Letting the Light Through

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,
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 gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
”  —Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV.

All the God does for His children—and that’s plenty—has a purpose much bigger than meeting the needs of those children. He delights to meet us at every crossroad to give us direction, to comfort us when we suffer loss, to fill  our hearts when they are empty, to replace sadness with joy, mourning with singing.

But what we receive must be passed on. Our blessings are meant to be a blessing to others. Just as we are to be “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” so are we called to touch the lives of others so that they can share that same calling and blessing.

Imagine being the “display of his splendor.” Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:16 when He said: “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Isaiah lists the deeds, and Matthew tells us the result. It’s a universal call to all those who bear the name of “Christian.” The proof of the validity of the name is, as they say, “in the pudding,” in the attention given to displaying his splendor through how we carry out the mission to which He has called us.


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