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REBUILD, RAISE UP, REPAIR!


Isaiah 61:1-11    

Wednesday, 03 January 2024



And they shall rebuild the old ruins,

They shall raise up the former desolations,

And they shall repair the ruined cities,

The desolations of many generations. Isaiah 61: 4

 

Isaiah 61 begins with a familiar passage for us, which Jesus read out at the synagogue in Nazareth at the start of His ministry (cf. Luke 4:16-20). Hence we understand its relation to the Messiah and His rule, of which a partial fulfilment has taken place in Christ’s first coming and the rest of it will be fulfilled at His second coming.


Jesus brought the Good News to a people who were poor in their spirit, brokenhearted, imprisoned by sin and sickness, in captivity of Satan, in darkness bound by the effects of sin. To them He proclaimed liberty and the year of the Lord’s favor (cf. Isaiah 61: 1-2). Jesus’ death and resurrection has brought Salvation for all who will receive it. Isaiah 61: 10 paints the picture of a believer in Christ: “For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” They who are saved can very well testify to what Christ has done for us as related in the first portion of our reading today:


·         He has healed our broken hearts by carrying our sin and our sorrows upon Himself (Matt 8:17)


·         He has delivered us from captivity and given us liberty, bringing us out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of His Son in whom there is redemption and forgiveness of sin. (Col. 1:13&14)


·         He has announced the year of grace and a deferment of judgment by granting us full forgiveness and saving us from God’s wrath


·         He has comforted and consoled us by giving us ‘The Comforter and Our Counselor -the Holy Spirit’ (John 14) to walk alongside us on this earth.


·         He has given us beauty, joy and praise in the place of ashes, mourning and heaviness by transforming our ruined lives into glorious, fruitful trees planted in this world to reflect His glory.


Just as God’s people were called to be “priests of the LORD” and “ministers of our God” (V.6) to fulfil the purpose of serving Him to bring the light of the knowledge of the LORD to Gentiles, today the church and the believer are called for this task. Once God saves us, He raises us up to become priests and servants for Him in His kingdom. This ministry is now entrusted to us, the transformed.


Three duties are given in our key verse today that the church/believer is called to do:


1.    Rebuild – Rebuilding ancient ruins can refer to lifting up lives, devastated beyond repair, ruined by satan, which only can be rebuilt through Christ, the Giver of life. The church of Jesus Christ too will be built up by people who will worship Him in truth and spirit and not by activities and traditions.


2.    Raise up – Lives torn down by the enemy need to be raised up again. The very living breath of life through the Holy Spirit will revive lives. Besides, the church is to raise up a godly generation holding godly standards of holiness within the church.


3.    Repair – There are broken individuals, families, societies that need repair—a repairing of relationships and fellowships which the body of Christ is called to do. The church will be a place where the broken will be made whole as they hear the message of the power of the gospel and the grace of Christ.


The transforming work of God in our lives first and then flowing out to others, is what brings glory to God. And then we can look forward to the day we will live in the light of His glory and glorify Him!


Thought for the Day: “The church which is not a missionary church will be a missing church when Jesus comes.” ~ F. B. Meyer

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