Before Ashes – There Was A Fire
In the passage – Isaiah 61:1-3 – we all want to rush off to the “Beauty… and the oil of joy… and the garment of praise’
Before there could be an exchange for beauty – there had to be a fire to create the ashes. That means that something went horribly wrong. Yet, Christ has an answer for that to. In order to get to that we must begin with the ….
We have to
- Jesus Came to Preach the Good News to the meek
- To bind up the brokenhearted
- To set free those that are bound
- To open the prison doors and set the prisoner free
The meek are
The One’s whose lives are just not want they ought to be and they know they need a change.
Some of the Meek in Jesus day were the Tax Collector’s, the prostitutes, the people that no one else wanted to have anything to do with – because they knew they needed help.
The Meek are really you and me – He came for us! Sinners in need of a Savior. But if we miss that then we can miss the greatest gift the universe has ever seen or will ever see.
To bind up the broken hearted
Anybody here eve have their heart broken?
Anybody here ever lost anything precious to them?
Anybody here ever been lied to by the person they are supposed to be able to trust?
Christ came to deal with those hurts in a way that only He can – I call it Holy Heart Surgery.
The passage says He came to bind up the broken hearted – so that means that He is reaching inside of us, at the point where the pain is greatest, where the need for healing is the greatest and where if healing doesn’t come, all the rest will be wrecked.
He isn’t just touching it, He is binding – hearts take time to heal so He binds them so that they can.
To set free those that are bound
- Money problems
- And More
These things can be more oppressive than any prison.
To set the prisoner free
- The Bible is full of examples of this chainbreaking freedom
- To me the greatest example was the thief on the cross – He wasn’t set free from the penalty that the worlds system had imposed upon him but he was set free from a far greater eternal punishment – He was in paradise that day!
Beauty for Ashes –
- Before there were ashes – there had to have been a fire.
- What caused the Fire
- Bad Choices
- Personal Tragedy
- Fill in the blank
- Why didn’t the fire get put out sooner?
- Why did it burn to the ground
- Why did it get out of control
- What fueled it
- It happened
- What do we do with the mess?
- Did anybody Notice?
- Can hide it?
- How do I begin again?
- How can I put my life back together?
YOU CAN’T – HE CAN!
- This Fire/Tragedy
- Didn’t Surprise God
- Ashes can’t be restored – they blow in the wind
- Jesus will take those ashes and give you something new – Beauty
- The beauty is Himself
- The beauty is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
- The beauty is an eternal home
- The beauty is an everlasting hope
- The beauty is healing
- The beauty is transformative
- The beauty includes the gifts of the Spirit
- The beauty gives us the confidence to say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
- The beauty tells me that I am more than a conqueror
- The beauty tells me that I am not my own any longer – I am a child of the King – saved by grace – adopted into the family of God
- The beauty means that I am now “ God’s Masterpiece – created anew in Christ Jesus for the Good Works that He ordained since the beginning of time.”
- The beauty means that I have a job – “ the good works” “ to build, raise up & restore”
- The beauty give me double for my trouble.
- The beauty restores my family
YES – REAL CHANGE IS POSSIBLE! THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO DEFINE YOU!
Jesus Christ will perform this Great Exchange & do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
THE OIL of Joy for mourning!
- If there is mourning, there is loss
- Loss takes on many forms
- Loss of a loved one
- “ “ friend
- A job
- Financial stability
- A relationship
- Christ understands – He wept when he saw the mourning of the people who loved Lazarus
- He promises the Oil of Joy for Mourning
- Oil is thick
- Oil sticks with us
- Oil soaks in and goes down deep
- Oil becomes a part of who we are
SINCE IT IS THE OIL OF JOY –
- His joy is thick
- His Joy can stick to us like glue
- His Joy can sink down into our hearts and change everything
- His Joy becomes a part of who we are
But we have to be willing to say – LORD, I’m hurting and I need healing – my heart is broken and only you can heal it.
Binding – Oil – And a touch from the Masters Hand – The Great Physician.
THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS
Depression – The worries of the world weighing you down? This is one of the greatest problems in America today. Many have a general sense of hopelessness because there is a general decline in the morality of America, a decline in the family unity and way more problems than we have the time to go into here. The common denominator with all of them is the fact that each day, God is being taken further and further out of this society.
The answer is Jesus Christ – when we turn to Him and give Him our lives to Him, we can put on the garment of praise. Depression cannot remain when we are praising God.
I can tell you from experience that this has happened to me. I could feel depression like an 800lb guerilla on my shoulders. I gave my life to Christ at the lowest point in my life and the ugly monster of depression got up off my shoulders and walked out the door.
You need to know that sometimes depression has come back to visit to me. When it does, it sneaks in like a thief, trying to steal my joy and make me not want to praise. I find myself praying and wondering what is wrong. What I learned is that, on my own, I cannot win but if I will turn to God, depression will flee. So let’s get practical – how do you do that? What I will do is pray and then put Christian music in my ears as I go about my day. When I do this, before I know it, I am praising God and depression is no where to be found. I have put on the garment of praise and there is no room for anything else.
Where does this leave us?
Christ has a great plan for you and me. He came for us – at our worst – He came for us. He came to bring healing, to set us free and cut us loose from the pain of our past decisions. When we turn fully to Him, we get the exchange of beauty for the burned out shell of an existence that we had before – aka “Ashes”. We get the oil of joy for mourning over the past destructions of life and peace that we experienced. Then we get the garment of praise, for the weight of the world we use to carry around with us. He does all of this because He has a plan for us.
- He wants to be planted by the river so that we can be examples of grace – for His glory.
- Then He has a job for us –
- “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolation of many generations… For your shame ye shall receive double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” Isaiah 61:4 & 7
You have a job – a divine mission that has a specific reward.
Let’s live His Mission & Receive His Reward!