Happy First of the Month! As part of our Radical Experiment and personal spiritual growth, I am reading through the Bible this year. I decided to focus on the Old Testament, at least this month since I am studying for an Old Testament final exam. Recently, I completed the book of Isaiah. Isaiah was a major prophet who spoke of a coming time of the Lord’s favor. Concerning that time, he wrote:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
2 To proclaim freedom for the captives
And release from darkness for the prisoners,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
Isaiah 61:1-2a NIV
The passage contains more “good news” for this time in which we are now living. There is so much to unpack in these verses but I will narrow the focus to the spiritual promises presented and what we can expect to manifest in the physical as a result.
The Year of the Lord’s favor is the time where the Holy Spirit is at work in the hearts and minds of all those on who believe on the name: Jesus. The Holy Spirit was sent to do this mighty work once Jesus’ earthly ministry was completed. We know this because he quoted these very words after his baptism and ministry preparation in the wilderness. Jesus proclaims the words of Isaiah with all power and authority in Luke 4:18-19.
It is Jesus who:
Preaches the Good News to the poor
Heals the brokenhearted
Proclaims freedom for the captives
Frees prisoners from their darkness
Comforts all who mourn
And provides for those who grieve
No one else can do this; no one else can make magnified changes to our lives and circumstances. Jesus himself taught and proclaimed the Lord’s favor by healing. He renders blessings instead of cursing, and gives beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3b).
Jesus pronounces blessings on:
the poor in spirit (those who realize they will eternally die without him)
those who mourn (and provides them comfort)
the meek (for the humble will inherit the earth)
those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (for the Holy Spirit enables this work)
the merciful (for God will not give us the punishment we deserve)
those who have a pure heart (for they are connected to God)
the peace maker (for they are God’s children)
those who are persecuted for righteousness (for they will receive their reward in Heaven)
Jesus has already done a mighty redemptive work. Salvation is the miracle of all miracles. As a result of this miracle, and in the power of the Holy Spirit that is within the believer, we can proclaim the Good News and live the Good News for God’s glory. We can do what others cannot do because greater is God who lives within us than the spiritual powers of oppression that are in the world (1 John 4:4). On these promises and this truth, we can stand!
How are you standing?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2012