The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the afflicted. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a cloak of praise instead of a faint spirit, so that they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord to display his beauty.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As in Isaiah’s day, you still send out pastors, teachers, and others with your Spirit on them to share the good news to all those who suffer from sin’s effects. Not only do we deserve to be punished for our sins, but they also burden us down with guilt and shame. That day when Jesus went to the cross to take into himself all our sins, he declared our freedom when he cried, “It is finished!” Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to us. He took every sin that separated us from you and, in removing our sin, he cut us free from shame and guilt’s hold on us. For all that mourn, you give them comfort in your word. We no longer need to sit with the ash of remorse because our sins are forgiven. We are made right with you through faith; to all who believe the forgiveness Jesus has won for them and salvation is theirs. You feed us through your word, so we remain strong in the faith and, as Isaiah wrote, “they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, to display his beauty.” Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
God provides ways for his word to get out, for all people to know Jesus. So go out and plant yourself as that live oak you are, giving others the relief from their sins through God’s word for which many are so desperately searching.