Liberty and Justice for All

by Rick
Liberty and Justice for All

Jesus was the Son of God, who came as the Son of Man, so that the sons of men could become the sons of God.  He came with the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  He came with the Power of the Holy Spirit.  He came with the glory of the Father.  He came with the compassion of the Savior.  He came with Liberty and Justice for All.  This series was inspired by the 4th of July and the liberties that we celebrate in this country.  Read the following messages to learn about the liberties available to you in Christ:

With Liberty and Justice for All
The Repairer of the Breech
The Anointing
The Good News to the Poor
Healing the Brokenhearted
We Have been Released from Prison
God’s Answer to Man’s Darkness
God’s Answer to Man’s Pain
The Fullness of Time
The Purpose of His Coming and the Purpose of Your Living!

With Liberty and Justice for All! (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 CEV)  “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, This is the year the Lord has chosen.”

Luke 4 opens immediately after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan.  He is led of the Spirit into the wilderness, where He would be tempted of satan for 40 days.  When this time of tempting was over, the devil departed and Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.  News about Him spread like wildfire.  He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him.  Then He returned to His home town of Nazareth.  On the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was his custom.  He was asked to read the scripture.  As the custom was, there was a pin placed in the scroll wherever the previous reading ended.  Jesus was handed a scroll with the writings of the prophet Isaiah.  He opened the scroll and the pin was placed on Isaiah 61:1.  This would be no mistake.  Jesus began reading our text.  When He finished reading, Jesus rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the minister and sat down.  Everyone there was looking straight at Jesus and He said, “What you have just heard me read has come true today.”

There has been great debate over our nations Pledge of Allegiance.  Most of the dispute has circled around the words “Under God.”  The United States was founded upon Christian principles and in many ways has strayed.  We are still, however, the greatest nation on the planet in the eyes of most people and a symbol of hope for most of the world.  The 4th of July is right around the corner and it is the day where we celebrate our Independence as a nation and our liberty as a people.  The Pledge of Allegiance ends with the words, “With Liberty and Justice for All!”  These five words summarize the message of the United States and a ideology that the military stands to defend.  I was born a U.S. citizen, but I was Born-Again a Christian.  I have dual citizenship.  I am a citizen of the U.S. in the flesh and a citizen of the Kingdom of God in the Spirit.  The five words that end the Pledge of Allegiance apply to both my citizenships.  As you can see by today’s text, Jesus came to provide liberty and justice for all!  For the next few messages we will investigate this text and how it applies to our lives.  When you celebrate Freedom this upcoming weekend, please do not forget to celebrate the Freedom that you have in Christ!

Webster defines liberty as, “Freedom from restraint.  The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled.  A man enjoys liberty, when no force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.”  Webster defines justice as “The virtue which consists in giving to every one what is his due.”

So what does this mean to you today? It means that Jesus did not just happen to come across Isaiah 61:1 and read it that day in the Synagogue.  He was divinely ordained to read that scripture that day and to follow it up with infallible proofs of the power of God.  He came that we might be free and justified in His eyes.  If you are a Christian, then you ought to walk in the Liberty and the Justice wherewith Christ has made you Free!  He came with the Gospel.  He came with Power.  He came with Liberty and Justice for All!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Your child.  I am covered by Your blood and anointed by Your Spirit.  I am free and delivered form the power of sin and oppression.  I have been delivered from every curse and walk in the Liberty of Christ.  I have been justified by faith and walk in the newness of life.  I am not bound, I am Free!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Repairer of the Breech (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 CEV)  “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, This is the year the Lord has chosen.”

I pray that you enjoyed this past weekend.  I had a great time with my wife and enjoyed the break, but I am also glad to get back in front of the computer this morning.  Last week we left off with a message from this text.  We will further investigate this text in the days to come.  This morning we will look at the words “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me.”

To understand this statement is to really understand Jesus’ purpose and ministry.  We have to go back to Genesis to get a clear picture.  God formed man from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7), but He was not alive yet.  Here was a fully formed shell of a man, but the essence of life would come when God Himself breathed into his nostrils and deposited His Spirit into the shell.  This made the man a living soul.  Now remember that Genesis is the book of beginnings and gives us a picture of the original intent for man.  God placed the man (Adam) in Eden and blessed him with the dominion that was destined to him (1:26).  God also gave Adam specific instructions (2:16,17).  God told him that he could eat from every tree of the vast garden except one – of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He told him that he would die the same day that he ate of it.  God then blessed Adam with a wife (Eve) and they were both naked and not ashamed (2:25), because they were walking in the Spirit on not even aware of carnal things.  This would all change the day that Adam would disobey the commandment of God.  Eve was tricked by satan to eat from the tree, she gave Adam some of the forbidden fruit and Adam did the same.  As soon as Adam ate of the fruit and broke God’s commandment, their eyes were opened.  They realized that they were naked and they were ashamed.  Why did they now realize that they were naked?  Because God’s Spirit departed from man that day.  They walked in the Spirit prior to this point and were not even aware of carnal issues.  From this day forward, however, they would walk in the flesh.  God promised that they would die and they did die – they died a Spiritual death.

This brings us back to Jesus.  When Jesus read what He read and said what He said, He was really announcing to the world that he ministry of the Holy Spirit was coming back.  For thousands of years the Holy Spirit would come upon people for a time and then depart, but Jesus was announcing that the Holy Spirit was upon Him just like it was with Adam.  This would be no temporary presence, but rather the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we were all born with Adam’s legacy.  We were all born devoid of the Holy Spirit, with a gaping hole that only He can fill.  Many try to fill that emptiness with sex, drugs, alcohol, money, etc.; but the only thing that can fill the void is the person that created it in the first place – the Holy Spirit!  Yes, we were all born with Adam’s legacy, but we can be Born-Again into Jesus’ legacy.  Jesus left the legacy of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus left the legacy of power and might.  Jesus left the legacy of dominion and authority.  Jesus left the legacy of Liberty and Justice for All!  Are ready to walk in that legacy today?

If you are a Born-Again believer, then you don’t have to walk in the flesh and live like Adam.  You can receive Jesus’ legacy and walk in the Spirit, not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh!  This will cause you to be blessed!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Born-Again.  I am born by Your Spirit and do not walk in accordance with the flesh.  I walk in the newness of the life that Jesus came to give me.  I am redeemed from Adam’s curse and I walk in Jesus’ blessings.  I am redeemed.  I am restored.  I am anointed.  I am protected.  I am blessed!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Anointing (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 CEV)  “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, This is the year the Lord has chosen.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “because he has chosen me.”   The word translated “chosen” here is translated “anointed” in the KJV.  This word is the Greek word chrio, which means to smear on or to rub on with oil.  Oil was used in the Old Testament to consecrate and sanctify a person or a thing unto God.  For example, Aaron and his sons (Ex 28:41) were anointed with oil when they were sanctified and consecrated for the priest’s office.  Aaron also (Ex 29:36) anointed the altar with oil, thereby sanctifying it and making it holy.  Aaron later (40:9) anointed the tabernacle and everything in it.  David was also anointed with oil (1 Sam 16:12) when the Lord selected him to be king over Saul.  And there are other examples.

It has been said, and I agree, that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.  The oil of the Old Testament was a symbol of the promised Holy Spirit and a shadow of things to come.  Jesus stood up in His home town and declared that He too was anointed, but this time not with oil.  His anointing came when He was baptized by John in the Jordan and the Holy Spirit came down (Mat 3:16) like a dove and rested upon Him.  Jesus was announcing in that Synagogue in Nazareth that He was anointed by the Holy Spirit Himself!  This anointing would be so powerful that the gospel writers and most people today would affix it to His name.  Take another look at the Greek word for anoint and you will now recognize why He was referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus the Christ.  This is better translated “Jesus the Anointed One.”  So now we can see that Christ is not Jesus’ last name, but rather a reference to His selection and empowerment as the Messiah.  What is interesting is that believers were later called Christians (Acts 11:26), indicating that they were chosen and anointed like Jesus.

Paul said that we were “anointed” (2 Cor 1:21) by God and John said that we have received the “anointing” (1 Jn 2:27).  Both statements refer to the fact that we have received the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was anointed with.  The anointing empowered Jesus to remove burdens and destroy yokes (Is 10:27).  Basically, He brought about a change everywhere He went.  He was the Christ and we are Christians, meaning that when people come in contact with us, they should come in contact with Jesus.  God has chosen us, anointed us with the Holy Spirit, set us apart for His work, therefore we should be used of God to bring about a change everywhere we go.

So what does this mean to you today? Two things:

1.  Understand Your Identity and Your Empowerment:  It is difficult to walk around with a low self-esteem and with you head held down when you understand who you are and what you have been empowered by God to.  God has empowered you to bring about a positive change everywhere you go.  Like Jesus, you are anointed for a special work.  Act like it!

2.  Let His Light Shine:  If people come in contact with you on a regular basis and never “see” Jesus, then it is time to make some changes.  God’s power and empowerment live inside of all Born-Again believers, but you have to let it out!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Your child and I have been equipped, enabled, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  I submit myself unto the Holy Spirit and His anointing and He uses me to bring about a positive change in my environment today and every day!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Good News to the Poor (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 CEV)  “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, This is the year the Lord has chosen.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “to tell the good news to the poor.”  I know that yesterday’s message was a little more in depth than most and full of scripture references, but it was because I needed to lay the foundation for the anointing.  We must understand that the Holy Spirit lives in the Born-Again believers and equips us to do everything that God expects us to do.  Now that we understand that, we can now move forward into what it is that Jesus said that He was anointed to do and how that applies to our lives.  The first thing that Isaiah prophesied and that He read in the fulfillment of the prophecy was that He was anointed to tell the good news to the poor.  The word translated “good news” here is literally the word evangelism.  I define evangelism as the active calling of people to respond to the message of the Kingdom of God and to commit themselves to follow God in Jesus Christ.  The word translated “poor” in the text does not make reference to someone who is spiritually poor, but rather literally financially poor and needy.  In other words, Jesus was saying that God’s Spirit upon Him and had anointed Him to share the good news of the Kingdom of God with those that were less fortunate and often dismissed.  Let’s break it down further:

1.  Anointed to Evangelize:  Many Christians avoid the practice of evangelism because they say that they are not “called” to the ministry, i.e. they are not preachers, pastors, etc.  The problem with this statement is that all Christians are “anointed” by the Holy Spirit and equipped to do something.  Whatever God equips you to do, He expects you to do and whatever He expects you to do, He equips you to do.  You don’t have to go around telling people that they are gong to hell, but you can live your life as an example of righteousness and share God’s love with a dying and decaying world.  You may be the only bible that people may ever read.  What sermon are you preaching with your daily actions?

2.  The Good News of the Kingdom:  The gospel message is more than just “come visit my church.”  The good news of the Kingdom is that God sent His son to restore that which was lost.  Someone said that coming to Christ is like listening to a country song backwards – you get your wife back, money back, dog back, home back, etc. J.  Now that was just a joke, but you get the point.  The good news is that Jesus restored the breech between the fallen man and a Holy God and we can now walk in the dominion, power, authority, prosperity, love, and peace that Adam had in the garden prior to sin.

3.  To the Poor:  The poor are often neglected, dismissed, discarded, and disfavored.  Jesus spent a great deal of time with those that no one else cared about.  He ministered on the “wrong side” of the tracks and shared the good news – that they did not have to live that way anymore.  The poor did not have to remain poor and bound could now be free!

So what does this mean to you today? Several things: (1) we should not be ashamed of the gospel message and be willing to let our light shine everywhere we go, (2) the Holy Spirit has anointed and graced us to share God’s truth through our personality and we should not neglect that responsibility, and (3) we must understand that the good news is more than just attending a church service; God wants us to be healed, healthy, blessed, and prosperous in every area of our lives!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Your child and am anointed by the Holy Spirit to share the good news of the Kingdom in the earth.  I am an example of Your righteousness.  I let my light shine everywhere I go.  I minister to the poor, oppressed, rejected, and dismissed and let them know that after 2,000 years, Christ is still the answer!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Healing the Brokenhearted (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 KJV)  ” 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, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.”  One of the excuses that many people express when it comes to why they do not have a relationship with God, nor worship Him regularly is the fact that they are attempting to “get right” before they come to God and rid themselves of all their problems.  The problem with this logic is that they cannot “get right” without God.  God wants us to bring our problems, concerns, issues, and cares to Him.  We live in a real world with real issues and real problems, but we serve a real God that can handle them all and allow us to operate in perfect peace.

It is true that life can be hard at times.  One of the most difficult things for many people to overcome is disappointment.  Webster defines disappointment as the defeat or failure of expectation, hope, wish, desire or intention; miscarriage of design or plan.  When you look at it this way, you can easily see why disappointment has become a stronghold in the hearts of many.  They develop hopes, dreams, and expectations and fall into a state of frustration and possible depression when these self-made plans do not come to pass.  Jesus announced that part of His ministry was to heal those who were brokenhearted.  He came to minister to those who were frustrated, disillusioned, and depressed.  The Holy Spirit anointed (equipped) Jesus to meet every need.  This is the good news for the brokenhearted.

So what does this mean to you today? Several things:

1.       God has a vision and a plan for our lives (Jer 29:11).

2.       Success in life is finding God’s purpose and completing it before we die.

3.       We often times develop expectations and hopes for things that are not part of God plan for our lives and this will inevitably cause disappointment and frustration.

4.       God is a real God and can deal with every brokenhearted, frustrated, disillusioned, and depressed episode that we experience.  His anointing upon our lives can heal us and help us to move forward.

5.       We are anointed like Christ to deal with the same issues in the lives of others.  Don’t just allow the Holy Spirit to heal your broken heart, but to also use you to minister to others around you who are hurting.

6.       Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs, through loving channels, to the glory of God.  Are you ready to be that loving channel?

If you are frustrated this morning, simply pray and ask God to heal your brokenhearted condition and you will see God manifest His glory in your life.  God wants to heal you and wants you to share the Good News of what He can do with others.  Enter into this day with a smile on your face a spring in your step, and a song in your heart.  God wants you to be free of depression, frustration, and pain.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  You said in Your Word that I could cast my cares upon You and I stand upon that Word.  I release all frustration, disappointment, doubt, unbelief and strife.  You came that I might be free and I walk in that liberty today!  I am not brokenhearted, I am healed and I walk in peace.  Your Spirit is upon me and has anointed me to share this good news with others.  I will let Your light shine through me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

We have been Released from Prison! (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 KJV)  ” 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, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “to preach deliverance to the captives.”  We have seen thus far in this series that Jesus came to liberate us from everything that would keep us in bondage.  The words we focus in on this morning literally mean ‘a release from prison.’  The question then becomes, “What prison?”  There are many, but let’s take a look at three:

1.  Sin:  The sin problem was introduced into the world by the first Adam and we were all born in a fallen state and with a sinful nature because of it.  Dr. Fuchia Pickett, an elderly preacher, once said, “In all my years, I have never heard a baby say ‘yes’ first.”  It is true that we do not have to teach children to lie.  Even innocent children are born with a sinful nature.  Jesus was telling the people in that synagogue that day that He came to deliver the world from sin – once and for all.  He conquered sin so that we could do the same.  James said it this way, (1:14-16 MSG)  The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us.  We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.  Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin!  Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.  So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course.”  Once you are free in Christ, do not allow yourself to be bound again in the prison of sin.

2.  satan:  The enemy only has one objective.  Check out his mission statement: “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy…” (Jn 10:10).  The methods that he used to get Eve in the garden are still the same methods that he uses today: (1) the lust of the flesh, (2) the lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16).  If we understand His mission and his methods, we will be better equipped to avoid his prison.

3.  The Law:  The people in that synagogue were attempting to do what was right.  They were worshipping the Father on the Sabbath, but they missed the Messiah altogether.  They did not receive His message of deliverance and liberty because they were blinded with their rituals.  The Law was so stern that no one could ever really fulfill it.  People tried all their lives to live right, but still found themselves falling short in attempting to meet every guideline, rule, regulation, etc.  Jesus came that we might be free from the curse of the Law.  The Law was so strict everyone would have to be condemned to hell by it, but Jesus came that we have a clear path to the Kingdom of God – a path that leads through Jesus and Jesus alone!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that Jesus came that we might be free from the prison of sin in our lives.  Once you repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you do not have to allow yourself dwell in that prison any longer.  It means that Jesus came that we might be free from the power of satan.  Once Christ rules us, then satan no longer rules nor reigns in our lives.  And finally, it means that Jesus came that we might be free from the curse of the Law and that we might be led of the Holy Spirit.  Born-Again believer are not condemned to live a life of ritual with relationship!  And that is Good News!  Enter into this week in the Liberty and Freedom of Christ!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  You have released me from the prison of sin, I do not entangle myself with the pleasures of this world, and I walk in the liberty of Christ.  I have been released from the prison of satan and do no longer serve him.  I do not operate in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, nor the pride of life.  The power of satan has been broken over me.  I have been released from the curse of the law and enjoy the liberty of my relationship with Christ.  I am free and I will never be the same!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

God’s Answer to Man’s Darkness (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 KJV)  ” 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, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “recovering of sight to the blind.”  We have seen thus far in this series that Jesus came that we might operate in His Freedom (Liberty) and Righteousness (Justice).  Jesus was God’s answer to man’s every problem.  We have learned that He answered the problems of sin with God and separation from God; the problems of poverty and prison; and now we will see that He was also the answer to man’s darkness.

Jesus healed many people from the physical blindness, but our text deals with more than just that.  Jesus came as the repairer of the breech.  He came as the last Adam (God’s second son), to fix the problem that the first Adam created.  The text says that He came to re-cover sight to the blind.  Let’s look at Webster’s definition for recover.  It means to get back again or to restore to a normal state.  Jesus healed a man that was blind from birth.  He never had the capacity to physically see prior to his encounter with Jesus (see John 9).  The word “recover” does not really apply to his situation, because he never had it in the first place.  Jesus came to deal with a bigger blindness problem than that of physical sightlessness.  Jesus came to deal with the spiritual blindness caused by the original sin.  Jesus’ death on the cross was the penalty for sin and unleashed the Holy Spirit – that was taken from man because of Adam – back to believers.  When we are Born-Again and receive the Holy Spirit, we are liberated from spiritual darkness and finally, for the first time in our lives, we can understand spiritual things.  The Bible, for example, is a Spiritual book that cannot be understood without the Spirit of God.  Paul said, (1 Cor 2:14) That’s why only someone who has God’s Spirit can understand spiritual blessings.  Anyone who doesn’t have God’s Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish.  Jesus came that we might be delivered from that foolishness (darkness) and be able to receive Spiritual things with the Spirit of God.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  The first Adam caused a Spiritual separation from God and we were all born in darkness because of it.

2.  The last Adam (Jesus) came to restore the Spiritual relationship that Adam and Eve had in the garden.

3.  The Holy Spirit illuminates the Bible and all Spiritual things to us, thereby delivering us from darkness and allowing us to walk in God’s marvelous light.

Don’t walk in darkness anymore.  Allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Bible to you and receive from God like never before.  He came that you might See!  Godly vision will change your life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Your child and have been Born-Again by Your Spirit.  Your Spirit illuminates things to be that were previously dark.  I can see because you enable to me see.  The world calls Your instructions foolishness, but I call them strength to my bones.  I walk by faith and not by sight.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

God’s Answer to Man’s Pain (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 KJV)  ” 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, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “to set at liberty them that are bruised.”  We began this series my making note of the fact that Jesus went to His home town (Nazareth) after being led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.  He was in the synagogue on the Sabbath and was asked to read the scripture.  He began reading at Isaiah 61 and read our text.  What is interesting is that the words “to set at liberty them that are bruised” are not in Isaiah 61.  This caused me to take a closer look at these words.  They seem to be very similar to what He had already read.  I then focused on the word “bruised.”  The Greek word for this English word literally means to break, break in pieces, shatter, or smite through.

This passage is, in many ways, a summary of His ministry and what He was going to do.  This could be viewed as Jesus’ mission statement and since we are to continue what He started, part of our mission as well.  We must understand the context of the times to fully understand this statement.  The Jews were under the Roman Empire, but the religious authorities had been given the power to rule over their own people.  Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were crooked and running rackets in the temple.  They sold tarnished animals and exchanged money at favorable rates (for them) behind the holy walls.  They neglected the care and concerns of the downtrodden and those who were experiencing hard times.  There was a clear separation from the “haves” and the “have-nots.”  Jesus Himself, although a Jew, was looked down upon because He came from Nazareth (the ghetto).  So here you have a man that was raised in seeming obscurity, who is looked down upon by many, coming to minister to those who were on the “left side” of the tracks.

Jesus initially attempted to make Himself known to those in authority, but they did not receive Him; so He ministered to those who would.  John said, “He came into his own world, but his own nation did not welcome him.  Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him.  So he gave them the right to be the children of God” (Jn 1:11,12).  When asked why He spent so much time with sinners and the dreaded tax collectors, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do” (Mat 9:12).  Yes, it is clear that Jesus came to set at liberty all those who were downtrodden, neglected, dismissed, browbeaten, broken, bruised, and crushed.

So what does this mean to you today? Two things.  (1) God came to minister to all people.  No matter who you are and no what you have done, God loves you and wants you to be free in Him.  (2) Since this was Jesus’ ministry, it should be ours as well.  Don’t get so busy doing the ‘work of the church’ that you forget to the do the ‘work of the church.’  Meaning that many of us are so busy getting to church that we forget to BE the church.  Reach out to someone who is hurting.  Jesus is God’s answer to man’s pain!

When the world says no – God says Yes!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Your child and I act like You.  I have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to me and I am used to minister to those who are hurting and whom the world has rejected.  Use me Lord, for Your service.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Fullness of Time (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 KJV)  ” 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, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

This morning we continue to investigate this text by focusing on the words “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  Isaiah wrote these words some 700 years prior to Jesus reading them.  These final words here are also translated, “This is the year the Lord has chosen.”  We must go ‘Back to Genesis’ to fully understand the significance of this.  We know that Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3.  In the same chapter, God pronounced judgment upon the serpent, the woman, and the man.  God said, as part of the serpent’s judgment, that one of the descendants of the woman would strike him on the head (Gen 3:15).  This was the first prophecy of the coming of Jesus and it came in the very same chapter of the fall.  This Son, however, would not come until the timing was right.  Thousands of years would pass.  The nation of Israel was established, prospered, suffered, and went through many cycles.  They experienced righteous and unrighteous judges, kings, leaders, etc.  The Israelites suffered the dominion of the Egyptians, the Babylonions, and when Jesus came, they were under the dominion of the Romans.

The fact that God sent Jesus while the Roman Empire was in power is worth mentioning.  Jesus declared that this was the ‘year’ that Lord had chosen.  Paul later said that Jesus came in the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4).  What is so significant about this?  Well, the Roman Empire had conquered the world.  It was a global empire with a unique system of government.  Previous empires normally killed the leaders of conquered territories and forced the captured to become their citizens and to take on their gods.  The Romans were different in several ways.  They conquered territories, but they allowed the conquered people to remain citizens of the conquered nation, although they had to submit to the Roman authority.  They had one supreme ruler (Caesar), but he also had a hand-picked Senate, local Governors, and Ambassadors.  These officials were only to carry out the wishes of the King (Caesar).  They had a disciplined army with structure and who understood authority (Mat 8:5-13).  Yes, the Roman Empire was the right time for Jesus to come because of the message that He would bring.  He came declaring, “Repent: for the kingdom ofheaven is at hand” (Mat 4:17).

So what does this mean to you today? A couple of things.  (1) Jesus came to re-establish that which was lost in the garden (Kingdom Authority in the earth).  He came at a time where an example of authority, structure, and discipline were in power.  Like the Romans, we are to overtake the world for our Kingdom’s sake.  We are to understand that there is only one ruler – Jehovah God – and He is King.  He sent His Son to re-establish His government in the earth (the Kingdom).  We are Born-Again into the Kingdom, but remain in the earth to live out our lives.  This means that we retain our earthly citizenship, but submit to Godly authority.  As hand-picked Governors and Ambassadors, we are to preach only one message and to carry out the wishes of only one authority; and that is the message of the Kingdom and the authority of the King.  (2) It also means that God waited thousands of years to fulfill the prophecy that He declared in Genesis 3.  If thousands of years did not cancel the coming of the Messiah, the few weeks, months, or years that we sometimes wait on God will not cancel our promises either.  If God promised you something, you can rest assured that you will receive it – no matter how long it takes to come!  Your blessing is on the way!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am Your child I submit to Your authority.  I am a member of Your Kingdom and preach the Kingdom message in the earth.  I walk in the authority of the Kingdom this day and no foreign authority has dominion over me.  I am governed by You and You alone.  I stand upon Your promises and declare that Your blessings come to me in the fullness of Your time.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Purpose of His Coming and the Purpose of Your Living! (top of page)

(Luke 4:18,19 KJV)  ” 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, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

The Holy Spirit led me to this text on the 4th of July and reminded me that Jesus came with ‘Liberty and Justice for All.’  For the last couple of weeks we have learned many things from this passage.  This will be the last message from this series.  Let’s recap some of the golden nuggets that we have learned:

1.  We were all born with Adam’s legacy – devoid of the Holy Spirit, with a gaping hole of emptiness that He left behind.  Many try to fill that emptiness with sex, drugs, alcohol, money, etc.; but the only thing that can fill the void is the person that created it in the first place – the Holy Spirit!

2.  Jesus repaired the breech between fallen man and a Holy God and we can now walk in the dominion, power, authority, prosperity, love, and peace of the Holy Spirit.  This is what Adam had in the garden prior to sin.

3.  Jesus came and lived His life as an example of what could be done through a human being who has submitted to the Holy Spirit in the earth.

4.  It is difficult to walk around with a low self-esteem and with your head held down when you understand who you are and what you have been empowered by God to do.

5.  The Good News of the gospel is more than just attending a church service; God wants us to be healed, healthy, blessed, and prosperous in every area of our lives!

6.  God is a real God and can deal with every brokenhearted, frustrated, disillusioned, and depressed episode that we may experience.  His anointing upon our lives can heal us and help us to move forward.

7.  Jesus came that we might be free from sin, satan, and the Law.

8.  Jesus is God’s answer to Man’s Darkness (blindness).

9.  Jesus is God’s answer to Man’s  Prison (bondage).

10.  Jesus is God’s answer to Man’s Pain (bruised).

11.  Jesus is God’s answer to Man’s Problems – period!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that Adam introduced sin and death into the world and Jesus came that we might be delivered from them both.  By dealing with the primary issues (sin and death), He also conquered all other issues in one fell swoop.  Not only are we free from the power of sin and death, but He also came that we might be free from darkness, bondage, addiction, oppression, spiritual prison, hindrances, etc.  Jesus literally came to deal with everything that would keep us from living in the liberty that He originally intended for us.  He came with power and truth.  He came with authority and dominion.  He came with courage and ability.  He came with Liberty and Justice for All!

Once you understand the Purpose of His Coming, you will better understand the Purpose of Your Living!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I walk in Your anointing.  Your anointing empowers me to carry out my purpose in the earth.  I find, follow, and finish my purpose, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I am free from every addiction, immoral habit, bondage, hindrance, disease, and cruse.  I walk in Your liberty and enjoy Your justice.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!