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.

SAY THE WORD

SAY THE WORD

Matt. 8:8-9 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

This is an amazing display of faith. Actually, later in this passage, Jesus Himself is said to be amazed at the incredible response of the Roman centurion. Jesus said he had not seen faith like this in all of Israel. He actually used this occasion to prophesy about the Jewish people rejecting Christ and gentiles all over the world flocking to Christ in the days to come.
This passage describes the amazing authority Christ has over sickness and disease. He spoke the word and the centurion’s servant and he was healed. He speaks the word over us today and we are healed. Here is an interesting quote from Vincent’s Word Book.

“I also am a man under authority,” as well as thou. The centurion compares the Lord’s position with his own. Christ had authority over disease. The centurion also was in authority over soldiers. As the centurion had only to say to a soldier “Go!” and he went, so Christ had only to say to disease “Go!” and it would obey him.”

So what activated the word of God in this instance? Jesus said it was the faith displayed by the centurion. What releases the power of the word in our lives? Of course it is the same thing, faith in the word of God. Here are some comments from Gill on this same topic.

“‘But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’
As the former expression declares his modesty and humility, and the mean apprehensions he had of himself; so this signifies his great faith in Christ, and the persuasion he had of his divine power: he does not say pray, and my servant shall be healed, as looking upon him barely as a man of God, a prophet, one that had great interest in God, and at the throne of grace; but speak, command, order it to be done, and it shall be done, which is ascribing omnipotence to him; such power as was put forth in creation, by the all commanding word of God; “he spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stood fast”, Ps 33:9 yea, he signifies that if he would but speak a word, the least word whatever; or, as Luke has it, “say in a word”; let but a word come out of thy mouth, and it will be done.”

Could it possibly be that simple? Is it possible that I can just rest in God’s love and His promises? Absolutely. Regardless of what you are facing the solutions are found in the power of God’s word. Say the word Lord, and I shall be made whole.

CAN YOU FEEL THE BREEZE?

A Conversation with a Homeless Lady- Our Identification In Christ- Merry Monday! By Parris Bailey
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are new.” 2 Cor. 5:16
When we meet the Lord we have to drop our identity. Its the great exchange! It is an amazing journey to drop everything that we hold onto in exchange for His glory and name. A few months ago I had the ministers move out of the Glory House so we can make room for interns. We were able to squeeze everyone into their own personal space all around the building. I decided to move into the Research Library and use that for my office in order to grab a book and study in between my meetings. It was a great idea but I had to throw out so much memorabilia for there was no place in the library. My office, that I have known for years, had evaporated right before me. I didn’t realize how weird I would feel sitting in a room that “wasn’t my own”. In January I decided to put my house up for sale and in 5 days it sold. The act of sale is upon me and we find ourselves moving into a house half the size! We have talked of this for years and embrace this new adventure but I cried giving up my “precious Versailles”.
Last Thursday I packed up and left for the women’s retreat. It had been a unusually rough week, filled with bad news, stress over inspections and mortgage hassle jargon. In Slidell I stopped to fill up my tank and pulled out onto Gauze Blvd, and realized that my wallet was gone. The events of the week began spilling into my present predicament, instead of making a U-turn to go back I found myself on the I-10 heading east into Mississippi. Eventually I returned to the station and found no sign of my wallet that was filled with credit cards, driver’s license, bank deposit slips, etc. My whole identity was suddenly gone! Out of the corner of my eye I saw a homeless women sitting with a grocery cart of stuff. I approached her and ask her if by chance she had seen a wallet and she answered that she had not. I quickly prayed for her, and she simply replied “you know it is such a beautiful day outside, can’t you just feel the breeze today”? I flew to my car shut the door bursting into tears. On the drive to the retreat I felt 1,000 lbs had come off.
That night at the retreat I heard Him say to me “give Me your identity”. First the office, then my Versailles and last my identity. I was to become “untraceable” like the homeless woman who was lost in the moment of the beautiful day. In Hebrews 11 it says, “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” It’s a beautiful day all right, can’t you just feel the breeze?