Sweet Body of Christ….here’s a bit of my heart that I was able to share in our church service the Friday before I left…We serve an amazing GOD!
Thank you for hearing our voices on behalf of these precious brothers and sisters in a country so far removed from our every day life…I know we all feel HONORED to speak for them…
ALL we’ve heard, all we read about poverty, see in the news about Haiti are exposed to tonight can most likely leave us in one of two places:
1. moved, burdened, motivated to action…or
2. overwhelmed, calloused, and we feel paralyzed, so we go home and go to bed.
There is a whole spectrum to emotion and response—I’ve experienced it all especially in the past weeks preparing for this trip, hearing and seeing the suffering in Haiti, and then knowing on personal levels people that have so much pain right here in this room.
ONE TRUTH that God has shown me over and over again is that there IS NO HOPE APART FROM HIM…so, when we are moved, or paralyzed, we MUST fix our eyes on JESUS—
HE IS THE HOPE TO THE HOPELESS
HE IS THE FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS
HE IS JEHOVAH RAPHA—THE LORD WHO HEALS
HE IS THE CREATOR AND SUSTAINER OVER ALL HE HAS CREATED.
AND HE IS LOVING AND SOVEREIGN…
Do you know why JESUS came? HE said this,
“I have come that you may have LIFE ABUNDANT?”
How many of you feel like you have experienced that abundant LIFE here on earth?
Isn’t it strange that as Christians we know so little of this ABUNDANT LIFE??
I want to share a passage that has encouraged me as I have pursued Christ and knowing how HE desires me to live on this earth….this has spoken profound and life-giving truth to me about what GOD promises when we surrender our lives to what is close to HIS heart….It is so backwards from what our world teaches us…I pray it BRINGS LIGHT to you tonight…
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share you food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
THEN your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear, then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help and he will say: HERE AM I….
V 10…If you SPEND YOURSELF in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then YOUR LIGHT will RISE IN THE DARKNESS, and your night will become like the noonday.”
The world teaches us one strong message that is often opposed to the TRUTH found in the Word of God…
…the world says provide for yourself…to make wise investments, to give to sound places where you can get your tax refund …God says SHARE, PROVIDE for the poor and hungry.
….the world says take care of yourself, be kind to yourself…God says, spend yourself on behalf of the hungry
…this world teaches self gratification and to SATISFY and FULFILL your own desires…..God says SATISFY the needs of those who are oppressed.
I think the world teaches to LOVE self…to gratify our own desires.
I believe part of the abundant LIFE that Jesus wants to offer comes through the truth in this verse.
HE WANTS TO BREAK US FREE From the idolatry of SELF LOVE…self serving, self focus, self pity, self gratification—
JESUS lived and taught the complete opposite—death to self.
He asks us to follow HIS example in dying to our own desires, our own WANTS for the sake of another…
BUT HIS PROMISE in this is so amazing to me, that then, whatever is holding us captive—fear, anxiety, anger, selfishness, lack of motivation, depression, discontentment, whatever it is will be broken down…we will be RELEASED into LIGHT and HEALING and HELP…
As we LIVE out of God’s HEART and LOVE and HIS desires –IF WE SPEND OURSELVES TO KNOW CHRIST…IF WE SPEND OUR SELVES TO LOVE and PROVIDE for HIS children, then OUR LIGHT WILL SHINE.
I PRAY ABUNDANT LIFE over each of you tonight!!! I pray abundant LIFE to come to those who don’t yet know our LIGHT in Christ Jesus.