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Devotional - week of January 13, 2003


 JESUS WILL KEEP ON CHANGING US 

 

 "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 4:18-19

 Jesus is the one speaking. He was in the synagogue of his hometown of Nazareth revealing Himself as the Messiah. He continued his revelation with, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Before the day was over, the citizens of Nazareth would attempt to kill Him.

 Jesus was reading Isaiah 61:1-2a. The Isaiah passage adds to the blessings Jesus would bring in the rest of verse 2 and in verse 3. In those verses Jesus adds that He was sent:   

to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ….

 According to all three verses of Isaiah, most of the blessings Jesus came to bring were changes he can make in the lives of believers. Those changes can be ours when we experience our spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

 Perhaps the most beautiful thing about these changes Jesus came to make possible is that they can be progressive. We can continue to experience them.

 One could open his Bible to Isaiah chapter 61-3 and feast a long time on the changes Jesus can continue to make in him for the remaining days of his life.