God's Holy Fire: 'Focus of Ministry'

Monday, May 7, 2018

[Jesus, in the synagogue, reading from Isaiah:] "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD's favor has come."
— Luke 4:18-19 NLT

Key Thought

Luke makes clear that Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb through the Holy Spirit, anointed by the Holy Spirit at his baptism, and empowered by the Holy Spirit into and through his wilderness temptations, and that he emerged from the temptations full of the Spirit. Today's passage reminds us that the Spirit is powerfully upon him to focus his ministry. This quotation from Isaiah 61:1-2 is in the context of God's servant, Jesus, bringing restoration and healing. If Jesus' ministry was empowered by the Holy Spirit, how dare we try to minister without the Holy Spirit's power? Release of the captives, freedom for the oppressed, and the time of God's favor don't come without the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the ministry of God's servants!

Today's Prayer

O Father, I know that you have given me gifts, talents, and abilities to use in ministry to bless others and to honor you. I recognize that even with these gifts, my ability to accomplish all that you have called me to do is impossible without the power and guidance of your Spirit. I ask for the Holy Spirit to help me recognize these gifts, to empower me so that I can use these gifts effectively, and to help me use these gifts in ways that honor you and reflect the character and compassion of Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Illustration

Illustration of Luke 4:18-19 NLT — "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor."

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About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.