Day 8 ~ The purpose Driven Life ~ God created you for his good pleasure.

Day 8 ~ The purpose Driven Life ~ You were planted as oaks of righteousness.

In this days passage by Rick Warren he refers to Isaiah 61:3 and highlights “For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.”  ISAIAH 61: 3 (LB)

When Jesus returns from his temptations of 40 days by the devil he starts his ministry. He goes to Galilee and starts preaching.

Read Luke 4 verses 1 to 15. It tells us how he was tempted by the devil and where he started preaching. You can find it here ;

Luke 4 verse 16 to 21.

Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. And when He stood up to read, the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it was 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 deliverance to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to release the oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (BSB)

Jesus affirms what had been written in detail about Him (Jesus) and his ministry by Isaiah some 800 years before his birth.

Note also of importance is that Jesus did not ask for the scroll of Isaiah but by the providence of God was handed the scroll of Isaiah with this amazing predeterminate prediction in it.

This revelation by Isaiah, both considering the date at which it is done and the accuracy of what is seen by Isaiah is astounding.

This passage sums up what Christ and His disciples will be about; Isaiah 61 verse 1 to 7. Read it once or twice just to get the content and I will unpack it below. (Isaiah 61 read verse 1 to 7 here). The text below of Isaiah 61:1-7 comes from the ESV.

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

This first verse is an exact summary of Jesus’s ministry. It is really interesting that the first part of Luke 4 affirms that the Spirit of the Lord God was upon Jesus.

It is commonly understood  that the law of Moses (the 10 Commandments) are regarded by Paul as an imprisonment and shackle. Jesus came to set us free from that. Therefore the last part of this verse has an amazing reflection on how we are set free from the law of Moses by Christ through his saving grace and dying for us on the cross. That is how he opened the prison to those who are bound. Read Romans 8 verse 1 to 4.

Isa 61:2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;

Jesus’s death is our favor. And you will surely face the day of vengeance if you do not wash yourself in the blood of Christ. And he did and will comfort those who mourn for him. When I look at this passage I reflect on the workings of the cross, there was great mourning by his disciples  and followers when he was crucified. His resurrection is and was a true comfort to the early disciples and probably above all for the whole of mankind thereafter.

Isa 61:3  to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

Every possible prediction about what Christ would do for his disciples and his followers is captured in this passage. The disciples are locked behind closed doors in Jerusalem. Acts 2 verse 2 to 4 {Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of a fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.… (BSB) }  Could you imagine the sheer joy that overwhelms and bursts forth when the Holy Spirit drenches you. Today, we are still heirs to the promise of Isaiah  61:3. Through the ministry that they, the disciples, subsequently carried out God was glorified. How many more Saints have not followed in their footsteps and still walk glorifying the Lord God.

If we look in detail at the words “that they may be called oaks of righteousness” how true would this be firstly of the disciples and secondly about all those people who follow Christ with a true passion for his law. This possibly even applies to you.

Isa 61:4  They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Israel had gone through years and years of devastation starting with the time of Daniel when it had been conquered by the Babylonians. It was almost as if there had been a drought and God had turned his back on them. Yet, when Christ came, the predicted Messiah, it was the birth of the new era in the building of new cities in Christendom. In true fashion the devastation of many generations was given new light by Christ. Today, as then the Disciples of Christ build new cities and churches the world over.

Isa 61:5  Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;

In the time of Isaiah it was predominantly, if not exclusively, Israel  that had the favour of God. Christ came to include the whole of the human race. Therefore this verse makes perfect sense in that the whole world will be called to tend the sheep of Christ. The symbolism used here, i.e.  flocks of sheep, ploughmen-the parable of the seeds, and abiding in the vine are very clearly reflected in the new Testament and directly referred to by Christ in his ministry.

Isa 61:6  but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast.

As Christendom spread across the world, the oaks of righteousness are ministers of our God. The balance of this passage rings true across the nations and we can boast about the glory of God.

Isa 61:7  Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

If the Messiah had not come to do his work for the Father you and I would have been in dishonour. The Mosaic law would have condemned us. We would not have been able to call ourselves heirs of Abraham. So now in our land, wherever you are, we truly possess a double portion, firstly we possess the richness and the heritage of the old Testament, and secondly we possess the salvation of Christ, thereby the indwelling spirit and we can find our true identity in the new Testament. This equates to everlasting joy as we are given the rebirth of the Spirit.

And the Lord God passed before me! Wow, what an immeasurable pleasure and joy. To Him be all the glory for His abundance.

Day 8 ~ The Lord takes pleasure in His people! Read your book the “The Purpose Driven Life” Chapter “Day 8” and remember “there are no unspiritual abilities, just misused ones. Start using your abilities for God’s pleasure.”(PDL – Rick ©)

Further reading ; Day 8 ~

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