Posts Tagged ‘2 Cor 5:18-21’

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So 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 to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Supernatural Impact

Scripture: Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So 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 to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:14-19)

Thought for Today: “Increasing in the Anointing”

Jesus was anointed by God and increased in that anointing by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52) but prior to His ministry we can see a direct connection between His lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29).

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in Christ… a faith that believes that God responds and rewards the diligent heart (Heb 11:6). It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world around us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting in all believers, so that they may find increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around them. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us… we speak a supernatural word and we minister to others by way of a supernatural power from God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Let your impact become… supernatural!

Responding to Slander

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt. 5:12)

As followers of Christ, we will always feel that this world is not really a good fit. We will long for peace and joy from this world, until we recognize it comes from another place… heaven. And as we grow in Christ, the feeling that this place is not our home; will only grow… not diminish. Life here, will not get easier in terms of comfort. In fact, we may find that we mourn more easily than we used to, that our ability to be merciful is strained, and that our awareness of sin is more keen. We may also find that some people become very uncomfortable with us as we experience greater freedom in Christ, because we are not as easily manipulated and don’t join them in their controlling games. But, the choice is our… we can rejoice and be glad! We do this, because we want the very things Christ is offering… indeed – we are glad that His Kingdom Dominion (Rom. 14:17) is our real inheritance!

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:31-32)

HOW TO RESPOND TO THOSE WHO SLANDER YOU…

A. Love: Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving… even as God in Christ has forgiven you and I. Jesus set the standard very high… He calls us to love one another. By loving people who mistreat us, we demonstrate His love… a love that flows from heaven (Jn. 15:9). The Holy Spirit is our resource (Rom. 5:5), and by having this attitude, we can have impact and minister even to our accusers.

  • “I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…[as it] is written… They hated Me without a cause.” (Jn. 15:17-25)

B. Bless: Jesus called us to bless and not curse our enemies, even those who slander us. To revile or slander is to share negative reports about someone without cause. We are blessed and anointed with power from heaven to love our enemies or slanderers by our words, deeds and prayers. Jesus modeled it for us (Acts 10:38) and we are promised to have access to the same Kingdom Reality (Jn. 14:12)… the anointing of the Father!

  • “Blessed are you when they revile… you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (Mt. 5:11)
  • “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you…” (Lk. 6:22)
  • “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44)
  • “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn. 4:4-6)

C. Entrusting Ourselves to God: We endure mistreatment by knowing that God will vindicate us in His timing, as we commit the conflict and mistreatment to Him. The challenge is to walk in self control and allow room for God to move on our behalf. We can entrust every situation to God through prayer and believe His promises to respond in His way.

  • “…when He [Jesus] was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…” (1 Pet. 2:23)
  • “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I [God] will destroy; the one who has a haughty look and proud heart, him I will not endure.” (Psa. 101:5)

D. Speak Privately: If someone slanders us, we are to talk to them in private. If we want to win the brother who is accusing or slandering us without a cause, we must talk in private. If we want to win the argument, we will continue to talk in public… and often lose the brother.

  • “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” (Mt 18:15)

Clearing the Air:

When people operate without resolving conflict, they pay a high price in order to protect their pride and selfish ambition. Seeking to win an argument, means we are more willing to devour each other, strain christian fellowship and weaken our testimony before God. The Apostle Paul cautions, “If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Gal. 5:15). This kind of atmosphere is disastrous to advancing the Message of the Kingdom of God, because it releases a dominion of darkness and corrupt attitudes in environments where people of all types meet and experience our poor behavior. We pay for unresolved anger towards those who slander us and end up undercutting our goals as Christ’s followers.

Freedom & Reconciliation:

Our ministry as ambassadors for Christ… is all about reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-21)! The only way to be liberated and walk in freedom is by blessing those who mistreat us and repenting of bitterness when we see it in our hearts. As we act in the opposite spirit, the “spirit of peace”; our heart begins to be healed and we are called the “sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). Jesus said, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge… and you are thrown into prison. I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Mt. 5:25-26). We must learn how to clear the air of our arguments and discord, because they lead to other sinful behaviors. I believe there is a relationship between harboring bitterness and stumbling in immorality. Anger causes trouble, personally and corporately; but if we can learn to evaluate our conduct in the light of God’s Word we will guard ourselves and find freedom from this spiritual struggle.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.” (Heb. 12:15–16)

Increased Anointing

Today is day 5 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Luke 4:14-19
Thought for Today: “Increased Anointing”

Jesus was anointed by God and increased in that anointing by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52) but prior to His ministry we can see a direct connection between His lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29).

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and deminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6). It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting in others so that they may find increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around them.

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

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