READ: Luke 4:14-44
THINK: People seem to love superheroes. And it's not just children who are attracted to the fantasy. Even prime time TV is full of shows that portray seemingly average people with extraordinary abilities they use to change the world. But God's people don't have to live in a fantasy world to experience ultimate power or to accomplish world-changing missions. If you are a true follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives in and through you, empowering and commissioning you to accomplish great things and to impact the world for Him.
RESPOND: In a spiritual sense, what does it mean to be "anointed" (v. 18, see note)? What does this passage reveal about the purposes of Jesus' Spirit-anointed ministry? In what ways was Jesus' ministry--and that of His followers--aimed at meeting every sort of human need? What Source of power must Jesus' followers have in order to continue the same works? Why would it have been difficult for those in Jesus' hometown to accept His ministry and authority? In what way do you think Jesus' message had distinct authority, and how was that authority evident to the people? (See 4:32 note.) What do Jesus' confrontations with demons--and the demons' responses (vv. 34-35, 41)--reveal about Jesus' identity, power, authority and mission? (See 4:33 note.)
PRAY: Ask Jesus to anoint you with the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes for your life. Pray for greater sensitivity to people's needs, and ask God to use you to minister to and meet those needs for His honor.
ACT: Keep in mind that as a follower of Jesus, it is His intention for you to be anointed (i.e., commissioned and empowered for service) by the Holy Spirit. So look for someone today to whom you can be Jesus' representative, bringing encouragement, help and healing. If you can meet the person's need in a tangible way, do so. Perhaps you can simply offer encouragement to someone who needs a friend. If you have the opportunity, offer to pray personally for someone who is hurting or in need. God may be ready to do a miracle through you.
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