ODJ: Changing Places

June 14, 2018 

READ: Isaiah 61:1-11 

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed (v.1).

In August 1999, Georgina’s mother opened the hatch door in the church wall and carefully placed her baby inside a ‘baby bin’. She hoped her daughter would now finally be given the care she needed.

Cheryl Allen of Berea Baptist Mission Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, knew that women were leaving their babies in dustbins, open fields and public toilets because they didn’t have the means to care for them. When she learned, however, that these women would not abandon their children to die if there was a safe place to leave them somewhere anonymously, Cheryl knew she had to do something. So she founded the Door of Hope ministry. Georgina was the first child left in their care.

The body of Christ, of which Cheryl Allen is a part, is equipped to reveal the transformative power of Jesus Christ. As we become more and more like Him, we’ll positively impact the people close to us along with others in our sphere of influence (2 Corinthians 3:18). By the power of Christ’s Spirit, we’re anointed to bring good news to the poor, continuing the work of Jesus, who was sent “to comfort the brokenhearted” and bring freedom from bondage (Isaiah 61:1).

For those who mourn, we hold the hope of comfort through Christ, who gives “a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair”. When by faith we sincerely seek God, we grow in righteousness with the promised reward that we “will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory” (v.3).

And the heartache, brokenness and ruin we see in the people and the places where we live will be changed forever as Christ brings transformation, wholeness and healing in and through us (v.4).

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Luke 2:41-52

Read Jeremiah 29:7 and consider what it means to work for the “peace and prosperity” of your city. 
Who or what in your sphere of influence might need the transformative power of Jesus? What has God given you to help bring about change?