“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Has God ever challenged you to step outside your comfort zone? About eight years ago, God challenged me to embrace His invitation to adventure and experience life as He intended — intentionally and faithfully reaching out to my community’s marginalized people. Initially, and apprehensively, I asked, “What can I offer?” Despite my sense of insecurity, inadequacy, and nervous anxiety, I sensed God gently saying, “All I need from you is a willing heart.”
In Luke 4:18-19, prior to beginning His public ministry, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah. These powerful and timely words reveal Jesus’ ministry mandate. Likewise, today, His timeless words reiterate every Christ follower’s mission mandate: proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, sight for the blind, freedom for the oppressed, and the year of the Lord’s favor. Obviously, we cannot effectively accomplish Jesus’ mission mandate exclusively serving ourselves. Like Jesus, we must transcend the comfort and confines of our sacred assemblies and intentionally and faithfully engage in relational, Spirit-led community outreach.
Is the Lord prompting you to embrace His life of adventure – reflecting Jesus within your community? Throughout my outreach experience, I continually witness believers willingly and faithfully embracing Jesus’ mandate – being His hands, feet, and voice among society’s marginalized. Consequently, God uses their outreach experience to conform their character to authentically reflect Jesus. Concurrently, He also tenderly transforms the hearts and lives of society’s poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed through His living ambassadors of grace. Will you accept His invitation to adventure? All He needs from you is a willing heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, empower me with your Spirit, so that I may authentically reflect you within my community. Open up opportunities for me to begin my faith adventure — that I can be your hands, feet, and voice. Thank you for the privilege and honor of being your ambassador of grace. Amen.
Reread Luke 4:18-19. Come before the Lord with a surrendered heart. Ask Him to bring to mind serving opportunities within your community and then take the first practical step to make that happen.