PREACH

Lk. 4:16 -18 – And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

Today’s passage reminds us why Jesus came to earth as a man; it also reminds us what it means to be one of His followers. This is our first real glimpse into the preaching of Jesus. This is the message He preached in His home town. He was preaching in the synagogue He had attended all of His life. He saw the same people He had known throughout His childhood still sitting in their familiar spots like they had done for all of those years. His message outlined what He would preach and live for the next three years; it also upended the apple cart. He started by saying He was anointed to preach good news to the poor. He came to break the power of poverty from our lives through His death and bring God’s message of provision in His actions and words. He would feed the hungry as well as teach them about the blessing of sewing and reaping. After all it was Jesus that taught us “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.

Secondly He proclaimed release to the captives. Man has been enslaved to sin since our first parents fell. The message of Christ is forgiveness and release from the power of sin. His death is the basis for our freedom from those horrible shackles of sin. We are freed from sin”s bondage by the power of forgiveness.

Next Jesus proclaimed recovery of sight to the blind. Not only did Jesus open sick, blind eyes; He also opens the eyes of our heart. One touch from His hand and we view our world differently. This is part of our ministry, opening the eye of the spiritually blind to the beauty of our Lord.

He also preached healing from oppression. The power of the gospel releases us from the ramifications of our sinful past. No matter how much we messed things up He has provided a way of escape.

Finally, Jesus declared the beginning of the season of God’s favor. The gospel is good news. The season of our bondage is over. We are now entering the season of God’s favor on our lives through the power of the gospel.

“THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD”

 

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:16
To some of us, closing out 2016 has been a good thing. As in most years, there have been losses, some have seen more. In our little world, Frank’s younger brother and a close friend passed away way too soon, our house also flooded. Despite these unexpected events God’s grace came in such sweet ways through it all.There was also many breakthroughs and joys this year. In the above passage, Jesus went to his home town and his place of worship where he read the ancient prophecies. When he proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord he knew he was right in the middle of God’s will, even though the town tried to kill him. In 2017 we will see a new president and hopefully the United States will find itself pleasantly surprised with fresh opportunities. Instead of “no hope” as Michelle Obama said, we can pick up the scriptures and always find hope. I pray you will find fresh perspective, fresh drive and fresh purpose. Personally as a Christian I will use this “acceptable year of the Lord” for new strength to proclaim the good news, to set the captives free, and bring new sight to the blind. The old is gone, the new is here. We can join Jesus when he said, “the spirit of the Lord is indeed upon us”.

Peter knew the importance of the word of God when he said, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (I Pet.1:2) Will you challenge yourself to read the Bible through this year? Let’s put away the year hurt, anger and gossip. Lets steep ourselves in His precious promises that when the changes, twists and turns come we will have his divine light.

How will this year look to you? I believe the Holy Spirit as our counselor can be the divine guide through the next 365 days. Will you be open to his leading? Do you spend time in prayer praying in the Holy Ghost as Jude instructs us? Are you fulfilling the great commission and giving back your finances to the kingdom? The acceptable year of the Lord is 2017, Peter again challenges us with this scripture: “Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you practice these things you will never stumble,…” (1 Pet.1:19)
MAY YOU HAVE A PROSPEROUS YEAR IN 2017 WITH CHRIST!

 

HAVING A DIVINE APPOINTMENT

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY- HAVING A DIVINE APPOINTMENT!

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity. To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19

Back in the Old Testament every 50th year the Jewish nation declared it the year of Jubilee. It was a year of general release of debts and obligations. Slaves could get their land back again and released back to their families. Jesus related that scripture to His coming and the message of the Gospel. Whether we realize it or not, the Gospel is powerful when we learn to open our mouth. The Gospel causes the sick to return to health, those in darkness to come to the light. Others get a mighty deliverance and get illuminated. So many live miserable lives only to find happiness in Christ. Many who feel poor, broken down and surrounded by calamity find hope and a light for their path. The Gospel never ceases to amaze me! What a message for the troubled world today! Did you know Christ has set you apart and designed you for this very purpose to spread this message of hope? Way too many people are leading a life of destruction heavy laden with guilt, shame and remorse for they are unable to break the cycle that led them into hurt pain and misery. Jesus was looking on all those that were listening to them and said “TODAY THIS IS FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS”. It even says that all eyes were fastened upon Him. Spurgeon said, “He was a stranger, and they took him in. He was food, and they fed on him. He was living water, and they received him, drank him up, took him into themselves. He was light, and they received the light. He was life, and they received the life, and they lived by what they received. As the empty cup receives from the flowing fountain, so do we receive Christ into our emptiness. We, being poor, and naked, and miserable, come to Him, and we receive riches, and clothing, and happiness in him. Salvation comes by receiving Christ.You must take Him from Himself as a gift to you, then will you truly give your heart to Him.” Reach out and take your divine appointment. The Spirit of God desires to use you to release others from captivity. To bring this precious gospel to your arena or sphere of influence. New Orleans needs a voice—this is the year of Jubilee. You will be amazed how the glorious gospel will change your family, your life and the world. Step into your divine appointment!

IMPACTED BY THE SPIRIT

JESUS IMPACTED BY THE SPIRIT

Luke 4:1-2 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

Jesus was profoundly impacted; and yes, changed, by the Baptism in the Spirit. I can almost hear the protests, Jesus change, impossible. You have to remember that Jesus really did become a man when He took on a human body. He gave up His rights as God, He did not cease from being God, He just gave up His privileges as God. He had to, He came to identify with us and ultimately represent us as our heavenly High Priest. He took on the limitations of being a man, the only difference, He never sinned. He had no fallen nature. His Father was the Heavenly Father, His mother was Mary. Even in His state of sinless perfection, He needed change. He needed the power of the Spirit to accomplish all He was sent to do.
When Jesus was baptized by John the first thing we notice is how the heavens were opened to Him. The Holy Spirit gave Jesus a fresh and more powerful revelation of His Father and of who He was. That is one of the primary functions of the Holy Spirit to us. He opens heaven to us. When we are filled with the Spirit we have an ever increasing revelation of the greatness of God. That is why Paul prayed that the church would have a Spirit of revelation of the height, the depth, the width, and the length of God’s love. Just as the heavens opened for Jesus, they open for us every time we are filled with the Spirit.
The next thing that happened is that Jesus went into the wilderness for a forty day fast. After forty days He became hungry. I get hungry after four hours. Something supernatural was going on in Jesus after His Spirit baptism that was bigger than human hunger. He was experiencing a supernatural increase in His hunger for God. This too is a great function of the Spirit baptism. When we are filled with the Spirit we hunger for God.
Jesus also was anointed with the power of the Spirit to heal the sick and drive out demons. From now on, Jesus began to minister to the hurting at every opportunity that He had. Here is what happened at a home meeting in Capernaum shortly after His anointing.
Luke 4:40-41 “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.”
If The Lord needed the baptism of the Spirit to fulfill His purpose so do we. Let’s go down to the River and dip again, The Lord has some amazing plans for us.

MIRACLES OF JESUS

MIRACLES OF JESUS

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

This was the bold declaration Jesus made at His first sermon in His hometown of Nazareth. He was announcing by preaching this passage a profound, and for His friends and family, yet disturbing claim. He was saying He was the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies and He would be healing the sick by the power of God. The message was so disturbing that His lifelong friends in Nazareth tried to kill Him that day, They ran Him out of town and tried to push Him off a cliff because of His claims. What a way to treat their “hometown hero”. From this day Jesus was loved and hated, that is what miracles bring. They shake things up. It’s okay to have your nice teachings about love or forgiveness or good deeds but if the power of God shows up, well that is just too much. Here is a quote from James Stalker about the miracles of Jesus.

“He wrought miracles because His Father gave Him these signs as proofs that He had sent Him. Many of the Old Testament prophets had received the same authentication of their mission and although John, who revived the prophetic function, worked no miracles, as the Gospels inform us with simple veracity, it was to be expected that He who was a far greater prophet than the greatest who went before Him, should show greater signs than any of them of His divine mission. It was a stupendous claim which He made on the faith of men when He announced Himself as the Messiah, and it would have been unreasonable to expect it to be conceded by a nation accustomed to miracles as the signs of divine mission, if He had wrought none.”

These miracles seem to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Think about the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead. This miracle was so disturbing to the rulers of the jews that John said that they sought to kill Lazarus. Some people are so afraid of change, or changing their comfortable beliefs that they will ignore or even fight against the power of God. It seems that those in charge are more concerned about their positions than they are about the truth and the miracle power of Jesus that heals the sick.
On the other side are the hurting. These people always fall in love with Jesus and long for displays of His power. The sick and hurting want to be healed. Just as in the days when The Lord walked among us on earth, He is still here. He moves today through the person of the Holy Spirit. He is still healing the sick and still sorting out the wheat and the chaff with the power of God.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WET YOUR PANTS

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WET YOUR PANTS

Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Have you ever been so humiliated you didn’t think you could ever show your face again? Recently I remembered an event from my childhood that I had forgotten about. I have been married thirty eight years and never remembered this story to share with my wife. It was my first day of school (for me that was first grade- no preschool or kindergarten for me) and it turned into a huge day of drama. Somehow, when we were on the playground that day, I became terrorized by the bigness of that day. It was a big school, Paris Island Elementary and High School, and I was traumatized by every little thing. Afraid to tell anyone, I ended up, you guessed it, wetting my pants on the playground. All I can remember is bigger children laughing at me and me being frozen in a corner, afraid to even move. What made matters worse, when it came time to go home, I missed my bus. All I can remember was hundreds of people, in what seemed to my little mind, a mass confusion. To be honest, I can’t remember how either situation ended, that was fifty-three years ago. Amazing how our brain works, after all these years this incident is still not funny to me. When I remembered these events, all I felt was shame and embarrassment.
Our world is filled with people who are prisoners to their past. There is the lady haunted by the memory of a past abortion, maybe the young man haunted by past homosexual activity, or maybe the man who cheated his way through school, or the distant memory of past drug use or embezzling funds from your company. Sometimes, we bury these things in our past only to be haunted by them in our future.
Here is where the beauty and the power of the gospel comes in. First of all, Jesus Christ came to die for the ungodly. He came to represent us because He knows all of the darkness that haunts each of us. His death on the cross wiped away our sin once and for all. Not only does the cross provide forgiveness from our sins, but it also brings us into a relationship with the Lord through the person of the Holy Spirit. His power in us changes us to keep us from living in those sinful and shameful ways. But here is the best part. He liberates us from the painful memories that have haunted us for years. Any fault of ours is cleansed by His blood, and our memory is freed by the power of His Spirit. Just like Jesus preached, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to set at liberty them that are bruised.” If you are troubled by your past, take courage, it is possible to be free by the power and the blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ.