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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “luke

Persist in Prayer

“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – (Luke 18:1)

“To persist in prayer and not give up does not mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for Him day by day, believing He will answer. When we live by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope.” (NIV footnotes for Luke 18:1)

According to dictionary.com, persist means to continue firmly in purpose, especially in spite of opposition. In my experience, this is how faith is further formed, and hope is given way to rise up. As we face opposition or difficulty, what we choose to do in response, determines the development of our character. If Jesus instructs us to pray and not give up, then regardless of how things appear, that is what we are meant to do. Faith requires action. First and foremost, our petitions ought to be presented before Him. However, that is rarely the end, but instead, just the beginning. As we seek Him earnestly, He often gives instruction as to how we are to move further in faith; the what we are meant to do as we wait.

Never give up,Persist in Prayer

persistently pray;

trusting He hears,

despite seen delay.

He is faithful,

and always, He’s good;

let faith rise up,

our hope, understood.

When He says move,

do all that He asks;

answers await,

we grow in new tasks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and faithful, always. Thank You that regardless of what is going on around us, You have our heart in Your hands, and You remain present. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, and that You instruct us to be persistent as we pray. Forgive us for our lack of fortitude in the fight, and grant us Your strength and endurance in all things and at all times. Teach us how to be persistent in prayer, without endless repetition or whining. Thank You that You are a patient and loving Father, Who loves us, and continues to help us grow in character, faith and hope as we seek You. May we honor You in all that we say and do, and may many come to know You through our love and persistent petitions before You. Be exalted, Lord. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

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The Parable of the Lost Son

In The Parable of the Lost Son, found in Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells a tale of a selfish son who arrogantly asks for his share of his inheritance while his father is still living, and then goes off and squanders every last cent with wild living. After his spending frenzy, the foolish son was in desperate need in the midst of a severe famine. He finally found a job feeding pigs in the fields. As a Jewish male, he had hit rock bottom. Not only was he interacting – touching swine – which were considered completely unclean, but he was so hungry that he found himself envious of the food that he was feeding to those very pigs. In a moment of clarity, the son came to his senses and realized that his father’s hired men had food to spare, and that perhaps if he went back to him with a repentant heart, his dad might be so kind as to hire him on as one of his laborers. So, off he went to face his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – (vs20b) After the son’s confession and plea for forgiveness, the father abundantly gave. He restored the son to his position in the family, despite the contemptuous behavior he had previously displayed through his departure and wild living. Not only did the father embrace the son, but he called for a feast to celebrate his son’s return.

Our God in heaven celebrates us in the same way. No matter how horrible we have been, He waits. When He sees our hearts turn toward Him, He runs to meet us while we are still far from Him. As we repent, He restores us to right relationship with Him, and recognizes us as His heirs – His sons and daughters. Though we too, have stooped so low as to be muddied and hungry and hurting, He has always been watching and waiting – and when we at last recognize our need for cleansing and His care, He is right there. May we both embrace the grace that we have been given and extend the same to those who are still stuck in a muddy space.

Stuck in the mud,The Parable of the Lost Son

our own sinful mess;

seems no escape,

until we confess.

Our God forgives,

fresh start He shall bring;

draws hearts to Him,

our Savior and King.

He wipes away,

our mud and our mess;

grants us His grace,

His great faithfulness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Father, and we are Your lost sons and daughters, whom You are ready and able to save. Thank You that You waited and watched for us, even when we were still far off. Thank You that You are willing to woo us unto You, and show us how great Your love truly is. Forgive us for wallowing in our own filth, or for somehow thinking that You would not receive us in our wretched condition. Thank You that You accept us and love us far beyond what we can even begin to understand. Teach us to receive all that You offer, and in turn, to extend the same love and grace to all whom we encounter. May Your love in us, draw others unto You as well. Let the lost be found, and those who are searching, find the security that is held in the safety of Your loving embrace. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Love Over Law

Often, it seems, Jesus spent the Sabbath teaching in synagogues. Word of His teaching, must have been spreading like wildfire, for everywhere He went, there were both those in need, and those who hoped to trap Him in some sort of violation of the law. In Luke chapter thirteen, verses ten through seventeen, there is an account of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen long years. “When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then He put His hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” – (vs. 12-13)

The synagogue ruler had his undergarments in a bunch, and was outraged that Jesus would dare to heal on the Sabbath. “The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” – (vs. 15-16) His opponents were left without words to respond, for there was no arguing with such profound truth. All who had seen the miraculous, marveled at the wonderful things that He was doing.

When we see someone in need, do we respond immediately, or do we rationalize reason to not respond?

Though there are times and places that genuinely prevent us from physically getting out of the car and moving in the direction of the need, can’t we at the very least, lift up a prayer on their behalf? We cannot always do something tangible to be of help, but we can always pray. God knows each need far better than we do, and when we pause to pray, we give Him opportunity to speak to us as well. Perhaps there is something specific that we are meant to do, but unless we stop to listen, we miss the miraculous that He had intended. Sometimes the miracle is meant for another, yet, at times, it may be something new, moving within our hearts.

When we see a need,Love Over Law

let us stop and pray;

show us what to do,

Lord, You lead the way.

A touch or a gift,

a smile, or prayer;

every need known,

God, You are aware.

Please make known to us,

what we’re meant to do;

to show Your great love,

so we honor You.

Let hearts found in need,

know their needs are met;

by You alone, God,

not one You’d forget.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us the way to prioritize people. Thank You Jesus, that touching lives trumped man-made rules and regulations every time. Thank You that above all – You loved, and continue to love. Forgive us for having hearts that resemble the synagogue ruler, who set limits as to when and what could be done. Help us to recognize that with You, there is no limit – for You are our Source and Supply. Whatever You call us to do, You will also equip and empower us to complete. Our part, is to step forward in faith. Teach us to trust You more. May we live and move and do all things out of our love for You, and may many come to see Your heart for them as a result. Let lives be changed and hearts turned toward You. Be glorified God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Give Us Each Day

“Give us each day our daily bread.” – (Luke 11:3) Though a familiar portion of the Lord’s Prayer, I imagine the depth of the meaning is rarely considered. Jesus was not simply speaking of physical bread, but He was referring to the daily supplication of all that we need – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Also, He does not say give us this year, a fortune; but rather He tells us to seek Him daily, asking for the provision of what is needed for this day – not tomorrow nor beyond. He wants us in constant communion with Him, not to store up treasures, become self-satisfied and then cut off our communication with God. Our Heavenly Father cares for us, and will hear our every prayer. It is up to us to press in and continue to keep the lines of communication open at our end. He is always listening; are we?

A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus says, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – (Luke 11:9-10) These verses reiterate that He wants us to be in relationship with Him. He is generous and kind, ever ready to hear our requests, if only we are willing to come to Him and ask. God does not care if we are eloquent in speech as we pray, but rather wants sincere hearts that seek Him. Conditions are not placed upon us in order to come before Him; He tells us that EVERYONE who asks, seeks and knocks, shall receive, find and have the door opened unto them. What a comforting reminder to recognize that He daily, wants us to come before Him. He longs for us to desire to be aware of His nearness. This happens, the more that we get to know Him through intentional seeking, knocking, asking in prayer, worship, and the study of His word.

Give us today,Give Us Each Day

all that we need;

strength and supply,

to You, may we heed.

Daily, let’s seek,

our Savior, King;

bringing Him praise,

of faithfulness sing.

Knock on the door,

He’ll be right there;

always ready,

to hear our prayer.

Ask of the Lord,

make your request;

He is faithful,

and loves us the best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and that You are always present and prepared to hear our prayer and answer what we ask. Thank You for Your unending faithfulness as our Father and King. Forgive us for not asking, seeking, or knocking when we need to come to You first in all things. Teach us to prioritize our time so that we may daily invest in our relationship with You. Teach us how we are to ask, seek and knock for that which You would have be our daily bread. May we be ever grateful for the good gifts that You provide us each day, and for the life and breath that we have in this very moment. May our attitude of gratitude lead those who are looking to ask, seek and knock – so that they too, may come to be in a lasting relationship with You. All praise and glory to You, our great and mighty God! Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Tangible Touch

Twelve years without so much as a handshake, high five, nor a hug. Can you imagine? Touch is a biological and developmental need. It helps us feel connected to others. Touch reduces anxiety, forms bonds, lowers blood pressure, improves our outlook, and provides sensory input that we need to function and develop properly. This morning, as I again read the story of the woman who’d been subject to bleeding for twelve years, in Luke, chapter eight, I saw the story through fresh eyes – through a perspective that I had not previously seen. This woman had lived with not only the stigma of being considered “unclean” for twelve years, but she had likely lived in isolation for just as long. The sheer loneliness was likely far worse than the condition itself. I wonder if that is the very thing that drove her determination to hold onto the hope that she might be healed, if she could only touch the hem of His cloak?

Personally, I picture her experience as some sort of roller coaster ride. Sheer determination to end her isolation propelled her through the throes of the crowd. Hope reached out her hand for His hem, and joy unimagined must have been rising as she felt the bleeding cease. Then, she was called out. Would He take it back? Would she be sent back to her isolated space for her violation of societal laws in her unclean state? Imagine the momentary fear that tried to lay hold of her heart. Somehow, faith continued to rise within her. “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” – (Luke 8:47-48)

She was free! Not only was she free from the illness that had plagued her for twelve long years, but she no longer needed to live in isolation. The touch of His hem touched more than her hand, it touched her heart and soul. Never again, would she be considered “untouchable“.

Lonely, untouched,Tangible Touch

a face in the crowd;

the world, silent,

despite being loud.

Who knows not touch,

in our world today?

Lonely, outcast,

let love light the way.

For He will show,

where the need is great;

are we willing,

to step out in faith?

Pat on the back,

a hug on the side;

what will it cost,

to give those denied?

Please show us, God,

how we’re meant to touch;

as Your hands, Lord,

to share Your love much.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us with an unfailing and everlasting love. Thank You that while we were yet stuck in our own sinfulness, You loved. Thank You that You touch us, even when we feel untouchable, and that there is never a time when You are not willing to be near. Forgive us for neglecting to be Your hands and heart to the hurting in a tangible way, and help us to know how to touch those who feel alone and untouchable. May Your light and love be evident in us, and may many come to know the freedom and acceptance that is always available in You alone. May lives be changed and hearts be restored, as the lonely and isolated find way into community. Be glorified as we gather, Lord God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Anointing in the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Smith Wigglesworth said:

“The fire fell and burned in me till the Holy Spirit clearly revealed absolute purity before God. At this point she (the Sister who laid hands upon him) was called out of the room, and during her absence a marvellous revelation took place, my body became fill1 of light and Holy Presence, and in the revelation I saw an empty Cross and at the same time the Jesus I loved and adored crowned in the Glory in a Reigning Position. The glorious remembrance of these moments is beyond my expression to give-when I could not find words to express, then an irresistible Power filled me and moved my being till I found to my glorious astonishment I was speaking in other tongues clearly. After this a burning love for everybody filled my soul. I am overjoyed in giving my testimony, praying for those that fight this truth, but I am clearly given to understand that I must come out of every unbelieving element. I am already witness of signs following. Praise Him.” SMITH WIGGLESWORTH

D.L..Moody said:

“My heart was not in the work of begging,” he said. “I could not appeal. I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world — it would be as the small dust of the balance.”

Luke 4:1  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

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,

Jesus had the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and He said that if we ask it will be given: Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Jesus said in Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Mark 16:

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

If this is not happening in our churches should we ask the relevant question? Are they really believers? Or are they teaching something that they don’t truly believe or have never experienced? Because if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, it is not something that you will doubt. The power of the Holy Spirit affects people in different ways, some just cry because they can do nothing else, it is simply overpowering. Others speak in tongues and while many don’t believe and even go so far as to say that it damages Christians position in the world. I really wonder what is so great to have a powerful face in the world. Are we not instructed to be humble? It seems that the more prosperous that a church or church leader becomes, they start worrying in how the world perceives them.

R.A. Torrey said ” It has brought a joy into my soul that I never dreamed of before; a liberty in preaching that makes preaching an unspeakable delight where before it was a matter of dread;”

C. H. Spurgeon said “Let the preacher always confess before he preaches that he relies upon the Holy Spirit. Let him burn his manuscript and depend upon the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit does not come to help him, let him be still and let the people go home and pray that the Spirit will help him next Sunday.”

Were all these men of old mistaken? Is it not necessary to be filled with the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit fills you with the ability to speak in tongues, is this something that is unacceptable today? Who decides that it is unacceptable? The one who hasn’t been filled or the one who has?

Jesus said “John 14:17-19 King James Version (KJV)

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

There is only one caveat with this, it must be something that we ask for, something that we are willing to receive. How many who have not experienced it are not truly willing to receive it? How many are so afraid of losing control that they forget to truly know God, you have give yourself away. How can the Holy Spirit filled you with God’s grace if you are already full of yourself?  That is not to say that those who don’t speak in tongues have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, it is just that they haven’t quite reached the point where they have given in and given God the opportunity to fill that space with something besides their own knowledge and beliefs. Something that truly transcends what we normally feel.

Take any vessel that you can think of, if you mix water into what ever is already in the vessel, what you have is no longer water, instead it is a diluted version of what was already there. And yet if you totally empty the vessel and fill it with pure water, then that is what you will have. So many times we are not allowing ourselves to be emptied to the fullest, we hold a portion back, for what ever reason, and therefore, we are not filled with what God wants to give us, but instead a weaker portion of what we already are.

We are told that we must put off the old before we can become the new, and yet we have this tendency to hold on to parts of the old. Whether it is from fear or change, or just because we are not quite ready, it is different with different people. Another way that we are told the same thing is the parable of the wineskins:

“And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”—Luke 5:36-39, KJV

A.W. Tozer said:

But how can a Christian know the fullness of the Spirit unless he has known the experience of being filled?

It would, however, be useless to tell anyone how to be filled with the Spirit unless he first believes that he can be. No one can hope for something he is not convinced is the will of God for him and within the bounds of scriptual provision.
Before the question ‘How can I be filled?’ has any validity the seeker after God [i]must be sure that the experience of being filled is actually possible[/i]. The man who is not sure can have no ground of expectation. Where there is no expectation there can be no faith, and where there is no faith the inquiry is meaningless.

The Doctrine of the Spirit as it relates to the believer has over the last half century [written in 1957] been shrouded in a mist such as lies upon a mountain in stormy weather. A world of confusion has surrounded this truth. The children of God have been taught contrary doctrines from the same texts, warned, threatened and intimidated until they instinctively recoil from every mention of the Bible teaching concerning the Holy Spirit.
This confusion has not come by accident. An enemy has done this. Satan knows that Spiritless evangelicalism is as deadly as Modernism or heresy, and he has done everything in his power to prevent us from enjoying our true Christian heritage.
A church without the Spirit is as helpless as Israel might have been in the wilderness if the fiery cloud had deserted them. The Holy Spirit is our cloud by day and our fire by night. Without him we only wander aimlessly about the desert.
That is what we today are surely doing. We have divided ourselves into little ragged groups, each one running after a will-o’-the-wisp or firefly in the mistaken notion that we are following the Shekinah. It is not only desirable thatr the cloudy pillar should begin to glow again. It is imperative.
The Church can have light only as it is full of the Spirit, and it can be full only as the members who compose it are filled individually. Furthermore, no one can be filled until he is convinced that being filled is a part of the total plan of God in redemption; that it is nothing added or extra, nothing strange or queer, but a proper and spiritual operation of God, based upon and growing out of the work of Christ in atonement.
The inquirer must be sure to the point of conviction. He must believe that the whole thing is normal and right. He must believe that it is God’s will that he be anointed with a horn of fresh oil beyond and in addition to all the ten thousand blessings he may already have received from the good hand of God.
Until he is so convinced I recommend that he take time out to fast and pray and meditate upon the Scriptures. Faith comes from the Word of God. Suggestion, exhortation or the psychological effect of the testimony of others who have been filled will not suffice.
Unles he is persuaded from the Scriptures he should not press the matter nor allow himself to fall victim to the emotional manipulators intent upon forcing the issue. God is wonderfully patient and understanding and will wait for the slow heart to catch up with the truth. In the meantime, the seeker should be calm and confident.”

There are those that claim that baptism in the Holy Spirit is an absolute essential to being a Christian, and others who say that it comes upon you when you accept Jesus as your Savior. Perhaps they are both right, perhaps, it is simply in varying degrees due to our own ability to accept it, and to what we can handle. I know that myself at times it is different in it’s appearance. Sometimes it is just an overwhelming sense of peace, a peace that I sometimes crave to experience everyday. Other times it is indescribable joy, and love that I long to have forever. I have witnessed the speaking of tongues, I have witnessed and been part of miracles.

The greatest experience that we can have on this earth is to be filled with the grace of God. That is something that I desire continually. I would never tell any person that being filled with the Holy Spirit is something that they have to experience but I would tell them that it is a wonderful experience. Neither would I tell them that being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues does not look well in the eyes of the world. It is not the world that I strive to please and if He desires that I speak in tongues or that others do, it is Him that I listen to.

It is by His grace that I live, and it is by His grace and the Holy Spirit that I will continue to spread the word of the Living God. Jesus is my Savior and I have given my life to serving Him. To Him is the glory and I give thanks every day that He gave His life for me. God bless!

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Son of Man via Days of Praise

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Revelation 14:14)

This is the last of some 87 New Testament references (84 in the four gospels, one in Acts, none in the epistles, two in Revelation) to Christ as the Son of man. Here we see the Son of man coming on a white cloud from heaven (just as He had ascended into heaven after His resurrection) as the conquering King of all the earth.

What a contrast is this to the first New Testament reference to the Son of man. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). From humility and poverty on Earth to power and riches in heaven, and for all eternity—this was His journey when Christ left His heavenly glory to join the human family.

In between the poverty and the power lay the whole human experience, for He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Finally, as Son of man He must die for man’s sin, for “the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:7). Even in heaven He is still the Son of man, for Stephen saw Him thus: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).

There is, indeed, a great man in the glory! Christ called Himself “the Son of man” much more often than “the Son of God,” though He will eternally be both, the God/man. He delights to identify with those whom He has redeemed, for He “is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11). “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” asked Jesus. Then we say, with Peter, “Thou art . . . the Son of the living God” (Matthew16:13, 16). HMM

The Institute for Creation Research

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The Opened Prison via Days of Praise

English: The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of...

English: The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of Good Shepherd. Early Christian trsdition of symbolism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)

The Lord Jesus appropriated this beautiful verse of the prophet Isaiah to Himself, preaching from it one day in the Nazareth synagogue and proclaiming: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). Note that He came to preach the gospel to the meek, not the arrogant, and to bind up the brokenhearted, not the hardhearted.

He also came to set the captives free. This was not, however, to deliver the Jews from Roman bondage as many had hoped, but a far greater deliverance. In the Hebrew, the phrase “opening of the prison” is only one word (a doubled word), and it occurs only this one time in the Old Testament. When Christ quoted it in the synagogue, He actually expanded and interpreted it as follows: “. . . recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

The “prison” which Christ came to open is evidently a spiritual prison, a binding of the soul, a blinding of the mind. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)—free from the bondage of sin, translated, “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

There was also another prison, a very real prison, deep in the heart of the earth to which He came. While His body slept in the tomb, His spirit descended into Hades where the spirits of all who had died in faith were awaiting Him, and “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and . . . ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Ephesians 4:8, 10). HMM

The Institute for Creation Research

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Standing on the Promise

Luke 24:49
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:4
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Acts 2:33
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

Acts 2:39
For the promise  is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

Acts 26:6
And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers:

Romans 4:13
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4:16
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 9:8
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.


Thought for the Day

Sometimes it has to get really dark for those who are searching for you, to see your light! If you extinguish it yourself because you doubt, you doom those looking for the light and possibly yourself!

Psalm 18:28
For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

Proverbs 20:27
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Proverbs 24:20
For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.

Matthew 5:15
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Luke 11:36
If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

Mark 4:21
And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

Luke 8:16
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Luke 11:33
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.


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