Pastor Dennis Larkin was our guest speaker, and he drew our attention to two particular passages of scripture: Psalm 42:1-11 and Isaiah 61:1-9.
The first drives home this thought, stating it twice in the space of 7 verses for emphasis:
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. (NIV)
The second offers a prophetic glimpse into the future self-revelation of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah:
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 favor
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.
Pastor Dennis pointed out how those verses were not only true of Jesus: they are true of all who have submitted to his Lordship. It is our sacred calling to proclaim the good news to the poor in spirit, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for those held captive by sin, and to bestow upon them a crown of beauty, the oil of joy, and a garment of praise.
He then issued a 30-day challenge to speak God's truth into our own lives: once in the morning and again in the evening. Those words are contained in the document Who I Am in Christ, which you can download by clicking here.
To download the audio of today's message, click here.