60:5 flow together =b> become enlightened; fear =b> swell with joy; 61:3 appoint =b> impart comfort; 62:4 Hephzibah =b> My delight is in her; Beulah =b> married; 63:15 the sounding of thy bowels =b> the yearning affection of your heart.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Assistant to the Ex. Dir. of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Official: Rep. Connie Mack IV (FL) • Country: Botswana (1.5 million) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and Setswana • Limited religious freedom because of local chiefs • 58% Christian; 40% Indigenous; .8% Baha'i; .2% Muslim; .2% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment and an understanding heart (I Kings 3:9).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:17