The other day I was reading Luke 4, and verses 14 and 15 really jumped out at me in cool ways. They talk about Jesus returning to the Galilee region, not too long after He was victorious over the temptations of the devil.
Luke 4:14-15 (HCSB) 14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone.
Here are four things that I learned from that Scripture that I am praying for every community. I am praying this for every community that God brings to mind: Lake Placid; communities throughout the Adirondacks; Masaya, Nicaragua; Whistler, British Columbia; Jerusalem, Israel; many, many more.
1. I am praying that the power of the Holy Spirit will be displayed. Notice the first part of verse 14. Jesus was definitely filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit. One of the ways you see the Holy Spirit displayed in Luke 4 is by Jesus overcoming EVERY temptation the devil throws at Him. What if every believer realized that in Christ and because of Christ they can overcome EVERY temptation the devil throws at them? Also, you see the power of the Holy Spirit at work in Jesus' understanding of who He was, and what the Bible says about Him. He then obeyed God and ministered to people through the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh God, let your Holy Spirit be on display in every community!
2. I am praying that the news about Jesus will spread everywhere. Notice the second part of verse 14. You know, when the Holy Spirit begins empowering people to overcome temptations and to minister to others in His power, that good news will spread. And Jesus will become famous. What if that happened in your community? What if you were at the check-out line and you overheard two people you've never met talking about the amazing things Jesus was doing in your community? Believe that it can happen!
3. I am praying that the Bible will be taught to those who will listen. Look at the first part of verse 15. Jesus taught in the synagogues. The people there came expecting to hear the Bible read. As I see it, there are many people all around us who are interested in spiritual things, and they would love to study the Bible. Let's teach it to them. They are hungry for spiritual truth. Let's hold Bible studies not just at churches but also in coffee shops, restaurants, homes, ice skating rinks, wherever people will come to them. I am praying this will happen more and more.
4. I am praying that Jesus will be glorified. In the HCSB version of the Bible, it says in verse 15 that Jesus was acclaimed by the people. The word translated "acclaimed" can also be translated "glorified." Now, some people soonafter they glorified decided that they wanted to change their minds about who He was. But verse 15 is clear (and so are the verses that follow) that there were many who glorified Him. Even though many people reject Jesus as the Messiah, I am praying that God will break through their cold hearts and that they will see who Jesus really is - the one who came to save us from our sins!
If you'd like to hear the audio version of this message, click here: http://www.lpbaptist.org/4thingsilearnedfromluke4.mp3