When Jesus first began His ministry, He specifically chose the words found in Luke 4:18-19 to share the good news for the poor, the oppressed, and the prisoner. He wanted to make it clear that the good news it wasn’t only about forgiveness and going to heaven. Take some time today to think of people globally or locally who are either poor—both physically, emotionally, and spiritually—oppressed or imprisoned and lift them up in prayer. As you pray for them, insert their name into Luke 4, verse 18. If you know their specific needs, consider taking the next step to meet it in a practical, personal way.
If it’s not good news to the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed, then it’s not good news. Entering into people’s suffering is hard, painful, and uncomfortable. It can even cause us to feel powerless. But it matters enough to step outside of ourselves and do it anyway. Ephesians 6:15 directs us to walk in the readiness of the gospel of peace. Consider those you connect with daily. Are any of them poor, marginalized or oppressed? Carve out time to write them a note of encouragement, expressing God’s peace and love. Pray that God would create a pathway to His peace for that person through those words.
The gospel Jesus preached was one of love in action. He healed those who were sick and touched those who were deemed unclean. He flipped over tables when the religious elite were making it harder for the poor and the outcast to come close to God. He reframed the words of Mark 16:15 for us to understand that all the world and all creation means beyond those who look like us or live like us. Take a moment to pray for individuals living in abject poverty around the world. If you have not already done so, prayerfully consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International! (compassion.com)
This past Sunday, a Compassion International alumni came to share her story with our church. She shared about a man in Australia that decided to put his love into action—and made a difference across the globe—by sponsoring her. Kiwi, in turn, is now doing the same thing by sponsoring four kids. Even if you are unable to sponsor a child through Compassion International, would you join with us today in praying specifically for children in Santa Alina, Ecuador? As we collectively pray for those children, we are bringing the hopeful guidance of 1 Timothy 2:1 to life!
As followers of Jesus we should want to see God’s restoration and redemption come to all people. We all have a role to play in seeing this restoration take place in our world. Like Jesus, the gospel we preach should be one that leads us to get our hands dirty. Romans 5:8 tells us that God showed great love for each of us—even when we were still sinners—by making the great sacrifice of His Son. It was a high price for Him to pay and it got messy real quick. Prayerfully consider how you can use your EIKON LOVES ______ card this week to pave the way for God’s love to be seen in the lives of those around you.
TALK IT OVER
- In what ways have you seen our world change for the better?
- In what ways have you seen our world change for the worse?
- Were you able to use your Eikon Loves_____ card(s) in the past week? If so, how?
- Were there any things that our Compassion International guest said that inspired or resonated with you?
- What are some global organizations that you are passionate about supporting?
- How have you seen that organization bring about positive change in our world?
- What do you think our role should be when it comes to loving our world?
- What are some things you can do personally make a positive impact in our world?