One Sabbath day in Nazareth, Jesus went to synagogue as was His custom–He stood up to read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
“…unrolling it, Jesus found the place where it is written:
‘The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.’” Luke 4:17-19
Then Jesus sat down and
“and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” Luke 4:21
Last night I and a Transformed By Grace Board Member, DeAnne Harland, attended the annual Womanspace Banquet for the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award where Dr. Nancy Snyderman (love her!) was honored as the award recipient. Womanspace is an amazingly well run organization that serves “victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Mercer County, NJ. “
In other words their mission is to help “to release the oppressed“—women and children—from these ugly, evil, despicable–and far too prevalent, and far too hidden–abuses that happen right in our midst. Right in our homes.
This was my story. Horrendous abuse. Ugly incest. Rape by a stranger.
But that is not God’s story! And it wasn’t–isn’t–the end of my story!
God’s power! Our Sovereign LORD’s power, passionate love and unlimited, transforming grace ”to release the oppressed” is far beyond our ability to truly grasp!
I am no longer oppressed. The chains are gone. The fear is gone. The hate is gone.
The twisted perspectives of myself and of my self-worth have been killed through the washing and renewing of my mind and spirit by the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Ephesians 4:23-24; Galatians 5:1)
The inability to trust another person with my heart is no longer a wall I hide behind–preventing any possibility of true and free-flowing intimacy. I am able to courageously risk myself because I know–I am convinced–that my heart is held fast in the true, protective, conquering, inseparable LOVE of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:37-39)
Because of Jesus–my Sovereign Lord–I can love. I can sing and dance, smile and laugh.
Because of Jesus–my Sovereign Lord–I can live in the fullness of freedom through the healing and renewing of my mind, my spirit, my life!
We humans can, and ought to, do everything possible to help “to release the oppressed”–those who suffer from the pain and evil of domestic and sexual abuse. If you need help and don’t know where to start, visit the website for The National Domestic Violence Hotline–or call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).
For me, and the ministry of Transformed By Grace, we will offer the grace and truth–and the unfailing, unlimited, healing, freeing love–of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because Jesus alone is the Sovereign Lord who is able to truly, and completely, “release the oppressed.”
And Jesus does this by conquering the hate with His Love.
No oppressor, no oppression can continue to hold any power over us when Jesus Christ sets us free! He is the Sovereign Lord.
Will you choose to let this freeing truth–this full power of Jesus Christ to “release the oppressed”–be “fulfilled in your hearing”?