Friday 1st December 2017 - Bible verse: Isaiah 61
Bringing Change by Richard Cowling

Here in this chapter of Isaiah we read what Jesus reads when he enters the temple after being baptised by John and having been tempted in the desert by Satan. Jesus came to bring about change. He came to fulfil the promise of redemption that God had given hundreds of years ago. He had come:

Ď...because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORDs favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion Ė to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.í

Jesus knew from the beginning of time that he would have to come down to earth to bring this about. It is not something we can do ourselves. No amount of animal sacrifices will bring us to the throne room of God for eternity. We needed Jesus to come and declare the year of the LORDís favour and to be that pure and spotless Lamb of God.

Today is the first day of advent in the churches calendar. Many people will be opening calendars, eating chocolate, burning candles, counting down to Christmas Day. But do they know what they are counting down too? Do they really know that the countdown isnít for the day of presents and stuffing yourself with more food than you would consider having as a meal at any other point in the year?

We need to stand up and proclaim why Jesus came, stand up and let people know that Jesus came as a baby, not so we can over indulge but so that we can be saved.

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