God rescues you when you are in trouble. Psalm 50.15
God promises to be your protector. Psalm 84.11
God gives you his peace. John 14.27
God will never leave you or abandon you. Hebrews 13.5
God walks with you in times of trouble. Psalm 138.7
God’s love never ends. 1 Chronicles 16.34
God meets your everyday needs. Matthew 6.33
God promises abundant life. John 10.10
God promises that if we search for him we will find him. Deuteronomy 4.29
God promises to listen when we pray. Jeremiah 29.12
God is your strength and help in trouble. Psalm 46.1
God heals your wounds and hearts. Psalm 147.3
God gives you eternal life. John 3.16
God helps you. Hebrews 13.6
God directs your paths. Proverbs 3.6
God cares for you. 1 Peter 5.7
God comforts you. Psalm 23.4
God gives you rest. Matthew 11.28
God strengthens us. Philippians 4.13
God provides for your needs. Philippians 4.19
God is faithful to keep all his promises. Hebrews 10.23
God comforts you. 2 Corinthians 1.4
God has power to do everything he has promised. Romans 4.21
God promises not to lie. Numbers 23.19
God promises no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering in heaven. Revelation 21.4
Take a moment to share one or more of these with someone.
Which one(s) bring the most comfort to you?
Calm in the storm.
I absolutely love how this verse begins. “On one of those days,…”
Ever have one of those days? Of course you have. We all have. You may very well be having one of them today. Jesus seemed to have a few of them himself.
Pharisees and teachers from all over were sitting, listening to Jesus. They had come from several towns, including Jerusalem. This fact informs us that there were several opinions in the room that day. Some of which were opposed to Jesus and His message.
As we will discover this account is the first of five incidents of controversy Luke tells us of. Jesus is facing a bit of a rough ride.
I have no way of confirming this, but human nature tells me that as Jesus is speaking, other teachers were outlining their responses and criticisms of all he was saying. To say he was outnumbered would be a gross understatement.
However, in the midst of surrounding opposition, Jesus remains focused on the mission and able to maintain his composure. We see this in the second half of verse 17.
“And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.”
His mission remained the cornerstone of each and every conversation and period of testing. Though surrounded by people who resisted him, he boldly moved forward with the task at hand.
You’ll also note that he continued to stay sensitive to what was going on. Jesus understood the power to heal was with him. He didn’t allow the crowd to diminish his ability to fulfill his mission.
Allow me to sum it up. Jesus was moved by compassion for the man he was about to heal, rather than the crowd around him. He was focused on the needs of the one over the opinions of the many.
How can we learn to stay in tune with what God is doing when the crowd says otherwise?
How do you react to opposition in your life?
The power of words.
Before Luke records the first of Jesus’ miracles he draws our attention to the authority of Jesus. As Jesus speaks the man with the unclean spirit is confronted with this authority. Jesus commands the demon to depart and the man is set free.
Do your words as a leader bring freedom to others? Do we fancy ourselves more with catchy phrases, one-liners, or echoes from others or do we aim to speak words of freedom?
Our words have immeasurable power. One word spoken can alter the future of someone. We are cautioned to speak less and listen more (James 1.19). It’s in our listening that the words we eventually speak do so with more authority.
This is the first miracle Luke records and it has to do with Jesus’ authority. From here we see Luke record in verse 37 that reports about Christ travelled into the surrounding region. In other words our words go before us.
Our reputation precedes our arrival.
Most of the time our reputation is explained through others by the words we speak. People will quote you as a leader. We do well to guard the words we speak about others.
Be known more for the words of compassion you speak than the words of criticism. Criticism never built a relationship or ushered in a vision.
Allow me to challenge you to spend the next week focusing on speaking less and listening more.
Be known more as a person who encourages other than someone who degrades.
I invite you to re-read Luke 4.1. “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness…”
Jesus was full of the Spirit AND led by the Spirit. As leaders it becomes crucial that we follow this pattern of followship. We are to be full and led by the Spirit for the work of God in and through our lives.
Following Jesus’ temptation, he begins his ministry. In other words, his vision begins to unfold for the people. So much has happened up to this point in preparation for the vision.
Verse 14 is an interesting one. Following the temptation, Jesus returns ‘in the power of the Spirit.’ Jesus is empowered for the mission before him. He realizes that before spreading the vision God has strategically placed in his heart, he must have an encounter with the power of the Spirit.
Note the transformation that takes place. Jesus full (covered over) of the Spirit moves to in the power (special miraculous power) of the Spirit. Leaders who attempt to move out without the power of the Spirit potentially limit their impact. It’s the work of the Spirit in us that ushers in results.
Avoid the greatest temptation of all…leading in your own strength.
It is from here that Jesus begins his ministry. Verse 15 tells us that he begins his teaching ministry. His message has stood the test of temptation.
In what ways are you allowing the Spirit of God to work in your life?
What gifts will you need to lead?