Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Isaiah 61 Initiative, pt. 1: Good News

Sun Ministries is a missions organization. We seek to facilitate the training and relocation of missionaries to America's inner cities, in order to plant faith communities. Not churches, programs, or communes, these faith communities are just that – communities of believers living out their faith in real and active ministry. Our missionaries are taught to pastor their communities as they live and work in neighborhoods for healing and restoration.

We call this work the Isaiah 61 Initiative. We've been inspired by the words of Isaiah chapter 61. The next few blogs will explore these words and what they mean to us.

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners...”  Isaiah 61:1

These are the opening lines of Isaiah 61. These are the same words Jesus quoted at the start of His ministry, as recorded in Luke chapter 4. This was Jesus' mission. He is saying, “This is why I'm here.” We believe that Jesus' followers are called to this same mission. We believe the Spirit of the Lord is upon each of us to bring good news - good news of healing and freedom.

This first requires our own healing and freedom. We do not feel you can effectively minister to hurting people if you don't know your own pain, and have freedom from it. You can't lead someone to freedom if you continue to sit in prison. Overcoming this can be hard, and impossible on your own. Many today are held captive by pain, pride, fear, ignorance, or even traditions and ways of the world that set us on a course of activity or accomplishments that never see true ministry. We must become humble servants, willing to seek truth that frees us, so that we can follow our Lord to spread good news. These are the ministers that can take on the mission of Isaiah 61.

For us, this is the heart of ministry. The physical needs we can supply are good and necessary. But Jesus didn't come to bring us jobs and food. He came to set captives free and bind up the brokenhearted. All the programs and resources and opportunity can become meaningless if a person never receives healing, or if they are never told that they have been set free. And as we have been healed and set free, we can now come alongside others and share this good news.

No comments: