130. Anointed for service.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." (Luke 4:18/Isaiah 61:1-2) After Jesus returned to Galilee from the Judean desert, in the power of the Spirit, he went to Nazareth where is made this proclamation on a Sabbath at the synagogue. That is why it is called the 'Nazareth Manifesto'. As he started his ministry, he mentioned the task assigned to him for which he was anointed ie to preach the Gospel and to demonstrate the power of the Spirit through miracles and deliverance from evil spirits. 'You know what has happened throughout Judea, begining in Galilee ... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.' (Acts 10:37-38) This he did till the end because he made his assignment his obsession! And those on whom this anointing rubs speaks with the same passion: 'I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.'( Acts 20:24) We need to refocus, whenever we get sidetracked by what is not our assignment and align ourselves with the word of God and our God given vision. "So then, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven."( Acts 26:19) We might find ourselves still not living upto the revelation we received, and need to press on. 'Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven ward in Christ Jesus.'(Philippians 3:13-14) Let this be our resolve too as we enter this new year, to refocus on our assignment and to put behind us, our hurts and failures. Remember, we are still living in the 'year of the Lord's favour' before the coming of 'the day of vengeance.' (Isaiah 61:2) That day will be a 'dreadful day' (Joel 2:31) for the world but a 'great and glorious day' for the believer.(Acts 2:20) Since we are still living in the dispensation of grace, we will continue to experience his abundant favour upon us this coming year. Let the anointing that we have received, equip us for the service to which he has called us. Amen.