Contributed by Mark Roper on Nov 27, 2007 (message contributor)
Summary: The longer a church has been in existence, the more its resources go toward its own preservation rather than toward outreach and evangelism.
Luke 4:18 KJV
Many Christians can suffer from a lack of identity
An older sister was sitting next to her younger brother in Church one Sunday morning unsuccessfully trying to keep him still and quiet. Finally she said, I wish you would calm down. I can’t, he said, it’s just so boring. With that his sister turned and said, It’s supposed to be boring.
Our Lord came here with a purpose.
He came for the helpless, the humble, the spiritual, morally, and emotional hungry.
To heal, forgive, restore, and empower His Church to be courageous.
We have received His mercy and experienced His help.
Luke 4:18 KJV
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Jesus came because the people of that day were helpless, hungry, downtrodden, and discouraged.
The Lord’s emphasis was on the condition of the heart, more than just the outward circumstances.
1. preach the gospel to the poor
Their life on earth is the hardest; it is often one of unremitting toil; often one of severe privation, almost destitute comfort and enjoyment; often one of serious and hard oppression, in which the strong will of another robs of all liberty of action.
The past is sad, the present gloomy, the future dark.
There are no pleasures in recollection, and there is no relief in hope.
2. heal the brokenhearted
Here it stands for crushed and hopeless ones, who have lost all spirit, and think there is no light, no cheer, in this life for them.
3. preach deliverance to the captives
The moral suggestion is of those who are mastered by old evil habits, easily besetting sins.
He is Burden-bearer and Burden-lifter.
Satan is a defeated enemy
Deliverance is preached to the captives, Luke 4:18. Those that are bound under the unrighteous dominion of sin,
Jesus invaded Satan’s territory, destroyed his armor and weapons, and claimed his spoils
Christ’s miracles show that the kingdom of God is present, not the kingdom of Satan!
4. recovering of sight to the blind
Sight to the blind. What a change that can place!
Mark 10:46 KJV
Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
He went from darkness to light, from begging to follow Jesus, and from crying to praising the Lord.
5. to set at liberty them that are bruised
a) Those who are chafed with the worries of life.
b) Those who are perplexed with the problems of life.
c) Those who are smitten by the persecutions of life.
d) 4. Those that are worn with excessive toil.
e) Those that are wounded by the heavier sorrows of life.
Jesus came to establish his church. To establish the purpose of his church.
What has made an impact on you lately? Your family? Your neighbors? Your town? Your world?
How many would say the Church has impacted their lives?
Some might answer with the affirmative. But the greater question is not has the church impacted you, but?
Have you as the Church made an impact in someone lately?
The church has forgotten it’s identity, and mission!
1. Elton Trueblood wrote,
"It used to be that Christianity was a revolutionary faith that turned the world upside down. But today Christians sit in Sunday morning church services looking at their watches, wondering what time dinner will be served, or thinking about the kickoff. And we hope that church won’t interfere with the things we would really rather be doing."
2. "The longer a church has been in existence, the more its resources go toward its own preservation rather than toward outreach and evangelism. Our tendency is to design ministries that meet our own needs as opposed to the needs of those who have not yet entered the kingdom."
3. Well organized, but accomplishing little.
A German soldier was wounded. He was ordered to go to the military hospital for treatment. When he arrived at the large and imposing building, he saw two doors, one marked, "For the slightly wounded," and the other, "For the seriously wounded."
He entered through the first door and found himself going down a long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, "For officer" and the other, "For non-officers." He entered through the latter and found himself going down another long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, "For party members" and the other, "For non-party members." He took the second door, and when he opened it he found himself out on the street.
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