Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Your Story

Isaiah 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim 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 joy

    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.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities

    that have been devastated for generations.

Dear Girlfriends,

As you have worked on pages 12-22 in “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” over the past week, I hope you have discovered how important your story is.  It is one of the most powerful and precious things you possess!    

You might wonder how that can be –especially if your story has its fair share of disappointments, failures and heartache.  Conversely, you might wonder how your story could be significant at all, particularly if you look back and see very little adversity.  Rest assured dear sister, that your story is the one God Himself has allowed you to have—the good, the bad and the ugly!  Knowing our story and sharing it allows us to be real, authentic and hopefully humble as we share our story with those who do not know our amazing God. 

Our story is not just a tale of  the past either—it is also what is currently going on  in our lives today…AND THANKFULLY, our story is still being written! Can I hear an AMEN?  Remember—our Lord is in the restoration and transformation business!  See Isaiah 61!!

When I first returned to college a few years ago, I took a required Evangelism class.  One of the culminating activities was for us to write a one page testimony about our walk with the Lord.  It was really hard to keep it to one page! I had to leave many details out of my story.  It was an excellent exercise though, because it forced me to learn to tell my story in a concise way.  I hope the charts and homework questions will help you do the same—and to then be able to  see God’s fingerprints all over the highs and lows of your life. 

Of all the Old Testament verses He could have chosen, Jesus chose to quote Isaiah 61 to announce His public ministry. (See Luke 4:18-19). He gave us the ULTIMATE example of ministry and the freedom we can all have through Him.  There is nothing He cannot restore or redeem. Praise His name!

Donna and I think of Isaiah 61:1-4 as the key verses for our ministry and particularly for this study.  May we be truly changed at the end and be like the “tall oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendor”!  Amen!

Love to all –


Homework reminder:

Tuesday Study: Homework for week of May 2-8—none! (unless you have not yet done pages 12-22) We will begin Session 2 on May 8

Sunday Study: Homework for this week April 29-May 6:--work on pages 12-22 to discuss this Sunday May 6th

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