A Bruised Reed!

He will not break a bruised reed,
and He will not put out a smoldering wick;
He will faithfully bring justice.” HCSB – Isaiah 42:3

On previous Sabbath, I preached about Lord as the Covenant. The sermon is entirely based on first Servant Song, #Isaiah 42. I intend to give special attention to the Book of Isaiah, and especially these Servant Songs. I would like to draw your attention to the 1st of these Servant Songs.

The Servant Song in IsaiahEVAN2 094 42 claimed that the Servant of the Lord, #Jesus Himself “to be a #covenant for the people and a #light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” v6-7. (NIV) With this in our mind, I would like to lead you to the verse 3 of Isaiah 42.

Isaiah 42:3 contains a beautiful picture of the work and ministry of #Christ. “A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.“(NIV) In the places around the Sea of Galilee and along the edges of the Jordan River, there would have been an abundance of reeds. These reeds have hollow stems and they are quite fragile. In fact, many times when you see reeds by the waterside. Often, many of them are knocked over by the wind, rough waters, and animals that come to the water’s edge to drink. Other than that, people who come to the water to fish or use a boat can break them down.

Once a reed is broken, it can’t be fixed. Other plants, if you prune them back or they become damaged, then they can repair themselves. But it is not in the case of reeds. In Isaiah 42:3, He is not talking about reeds, in other hands, He is talking about precious people. He is telling us that people can become bruised, hurt and knocked over. In our world, there are many hurting people, they can be knocked over by the forces of living, other people, diseases, and sicknesses. Moreover, they can be knocked over by the thoughtlessness and carelessness of other people. There are many people who are bruised, broken and hurting. They might be all around us, live next door to us, they even shop where we shop,  they even play where we play, they might even be beside you in the same pews that you sit in the church.

The important message that we see in this text is that Jesus came to have and impact on real people. He did not come to knock down a person who was already bent low with the difficulties of life. Jesus did not come to hurt you but to heal and fix all our brokenness. He is able to bind up our broken lives and gives us new strength. He came to mend the broken reeds of the world. The leper was a bruised reed, but Jesus came and touched him, and his life was forever changed. The woman caught in adultery was a bruised reed, but Jesus came and touched her, and her life was forever transformed. The woman with the flow of blood was a bruised reed, but she came to and touched Jesus, She was completely healed and transformed by Lord Jesus. You and me, we are bruised reeds. We were hurting and depressed. We went thought too many traumas in our life, but then, Lord Jesus came and touched us. Our life has been forever transformed.

Lord Jesus is the answer for the bruised reeds in our world. He is the answer for those who are bruised, broken and hurting. We might have been cast out or aside by society. We might have been cast out by the prejudices in the world and the church, but remember this, Lord Jesus cares about us. He is the answer for our bruised life. He wants to mend your wounds. He wants to heal and comfort our souls. He wants to revive your spirit. If you let Him, He will do it today.

While They are Yet Sinners!

cropped-cropped-img_8619.jpgHere is a question worth pondering: If Jesus would not throw the first stone, why should you? It’s all-too easy to crave the grace of God for yourself while withholding it from someone else. One of the highest duties of church leaders is to create the climate of unconditional love in the church – to make it plain that God loves every sinner while they are yet sinners. Whether or not we treat people as Jesus did is not optional. “If we love one another,” John reminds us, “God abides in us.”

Ask these questions about your church.

  • Do we truly want lost people here?
  • Are they safe here?
  • Do we truly love and respect one another?
  • Are we safe here?

As followers of Jesus, we are to live by faith, but be known by our love. Make sure the other habits are in place, create and tenaciously protect the culture of healthy relationships, and watch your conversions soar.

And by the way, every church stops growing when the price gets too high. (Ron Gladden)

(Photo By Robert J Agustin)

 

 

Don’t “Black Out”!

Character ethics are basic to ministerial ethics. William Willimon warns:

“the great ethical danger for clergy is not that we might “burn out,” … not that we might lose the energy required to do ministry. Our danger is that we might “black out,” that is lose consciousness as to why we are here and who we are called to be for Christ and his church.”

William H Willimon, Calling and Character: Virtues of the Ordained Life (Nashville: Abingdon, 2000), 21