“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
It rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? “For God so loved the world… blah blah blah.” Sorry to be so crass, but I reckon that a liturgical familiarity of such scriptures can breed an immunity in our souls to the truth, the power, the implication of these words. That’s why I have put four scriptures on this blog today. I hope you will meditate on them.
The love of God for the world. For people that we wouldn’t love naturally. In order to have faith that God loves the world, we need to go back to the first blog of this series… God loves me. God saves me. Only the humbled can receive and believe this. And it is as we see ourselves on common ground with humanity, desperately needy, that we begin to believe and receive the love of God that we begin to believe that he loves others and we are compelled by his love to share it.
I could have put 50 verses on this blog. In fact, as I am reading these scriptures again right now, I wish I had included a scripture stating our response, our God-given role in reaching the world with God’s love. How about Matthew 28: 18-20, the great commission from JESUS to go in his name into all the world and make disciples? How about we interpret Isaiah 61 as not just the calling and anointing on JESUS to love the world, but ours too?
Join me today in praying:
Father, thank you for your unfathomable, reckless, saving love for me in your son, Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, humble me again to know it deep within, and for me to be compelled by your love to share it, in faith that your love can powerfully change other people’s lives like it is changing mine. Give us, your church, faith to step out in action and believe for a harvest of souls as we love the lost. Here I am, Lord. Send me. Amen.