Monday, January 1, 2018

Serve the Unserved

Submitted by Stephen Trainer
Jesus is our example not only for living an upside down life, but also for turning our world upside down.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. Luke 4:18-19

Upside Down Ministry - Serve the Unserved

Jesus said He was sent for the poor, captives, blind, and oppressed. He was called to serve the unserved. What did he do first? He met their needs. People are both physical and spiritual beings, and when we look at Jesus’ ministry we see Him reaching out with two hands; we can call them relief and release.

It's about seeing, not hearing.

Often people can't hear the Gospel until they see the Gospel. Jesus did not ignore physical, felt needs. He fed the hungry, cured the sick, healed the lame, and even raised the dead. He provided relief. As He did so, however, Jesus never ignored the spiritual need - He taught about the kingdom of God and set people free from sin, that is, release from the bondage of darkness.

As you minister, meet needs with both hands of ministry. Relief work is the immediate response to need. Relief work may involve the simple act of giving someone a sandwich, a coat for the cold, or a mattress on which to sleep.

Release work sets people free from destructive habits, addictions, defeating behaviors, and ‘stinking thinking.’ Release work often has both an immediate component and a component that takes much longer.

Lord, help me to see people as physical and spiritual beings. Help me to follow your example of relief and release each day.

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