I’ve found myself thinking a lot in recent months about several ideas that seem to have become “doctrine” to many Christians. They are ideas about life that I do not see reflected in the Word of God. What’s troublesome to me is that by accepting them, it seems that we deflate the impact of the Gospel — and, what’s supposed to be “Good News” becomes like no news at all. I’m going to share my thoughts in a series of posts.
The “Divine Exchange”
1 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,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 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.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Jesus read this Scripture and said: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
WOW!! That is some GLORIOUS news!! Surely the Jews of that day (who He was speaking to) knew this Scripture, and had LONG awaited for the day when this would be TRUE, not just a future hope. Jesus, the Messiah, finally here on the scene, declares: “It’s YOURS! NOW! Yep, TODAY, because I am here!” He was the Good News personified. The hope of all mankind is made real and available in the person of Christ!! How awesome is that! Anyone who will receive Him receives the FULL promises of Isaiah 61 (above)! God’s heart desire and will for your life is COMPLETE REDEMPTION and RESTORATION. It looks something like this:
You bring Him your sin. He gives you salvation and forgiveness!
You bring Him your sickness. He gives you healing!
You bring Him your brokenness. He makes you brand new!
You bring Him your shame. He gives you glory!
You bring Him your mourning. He gives you joy!
You bring Him your burdens. He gives you lightness!
You bring Him your issues. He sets you free!
I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.
THIS IS CRAZY!! But, it’s absolutely TRUE!! I call it the “Divine Exchange”, and it’s not “fair” at all! We give Him our junk, and we get all of His GOOD! No wonder some people just wanna SHOUT in praise! I do!:) The best part is, it’s His offer, his idea. We don’t have to earn it or convince Him to give it to us. It’s FREE — paid for by the Jesus’ own royal blood. Amazing! That is some GOOD news!!! SO GOOD!
Too bad that many people are carrying around urns full of their ashes like a trophy.
“I’m wounded.” . . . .
Not only do I hear believers identifying the ashes they’re still carrying around (um, why?), some even seem to find their IDENTITY somewhere in that garbage bag their dragging around behind them.
Wait. Have you met Jesus??
He says that you can trade all of that in.
What are you waiting for? Why hold on to that? Do you really prefer ashes over beauty? Brokenness more than healing? Do you enjoy mourning and dispair?
I don’t know about you, but I’m trading it in. Everyday. I want what Jesus has! And, if He wants what I have, by golly, He can have it!! I’m taking the Freedom and running with it!!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I’m a new creation! HALLELUJAH!!
Now, that’s GOOD NEWS!!! Get some!!