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Walking in the Spirit of God

January 31, 2010

Luke 4:14-30: Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “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 favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them,”Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.'” “I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Jesus returns home, but not the same Jesus who left. Now He is full of the Spirit and completely focused on doing His Fathers work. He explains His purpose with an amazing quote from Isaiah 61:1,2 :

“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 favor.”

Wow! I feel drawn to this challenge to preach the good news to the poor. Which isn’t just referring to those struggling with very little money, but the greek word for poor also covers those struggling with very little faith. I feel challenged to proclaim freedom to those who are imprisoned, whether within old destructive patterns, an abusive relationship, or a dead end career. To pray for healing, and to be involved in releasing the oppressed; this refers to seeing people being freed from the bondage of sin. And finally, to turn people towards serving and glorifying God.

I want to be part of this. I want to preach the good news, proclaim freedom, pray for healing, see the oppressed released and encourage people to serve and glorify God! I am going to print Isaiah 61:1,2 off and stick it on my office wall!! Wonderful!

But the key to succeeding in all of this isn’t that I read it every day on my wall.. but that: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me.’ I need to pray, to actively seek the Spirit of the Lord. I cannot force this! But certainly I know that as I draw close to God through reading His Word, and as I face my sin, I am well positioned to receive that anointing.

Lord I seek to walk in your Spirit, to continue to receive that anointing so that in your power I might serve and glorify you.

And Jesus finds himself in His own town where He is known (“Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” v.22) and rather than seek to please those He knows, he chooses to speak the truth, and to reveal His true identity. And the locals don’t respond well! There are moments where I have the choice to speak the truth amongst those who know me well, to be open about my faith. And the temptation is to stay quiet and seek their approval, not ‘rock the boat’. So I find this massively challenging, to be open about my faith and speak the truth when I can!

I would love to read your thoughts on this amazing passage.

God bless ya,

Rev Mark Brown

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  1. Michael Cook permalink

    Some think that this calling is only for those who are called “preachers” or “ministers” or “priest”, but this calling is for all those that are filled with God’s Spirit. We are all to go in the power of Christ to heal the sick, proclaim the gospel to all man. Jesus gave us this assignment before he left this earth to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News! God help me to be bold to do as you have commanded me to do! To fulfill the purpose you have saved me for! Whether it be on FB, or on my job, or in my little town, or in my home. There are many people that are hurting, oppressed and prisoners that need to be set free. I recognize that you didn’t bring me this salvation so that I could just skip through life with no problems. You saved me for a purpose! Help me to fulfill that purpose and bring pleasure to you! Amen!

    • Sheryl permalink

      Praise God! And Thank -You Jesus, for this web site & Blog, Thank-you for finding me on FB, you are always near, I just need to seek & find, and recieve & do your will. I know I have been poor and struggling with , with little faith. I know you will never leave me, when i’m down I only have to look up & you are always there waiting for me. How awesome is our God & worthy to be Praised. Today is the day ,I re commit myself to you and follow your plan and destiny for my life.

  2. Carla Jo Reeves permalink

    Abandoned, persectuted by family for seeking and speaking the truth for over 17 months. Please pray for my family and God’s strength over my life as well. Thank you.

    • Margaret permalink

      Carla Jo,

      I lift you and your family up in prayer. The Lord will give you the strength you need.

      God Bless You,

    • Kimberly permalink

      Praying for you my Sister! Blessings! Kimberly

  3. Arlene permalink

    I believe that always happened we tend to be quiet even if we have the chance to speak and share the gospel. I believe that we should be challenge by this verse and be brave to share word and to share freedom for the glory of God and advancing HIs kingdom. We must share the freedom and happiness that we experiencing right now with others who are those in prison or in pain.

    Thank you very much for the wonderful scripture and it has been an eye opener for us Christian to be challenge for God.

  4. debbie permalink

    I also want to live this way. Not be ashamed or embarrased and to boldly proclain that I am A CHILD OF GOD! To spread the GOOD NEWS. It is getting better and better as I am growing in the Lord. Last weekend I met an old accquaintance that knew me BC (BEFORE CHRIST) and she said she was worried about me because she new that my life was fully committed to God now. She sees my postings on FB everyday and now I was not even drinking any longer. I was thrilled that my light was shining now before men……..that people are noticing the change in me. Worried about me? I was the one worried about her and her salvation. She would not listen and hurried away from me. Why is it that people worried about people that are saved? I started thinking that people do not worry much about people when they are doing distructive things to their bodies, like drugs and drinking and pornography…not in the same way as when you are saved and serving the Lord. They run from you when they know you are saved. They dont run from you when you are sitting at the bar drinking…….or smoking pot or watching a dirty movie. I am fully committed to God and pray for the boldness and wisdom of Paul. To go and spread the joy and love and good news of Jesus to the whole world. Lord thank you for coming into my life and for the Holy Spirit in me to help and guide me.

  5. val permalink

    Is 61:1-2 has beenone of the verses that helps keep me goingas I try to recover from years of child/sexual abuse. I am still held back by strngholds that effect almost every area of my life. But I know that Jesus died to set me free from these strongholds, I am one of the captives. As I heal I have had many opportunities to help other women in the same position. I see this as a great privilage to be used by God in this way. To turn my pain into a tool to be used by the one and only God, that is just so amazing.

    • Carla Jo Reeves permalink

      Thank You Val for the scripture and words of wisdom….your experiences and pain I share ….May God richllly bless you always

    • Cheryl permalink

      Hey Val, I feel your pain. Something you said in your testimony spoke to me and you said ” I am one of the captives” He that the Son sets free is free indeed. Strength comes through encounter, and faith comes through battles won. Rejoice, and be mightily glad, for you have the victory…so walk in it. I read this, this morning in my devotions and I meditated on it because it is so true. “hurt feelings come from lookin back” In continually looking forward, all things are continually new. So, never again will I look back with regret or with mourning, for all things work together for the good to those who love the Lord. God is going to use you in a mighty way..there are so many women out there that have been abused and think that they are the only ones going through, and that there is no hope, but we know that there is hope in Jesus.

  6. As our 3 models, John, Peter, and Paul owed their anointing specifically to the outpouring of the Spirit of God from an identical source, viz.: the pierced side of Jesus’ perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (JOHN 19: 30-37, Rev. 5; ACTS 2; Ibid, 9; ROM. 6: 1-5; 8: 28-30; 1 COR. 1: 18-31; 2: 1-5; GAL. 3: 1-5; 5: 22-26; EPH. 4: 3-13; PHIL. 2: 4-11; COL. 1: 15-20, etc.)

    We are not in agreement are we?

  7. alex permalink

    I agree with you,it is some time very challenging to the declare the truth to people tht know you well,for me it is some times a battle with rejection even though I know Jesus said they would.I am trying to practice walking in the same mind set as Christ did,he always proclaimed I am doing my father’s work so I am trying also to do my father’s work,forgetting about rejection,lost of friends, he said if they hate me they hate him also because the words and message is not mine but from the father so I am comforted that I don’t have to face the opposition alone.This is a good reminder of the change we have to take on in ourselves to be truly those chosen by the lord,I thank you,keep doing what you are doing and peace and grace be unto you and your family in the name of the Lord

    • Stephanie permalink

      Ditto! I was just reminded of this passage (Luke 4:14-30:) when I was feeling broken-hearted about my teenage sons and their choices and their rejection of God’s Word being read to them (like I used to) and calling me a Bible-thumper (which I thanked them for), Sometimes I feel like a foreigner in my own home (Like Jesus in His Hometown) I know I have fallen down on preaching the gospel, especially to my immediate family. Jesus forgive me. Give me that hunger and thirst to do these things for You, especially in the face of rejection by my immediate family. I ask for more faith and boldness to proclaim, heal, and set free.
      Let Your kingdom come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

      • Here is a lttle food for thought.

        Only firsthand knowledge of who Jesus Christ is ( gives sustainable faith and boldness to share the gospel with others. Not otherwise! Your feedback is more than welcome. Blessings!

  8. Rae Leeman permalink

    That is my desire too. That is my calling, but I’m practising now!!!!

  9. Sharon permalink

    You have been a blessing to me. Your words lift my soul. thank you.

  10. WOW! Anointing and Favor,two of the most precious gifts from the Holy Spirit.I will take these over silver and gold any day,but these are not for us to keep ,they are for use on others.Lord make me bold as a lion and only look to you for approval.This I pray in Jesus name

  11. Jordan permalink

    A good word and quite convicting. I’ve never looked at the Greek for that verse before, so thank you for showing that.

  12. JOE FELTNER permalink


  13. I love this passage. Here we find Christ full of the Spirit after 40 days of battling satan himself. He did not cower or run away; He came thru the temptation stronger, refreshed, renewed in His purpose…and completely prepared for His ministry. I love that Christ is so BOLD and filled with LOVE at the same time. What an amazing SAVIOR we have. Can you imagine what those people thought of Him when He said that in the temple? They wanted to throw Him off the cliff and He just gracefully slips into the crowd, and goes along His merry way. How cool is that!! Lord, you are so cool!

  14. MARILYN TURNER permalink

    ‘that,was a awesome word,that God gave you too give speak the truth,and reavel your true identity, friends& family they can’t respond well.been there.but i loved…THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS ON ME,BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME. I LOVE THAT. GREAT WORD..M.T.

  15. Sara Sue permalink

    “Walking with Jesus” means, to me, that He becomes my life rather than me aspiring to “be like Him”. As I “renew my mind” to understand more and more Who He REALLY is, to focus on HIM, and not on me and getting myself to be better and better, I look up and find that He has done something wonderful in my relationships. When that happens, I am assured that His Spirit really has joined me to Him and is able to use me as a vessel of His love and healing.

    • Meredith permalink

      Wow Sara–I needed that. I’m currently away from home, and will be going back in about 2 months. I was hoping that I’d come back different and people wouldn’t believe it. Your insight that it’s about getting more intimate with Him and not making myself better is a good reminder.

  16. Penny permalink

    This is a Scripture the Lord gave me when I first became a Christian. It touched me the same way it touched you. I know I have fallen down on preaching the good news, healing the broken hearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and setting the oppressed free. Jesus forgive me. Give me that hunger and thirst to do these things for You. I ask for more faith and boldness to proclaim, heal, preach and set free.
    This is so much what God’s kingdom is about. Let Your kingodm come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

  17. Robin King permalink

    I feel I have failed to make the most of an opportunity to speak tonsomeone about my love for Jesus and pray God will turn it around so
    somehow foe His favor and help me do better and have more courage in the future. I want to show this person just how much God means to me and never be afraid of sharing that again. I Sk the Holy Spirit to come fill me now and give me the words and thoughtsand courage I need to do Gods will

    • Michael Cook permalink

      Sometimes we show more of Christ, not by what we say, but by how we act. To be kind, gracious and patient. To be joyful, with a song in your heart. To be concerned about others. To listen to people without breaking in before they have a chance to say whats on their mind. Returning unkindness with a gentle smile and not getting angry and reacting when someone does us wrong.

      Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit (our recreated spirit that is born again, made new in Christ), is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith!

      Sometimes you don’t have to say words…maybe we don’t have to say words, or quote scriptures, or tell people they are sinners. They already know this most of the time anyway. Jesus attracted those that were sick to him because of his actions! Love is an action word! By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, when you have love (Greek word, agape) for each other.

  18. Cheryl permalink

    Help us Lord and give us a spirit of boldness, so that our lives glorify you.

  19. omar permalink

    Im in the process of reading the Bible in its entirely. Reading this as well as other passages that you shsre with us, helps me, much. Im praying more, and reading more than I ever had before. Thank you, so much, God Bless you!

  20. Carrie permalink

    It makes me feel empowered! I love reading your messages! Keep up the Great Work!

  21. Eric permalink

    I am currently reading “Disciplines” its a daily devotion book by Max Lucado and Luke 4: 21-30 was also my reading for today!

  22. Sue permalink

    I pray that all of us who feel the same way as you will receive the anointing to do this wonderful work that Jesus said we would all do and more! Amen

    • Easier said than done without “seeing the Son of Man go back to the place where he was before” in his perfect and transfigurative death on the cross. (John 6:62; 8: 21-32; 14: 15-21; 19: 30-37)

      For confirmation, see also Eph. 4: 7-13 which uses the identical expression of seeing his “going up and taking many captives with him” as a condition for receiving the gifts. This is definitely different from what Christians take for granted! Isn’t it?

  23. Ernie permalink

    This passage reminds me of my own walk and the transformation that God made in my life when I came to the Lord quite a while ago. God;s Holy Spririt in me was enough to reveal to my family and friends the power of God and his work in my life transforming me into a new creation. I did not have to open my mouth, all I had to do is be the open letter that Paul calls us to be. I started speaking when I was asked, as people began to notice the difference in me and my life, and I have not stopped for many years. Today I thank God that all of my close family, inlcuding my parents, my sister and her family and even my grandmother and grandfather who recently past away came to kow the Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God is more than faithful. Praise the Lord!
    Today, not only do I try to be that open letter, so that people can see, not just hear God in me, but when I speak I pray to be led by the spirit so that I do speak to whom God wants me to. Even then, at times I have found resistance and deslike from people who do not know me that well, but know what I represent. Yet, many of those people have later asked me about Him in whom I find peace and joy even in turbulent times, and some have even asked me to pray for them. We have been called to be the light to a world of darkness and the light that lives in us is not only imposible to to ignore, but it is also very attractive and imposible to turn off.
    God bless you Mark for your journey and for allowing us to share it with you. Thank you for being leeting the light shine through you.

    • Michael Cook permalink

      Amen Ernie. We are to be living epistles,(letters), to be read by all!

  24. Meredith permalink

    I pray that I won’t be the same when I return home in March–that I’ll be more intimate with God. When He is first, everything else falls into its proper place. Not saying things won’t be hard after this, but I can deal with it better. Mark, thank you for sharing this.

  25. marty permalink

    I need you Lord so much. Help me to be strong. Help me to find the strengh to read your word daily and bold to tell others of your love for us. You are such an awesome GOD!

  26. Sarah permalink

    Thank you, Mark! I am always amazed by what you write about how you see each verse that you read in the Bible. Thank you for sharing it with all of us! It really helps me to understand more about God’s word, and take another step in my walk with God. But could you or anyone kindly taking the time to read this message help me out a bit? I need some advice. My mother is extremely critical and resentful, and she tries to make my sister and I feel like we’re the cause of all our troubles. She even uses my Christianity against me. My older sister suffers from depression, and she also has anger issues, and this has been so hard on her. She started to cut herself. I’ve tried to talk her out of it, but nothing I say helps. I don’t know what to say to her. I feel so horrible about how much she is going through, and I want to help her so much. Could someone please pray for her, so that God may comfort her, and ease the emotional pain a little? Could someone also give me advice as to what to say to her about it, because every time things get out of hand, cutting her self is what she resorts to. There is another way. I know. I just don’t know what to say to her. Can someone help me please?

  27. Daniel permalink

    Wow what an amazing passage! This scripture confirmed what God’s will is for my life, which is to help people..just like it says in this amazing passage. Just yesterday is when I feel like God told me that this is whati was meant to do and reading this passage only makes that feeling all the more stronger. I’m only 14 so im not an expert on how God talks to you but I’m convinced that he’s answered my prayers and made my path known so I may follow it. Praise the Lord!!

    • Daniel, if you know Jesus Christ firsthand, i.e., in personal vision of his self-revelation at his perfect and transfigurative death on the cross you can have sustainable faith and grow into a mature believer. Not otherwise!

      If only I had started searching for the immortal Christ in his death on the cross when I was 14, I could have used half my life more profitably.

      God bless you!

  28. Lynn permalink

    we just recently moved into a new neighborhood and the teens that hang out around here have really bad mouths on them. when they came over to talk to me or my husband i would ask them to please watch their langue. then i started telling them that my house was a no swearing zone. then i started fining them when they swore. within 2 months the awearing almost completely stopped,and if i was outside on my steps the kids would tell others to watch their langue. now that they know and respect me it is time to tell them about Jesus because now they will listen. please pray for a harvest of souls in my neighborhood in the name of Jesus.

  29. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Wow Daniel, I wish that at 14 I had the insight of knowing God in a personal way. I’m not an expert either, but everyday as I immerse in the word I grow to know more of what God wants of me. Todays scripture shows us that we are suppose to proclaim the good news to others so they can also find freedom in Christ. My prayer each morning is that God will guide me to someone that needs to hear the truth. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in my actions and my word with the Love that only comes from him and he really comes thru. Just the other day at work a costumer ask me why us christian believe in a bastard son who made it big. She said that is what she’s been taught about Jesus. I tell you, my heart hurt so much that I thought about telling her to leave but something unexpected happen. I started to tell her the truth about our saviour. I won’t be able to write everything I said , But by the time I explain about the Ultimate sacrafice God gave to all mankind, her included, she left with tears in her eyes. I guess she never heard the truth because she told me that in her temple they do not allow them to read the Gospel. Well she ask and the Holy Spirit, working in me told her and it was done with Love. I know that this could not be done by me and I give all the glory to God. When Gods sends you to do something he will also equip you with what you need. I will continue to ask for his guidance and I pray for all here to do the same. You will be surprise at how God will work in your lives. God is Love, so when you speak the word speak with love, no matter how bad people treat you. God Bless you all.

  30. Scott R permalink

    Good stuff Mark! I find it so easy to brush this story aside and live in my comfort zone. Our pastor has been preaching through the gospel of mark and brings this point home on a weekly basis: That rue Christianity is not going to win us any popularity contests. When we speak the truth in love people will not like what they hear but we are to do it anyway. Keep up the good work and know that you are on the right path

  31. Mamoleboge Lulu Segolela permalink

    I woke up this morning and everything was just fine…

    As I stood for the taxi to go to work, a thought came to mind…

    Why is it that we as Christians are ashamed, embarrassed and/or fall short of professing our love for Christ?

    Why do we hold back on announcing to the world that we are saved and/or born again, when in the very Bible we read, it is prophesied that we are to be born again by having Christ as our Lord and Savior…

    What I wonder is why would you not acknowledge and with pride proclaim, one who gives you life daily, who has provided for you to the point where you are able to receive this mail; The One who offers you everlasting life and the destiny that is Heaven?

    Our facade is always that, we grew up in Church and having followed practice, that therefore, defines our Christianity , but until you acknowledge God, seek forgiveness for sin and give your life to Christ, How do you define that you are Christian; and how does your Christianity differ from a 5 year old child who comes to Church because Mom and Dad bring him/her along.

    I send this email not because I am being self-righteous, but because for someone who since 2007 has been saved, I find that I have not done enough to profess my knowledge of Christ in my life and to invite those who may not have Christ in their lives or who (like me before the beginning of my journey in 2007) are uncertain of their place in their faith, to know Christ and more than anything have a relationship with him.

    The one thing I have had in my doubts, fears, and reservations about pronouncing my love for Christ, is an expectation for his provisions in my life, like so many of us; THAT, I feel is shallow and selfish of me… The honest truth: in sending this mail to those I know and don’t, I fear your judgment more than that of Christ (like so many of us who would rather please the world-that we are going to leave behind-than the Lord we hope to spend eternity with).

    I have no idea what the inspiration for this email is and where it is coming from, I am just hoping that it will have someone look at where they are in their walk in and/or with Christ and if not a saved Christrian, seek Salvation.

    Lovingly Yours

    Mamoleboge Lulu Segolela
    (My comment is actually the paragraph before the last one, this is an email written by myself in the beginning of last year, I was inspired to post it as a comment after reading Reverend Browns post)

  32. Michael Cook permalink


    Powerful posting! And so true too! We need to confess Christ before men. Read 2 Timothy 2:12b …if we deny him, he will also deny us. However we cannot get into arguments with non believers or professed believers. We have to remember that our first call is not to be right, to win an argument, but to be righteous before God. 2 Timothy 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance , charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers .

  33. Kimberly permalink

    Good morning! I have been receiving your daily email for a little while now…recommended by a friend and I have SO ENJOYED all of them!
    I had to write and tell you, though that the one on Luke 4:14-30 (from Sunday, I think?) was just so helpful to me. The Lord has been laying that exact scripture on my heart over and over again for the last 2 weeks…I had read and reread, trying to discern which PART of it, He wanted me paying attention to and WHAT I was supposed to be hearing. Your blog clarified some of the questions I had about this particular scripture and in fact, gave my husband (who is minister here at our church) a theme for our Lenten programs…Making Room for Jesus in Your Life. We have been struggling w/ some church “stuff” for awhile and this was just a moment of revitalization for both of us…he also found the blog helpful in clarifying some of our work here…
    So, in closing, THANKS for the insights and GOD BLESS YOU as you continue His work! Kimberly

  34. Connie permalink

    What wonderful scriptures…Jesus was not worried about what anyone thought when he was empowered by the Holy Spirit. I would love to have the guts to speak more of the truth in the Scriptures, let alone worry about what other’s think. The closer I get to God, the easier it becomes to naturally speak the truth. And my gut likes it.

  35. Joye permalink

    This is an amazing passage! It’s so wonderful how God can just speak to heart in many ways and touch your soul through his gentleness. Thanks for sharing his word! God bless you!

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