Daily D – Luke 3:21-22; 4:1-2, 14; 5:15
When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As he was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.”
LUKE 3:21-22 (CSB)
Then Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil.
LUKE 4:1-2 (CSB)
Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity.
LUKE 4:14 (CSB)
Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.
LUKE 5:16 (CSB)
A Sonic commercial years ago featured a man and a woman sitting in a car enjoying treats from the menu. The man behind the wheel talked about how he could tell certain things were going to happen. The woman in the passenger seat said, “And I can tell when you are just full of it.”
It was a great laugh line.
What we are full of determines what we do. For example, on those occasions when I eat hamburgers and French fries, I want to take a nap. The carbohydrates make me feel full and sleepy.
When I am full of myself, I attempt to demonstrate to others how smart or funny or charming I am. I also say “I” a lot more than normal like I am doing in these sentences. Oops.
Jesus left after his baptism “full of the Holy Spirit,” (4:1). He was led by the Spirit. He returned from his forty-day fast and temptation experience “in the power of the Spirit,” (verse 14).
In chapters 4 and 5 of Luke’s Gospel, we hear Jesus announce the nature of his ministry (4:16-30). Then he proceeded to do what he said he would do. He drove out demons (4:31-37). He healed people (verses 38-44). He called followers (5:1-11, 27, 28). He healed a man with leprosy (verses 12-14). He healed a man on a mat lowered through the roof (verses 17-26).
He did all this and more, so much more. We can read all about it in the following chapters. “Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”
We are not at our best or our most effective unless and until we are filled with the Spirit of God.
We are not at our best or our most effective when we push beyond where the presence and power of the Spirit leads.
Gasoline-powered cars and electric cars both require refilling periodically. So do we. How are we filled? “Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”
Jesus knew our Father’s words of truth and life, our Father’s will for his ministry, and our Father’s power to accomplish all that was set before him.
Jesus shows us the power of full engagement. The world changes for the better when we are changed for the better. The world changes for the lost, the sick, and the oppressed when we are filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and empowered by the Spirit.
God’s empowering presence is gained when we spend time with him, when we know his words of truth and life, and when we join him in his work of reconciliation and renewal.
Withdraw day by day to know God’s words of life and truth, to be led by God into transformative living, and to be empowered by God for significant service that reconciles and restores.
I will withdraw in preparation for God’s filling and leading for all he sets before me.
Our Father, please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Lead me into transformative living. Empower me for significant service. Use me in whatever ways you see fit. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”