April’s “Encouraging Word”
by Tony Cooper, Executive Director (for Birmingham Christian Family magazine)
JESUS ON A MISSION
One of my favorite Bible verses is Luke 4:18 which says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free whose who are downtrodden.”
To me it describes, in general terms, what we do at The Jimmie Hale Mission and the people we serve. The verse begins by talking about a spiritual proclamation; “to preach the gospel to the poor.” The gospel (good news of salvation) has to be shared. When it is presented and received, then needs are met. Poor is defined as “not having your needs met.” The gospel message is able to address one’s spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. If these needs are not addressed, there is something missing; you are incomplete and operating from a deficit; life is out of balance.
Next there is spiritual healing; “to heal the broken hearted.” Only the gospel can truly mend a heart or life that has been broken. Only the Great Physician can administer spiritual healing. Only Jesus Christ can fill the void (God Spot) in our life.
Following spiritual healing there is spiritual freedom; “to proclaim release to the captives.” Only Christ’s payment for our sin can set us free from spiritual bondage. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
As you experience spiritual freedom you can receive spiritual sight (enlightenment); the “recovery of sight to the blind.” Before we can comprehend spiritual things, we must have spiritual discernment (insight). Spiritual birth has to proceed a spiritual life.
Then comes spiritual comfort; “to set free those who are downtrodden (bruised).” Because of sin we all live in a fallen world and are a broken people. Since we are oppressed and bruised by the trials of life; we need some relief, comfort, and encouragement.
Luke 4:19 concludes by saying, “to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” In other words, “to receive the Lord’s favor. Now the spiritual blessing comes.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus fulfilled His mission?!
Read it on the BCF site HERE!