This morning was a great morning at the church. I am totally blessed to be called to minister at a place like CCF! There is always such a good spirit among the people. Great day! I was able to utilize some of my material from my Grad class the other week...while beginning to lay some bricks for what God may want to build among us in 2008. We looked at Jesus' answer to the question "what matters most?" (Matthew 22:36-40)
Last night was incredible as well. I was encouraged at how many people came out to Saturday night prayer. I sensed the Lord calling us to focus our time last night on prayer for healing. (I had sent a prayer email out to that end on Thursday.) We gathered last evening, read Isaiah 61 and James 5 and began sharing prayer needs (specifically for healing). We anointed people with oil and prayed for the sick who were not able to be there. It was a precious time. As we began, I read the words of Isaiah 61:1-3. I have read this text many times. We have even sang it at church. But last night it fell on my heart differently. It is so fresh, so encouraging and so real. It speaks to real people with real discouragement and pain...and it offers hope! Big hope! Hope that applies to you and me. Check it out.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach 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, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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.