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Go to work

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Title:  Are you ready to work?

Text: Luke 4:16-21

Introduction:  Here in Luke is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.  It is here we have our Lord and Savior declaring his manifesto.  A manifesto is a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.  Jesus is tells the attentive listeners what He is all about.  It was what He came to do. It was His mission statement.  It also tells us in the power He came to do it in and that is the power of the Holy Spirit. But most importantly, it tells us that He will fulfill His mission.  Jesus knew his purpose and mission (to suffer and die for to save the world from the penalty of sin).  If we, the called out believers, the ecclesia, are the body of Christ then Christ’s mission and purpose is the church’s mission and purpose.  Also, individually since you and I are a part of the church, my mission and purpose is the same as Jesus Christ.  Jesus came to serve this present age.  Therefore, the church has to serve this present age.  You and I have to serve this present age.  Jesus came to meet the needs of the poor, the broken hearted, the prisoners, the blind and the oppressed.  Therefore, it is our mission to do the same.  But there is a problem with the church and with us as members. We have aborted our mission.  We do everything but ministry.  One of the reasons why is because we don’t know who and where to serve.  We don’t know how to serve.  And some of us don’t know who we are serving under.  And because of this we are missing the mark therefore God’s kingdom will continue suffer and this church will slowly dissolve to nothing.  But what is most scary is the His glory will not be displayed and the power will leave the church.  If that happens, where are you going to tap into the source of your strength? Therefore, I am telling you that the body of Christ has work to do. We have to do what Jesus is did and stop doing stuff and calling it ministry.

But before you do the work of the Lord there are some things that need to happen first.  And we see them in the life of Jesus with the move of the Holy Spirit.  

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the trinity.  It is the mysterious power or presence of God in nature or with individuals and communities, inspiring or empowering them with qualities they would not otherwise possess.  This is the anointing of the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit gives you power to work.  To do the work of the Lord, you need the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit that the supernatural applies to the natural to accomplish God business on earth.  This is why Jesus tells the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you to be witness to the world.  The disciples had to reach the world and they could not do it on there own ability.  There are things that we need to do that we cannot do on our own ability that is why we need the Holy Spirit.   Even Jesus did not work outside of Holy Spirit.  He was dependent on the Spirit.  Look how the Holy Spirit was involved in the life and ministry of Jesus.

Before Jesus started working to fulfilling his mission, the Holy Spirit was working in His life. In Luke 3:21 while John the Baptist was baptizing, Jesus also came to be baptized.  The text says while He prayed heaven opened up over his head and the Holy Spirit descend upon him like dove and a voice from heaven said “this is my Beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.  Remember what goes for Jesus goes for the church. Therefore, the church has to be a praying church in order for the Holy Spirit to descend on us and God can speak from heaven saying this is my beloved church and I am well pleased.  The church has to be endowed with the Spirit operating in all of its gifts to be effective. Nobody minds to be used by the Spirit.  We want that type of anointing.  The church openly welcomes this move.  But the church has to be ready this type of move.  This is one move of the Spirit.

The next move of the Holy Spirit none of us is fully willing to accept.  In the opening of Luke 4, Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit is now being lead by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days.  It is the Spirit that led Him to a period of trial and testing.  The same is true with the church. The trial and the test that this church has been thru and is going thru may be Spirit led.  God ordains test as His preparation for us for ministry. This causes some of to rethink what or who we call the devil.  It just may be the work of the Holy Spirit working on us so He can work through us.  So don’t curse your wilderness. It is there to bless you!  The Spirit led Jesus to be tempted by the devil in 3 different areas that church deals with today; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life

The devil first tempts Jesus with the lust of the flesh by trying to get Him to turn the stones to bread in order to satisfy the hunger that he was enduring from fasting.  But Jesus uses the Word on him. He says “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God”.  In the same manner, the enemy will tried to distract the church by appealing to our flesh.  As Jesus fasted from the material satisfactions of life, the Church has to fast and fight the temptation of flesh by the Word of God.  We can’t let flesh dictate ministry.  We have always satisfy our spiritual nature first because you flesh will deceive you. 

Next, the devil tempts Jesus by taking him up a mountain and shows him the kingdom and tells him it is yours if you worship me. He tried to get Jesus’ eyes to lust after greatness.  Jesus tells Satan to “get behind me” because the Word says that you worship the Lord only!  The Church has to be careful because we can be great but worshipping the wrong god.  We can’t sell our souls to be great.  But we are empty our soul before Lord in worship and He will expand His kingdom through us! 

Lastly, the devil tried to go after Jesus by using the pride of life to get him to stumble.  The devil takes him to Jerusalem upon the pinnacle of the temple and tells Jesus to jump.  The devil gets wise and tries to use a misquote of the Word to persuade Jesus. “The angels will catch you”.  But again Jesus fights him off with the Word and tells him that “You don’t tempt the Lord your God!”  The Church has to know how to rightly divide the Word in order deal with the devil. 

It is this Spirit led test against the enemy that solidifies ministry of the Church.  You have to stay in the wilderness until we pass the test. And like Jesus, when we have completed the test we are led out with power.  In verse 14, Jesus returns to Galilee in the power of the Spirit and everybody heard about him as he taught in the synagogue.  Church, when we have the power of Holy Ghost people will hear about us. 

In verse 16, Jesus comes to Nazareth where he was raised.  As his custom of participating in the worship service, he enters the synagogue and stood up and read.  This tells us that we just can’t have spectators in church. We have to participate in what is going on! 

Jesus is then handed the book of Isaiah and opened and found the place where it was written: 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, 19 To preach the acceptable year or age of the Lord. This was his mission. This is our mission as a church.

Jesus’ preparation by baptism with the endowment of the Holy Spirit, His Spirit led wilderness experience and His return in the power of the Spirit to Galilee converge at this point.  He is now about to enter his public ministry having been anointed and tested for this very moment.  All that this church has been through in the past was just to get you ready to work.   It is here that Jesus tells us that he was anointed for a specific work.  This church has been anointed for a specific work. Your anointing is never for you. It is to bless somebody else.  Like for Jesus, this passage outlines the target audience of this church is.  It is the poor of every kind. The financially poor in abundance of resources and the spiritually poor need an abundance of His love.  It is to all those who had there heart broken by life circumstance and need a healing touch.  The church has to liberate those in physical and spiritual prisoners.  We have to let them know that he who the Son sets free is free indeed.  We have to open blind eyes turn them from darkness into the marvelous light! We are to change the position of those that are oppressed to a place of pleasure! Finally, the Church has to proclaim that this is the time of the Lord’s favor for his people.  This is the year of Jubilee. It the time where everything that has been held from you will be released to you in Jesus name! Debts will be forgiven. What was lost will be restored!  You will be redeemed!  This is the ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ.

       After Jesus finished reading He closed the book and gave it back to the minister and sat down. All eyes were on him and declared, “Today the scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”!  Jesus is saying I am here to do the work!

Celebration:  Church it is time to go to work. We have started doing what we are called to do.  When we start working on our mission, we proclaim what Jesus proclaimed and tell the world The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and anointing me…. I am anointed to work!!!!  It is time for the church to fulfill its mission today!

“Today the church went to work”.  Today we started serving...Today, a life was changed. Today I helped somebody. Today God got glory. Today, I fulfilled my purpose! Today the devil was defeated! 

Altar call:  Anointing, release and serving, mission

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