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Recently, I asked the Lord to expand my vision of the world as He sees it. Scriptures, books, blogs, and conversations all reflected the same theme – God’s heart for the broken, oppressed, forgotten, distraught, hungry, poor, exploited, incarcerated…the marginalized. He showed me that an appropriate response is not a feeling, an appropriate response demands action.
Isaiah 61:1-3 explains Jesus’ mission: bring good news to the poor, comfort the brokenhearted, proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed, and tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’S favor has come. He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, blessing instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair. They will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for His own glory.
In light of Jesus’ mission, I reread the faith chapter, Hebrews 11, describing the action taken by those whose allegiance was to the Lord and Him only. They obeyed, believed, chose to share oppression rather than freedom, kept their eyes on the One who is invisible, and “their weakness was turned to strength.”
Following Jesus, no matter what, into a hurting world is overwhelming. Hebrews 12:12 encourages us: “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.” Keeping our eyes on Jesus and doing what He asks will actually make us stronger.
The call is to believe Him, put our faith and trust in Him, give Him our allegiance and take action. As Paul concludes the book of Hebrews, he writes:
- Keep loving each other
- Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers
- Remember those in prison as if you were there yourself
- Remember those being mistreated as if you felt their pain in your own bodies
Those words do not reflect feelings, they reflect actions.
And His promise…Hebrews 13:5ff
“I will never fail you
I will never abandon you
So we can say with confidence,
The LORD is my helper
So I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?”
And the benediction…Hebrews 13:20, 21
“Now may the God of peace – Who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with His blood – may He equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen”
Lord, thank you for the price you paid on the cross to save my soul. Thank You for Your heart for and mission to reach the broken, oppressed, forgotten, distraught, hungry, poor, exploited, incarcerated…the marginalized. Open our eyes, that we might see the world around us from Your perspective. Strengthen our tired hands and weak knees. Give us the courage to ask You to reach our world through us. Give us the courage to take action. In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, Amen!
Questions: Ask the Lord how, even today, you can be His hands and feet in a hurting world. If you sense there is an obstacle, something holding you back, what is it? Ask Him.
About the Author: Donna Mitchell