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Just dropping by ... His mission is our mission

Yevet Tenney Published on 13 May 2011
Woman in mountain scene

(Click here to listen to a podcast of this column.)

Recently I watched footage of the tsunami in Japan. I was horrified at the destruction and tears slid down my cheeks as I thought of the people whose lives would never be the same.

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Like a huge monster, the water crushed buildings, planes and cars, licked them up and carried them along in the churning mass. Fires floated on the debris, while wooden beams and steel buildings rolled like toothpicks in the gray water.

As I watched the horrible scene, I could not help but think of the terrible tsunami of wickedness that is sweeping our own land. Homes and families are being sucked into the abyss of destruction. Their lives will never be the same.

Their hearts in unquenchable fire float on the rolling waters of pornography, drugs, deception and financial ruin. Fathers abandon their families. Mothers turn their backs on their own children, and children are scattered to find refuge in the arms of strangers. Where do we turn for peace?

Emma Lou Thayne in her hymn “Where can I turn for peace?” expresses my feelings exactly:

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When, with a wounded heart, anger, or malice
I draw myself apart searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows?
Where, when I languish?
Where, in my need to know?
Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
He answers privately.
Reaches my reaching.
In my Gethsemane, Savior, and friend.
Gentle, the peace He finds
For my beseeching.
Constant He is, and kind.
Love without end.

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Christ is the Prince of Peace. He came into the world with a mission, and His mission statement is recorded in Luke 4:18:

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.

Christ’s first mission was “to preach the gospel to the poor.” What is the gospel? Gospel means good news. What good news did Christ bring?

He ushered in a whole new way of looking at the world. The Law of Moses, which said “an eye for an eye,” was replaced with the law of love. The Sermon on the Mount is full of good news. You did not have to be rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Those who mourn will be comforted. The meek, not the powerful, would inherit the earth. Those who hunger for righteousness would be filled. Those who were merciful would have mercy given to them. The pure in heart would see God, and the peacemakers would become the children of God.

Christ came “to heal the brokenhearted.” Countless stories in the New Testament give accounts where Christ healed the brokenhearted. Consider the 10 lepers and the woman who touched His garment and was healed from her infirmity of many years.

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Think of the child Christ brought back to life at her father’s request. Then there were blind men and men sick of the palsy. Any kind of disease is terrible and people suffer with broken hearts because they cannot find relief. Christ gave them relief.

Christ preached “deliverance to the captives.” In a sense, all men and women are captives. We are imprisoned by our habits, our negative traditions and by our self-doubts and fears. Christ has given us the pattern to follow that will help us overcome all of those bondages.

He died on the cross to give us the power to not only rise from the grave, but “to walk in newness of life.” Every addiction, chronic behavior or fear can be overcome if we seek the help of Christ.

He overcame all things by taking upon Himself the sins of the world. He knows how to help us through whatever problem we have. We simply have to ask and trust that He will do his part after all we can do.

Christ gave “sight to the blind.” There are two kinds of blindness. One is where your eyes have some defect and you cannot see the world around you. You are lost without a guide. You wander in dangers without awareness and are oblivious to the colors and grandeur of the world around you.

The other kind of blindness is spiritual. This kind of blindness comes when you cannot see the merciful hand of God in your life, and you are oblivious to the grandeur and miracles in your life. You have nowhere to turn for peace.

You are whipped about by “every wind of doctrine.” You are “sifted as wheat” and “harrowed up” with the cares of the world. This kind of blindness also needs a guide. Christ is that guide.

Christ can help you see both physically and spiritually. He is a hand in the darkness and a path around a rocky precipice. He is a candle at the end of a dark tunnel. He is a friend and words of comfort.

He is the voice of love that calls to every weary traveler. He is literally “the light of the world” and “the bread of life.” Those who believe in Him will truly “have everlasting life.”

Christ has set “at liberty them that are bruised.” Who are the “bruised” ones who need to be set free? The bruised ones are those who are hurt and held captive by the sins of others.

The wife who is plagued by her husband’s addiction to pornography, the child who is molested repeatedly by a relative or mother’s boyfriend. It is the child who comes into the world already addicted to drugs and alcohol and who will suffer an entire lifetime.

These are the ones who are abused and victims of violent crimes. These are the ones who suffer diseases that they did not bring upon themselves. Christ is there to comfort and give solace. He, through His infinite atonement, will make everything right. He will set them at liberty as they follow Him.

He did not cause the problem, even as His kindness did not bring upon Himself His suffering at the hands of the wicked that nailed Him to the cross. He suffered that He might know how to bring comfort to those who suffer in like manner.

Many people in Japan are suffering at this time because of the tsunami. They have lost everything and we cannot even comprehend the sorrow that fills their hearts at their loss, but Jesus can. There are many who suffer from another tsunami of wickedness that rips at the heart of American homes.

The casualties are uncounted and mount every day. No one can understand how terrible the cost, except those who have gone through the pain. Yet Jesus understands, and He is there to give comfort. He is only a prayer away.

What does Christ’s mission have to do with us? If we are to become like Him and do the things that He did, we must take up His cross and follow Him. In other words, we must make His mission our mission.

We must preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recover the sight of the blind and set at liberty those that are bruised. We are Christ’s hands upon the earth. We must learn to bless as He would bless and lift the burdens He would lift. PD

Susan’s Bread Pudding

3 eggs 1 cup raisins
1 scant cup of sugar 3 slices bread
3 cups milk Nutmeg to taste
2 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add milk, vanilla, raisins and bread. Cube bread without crust. Pour into well-buttered cake pan, 12x3/4x9x2. Sprinkle well with nutmeg.

Place in hot 350º oven with separate pan of water underneath. Bake for about an hour. Knife should come out clean when inserted. Too sweet pudding will turn out watery.

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