“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.”    Luke 4:18-19

Work for Christ

           When a person reads the above scripture which our Lord quoted at the start of His ministry, one must first stop reading after verse eighteen to allow the total impact of that one verse to capture the real meaning of ministry. It emphasizes that the motivation comes from God through the Spirit and is not the fulfillment of a personal goal or ambition. The influence of the Holy Spirit is so strong that a person cannot run or hide from it, but must confront it and accept it as his/hers destiny.  It is not a personal career choice, but the acceptance of a calling from God that is demonstrated by one’s fruit and the results produced by action.

It is an assurance that as long as the person follows the lead of the Holy Spirit in one’s ministry, one is doing God’s work and will therefore prosper (in God’s Way) and fulfill God’s intentions. When one is anointed by our Lord, his ministry and life style will reflect that of his boss.  He will be an ambassador of Christ knowing that he has been set apart to fulfill an assignment in the Kingdom of God for His glory.

If one was to prepare a job description based on this scripture, we first need to answer several questions. They include: Who are you primarily accountable to for your ministry?  What is the good news?  What is real freedom?  What is true recovery?  Who are the poor, the prisoner, the blind, and the oppressed? How do you best preach, proclaim, recover, and release? What is the Lord’s favor?        When do you know your assignment is completed?

The first part identifies who you work for and who is in charge of your ministry.  It identifies whose lead you must follow and who you are answerable to. It states where your authority comes from and who your partners in ministry likewise submit to.

The first part also identifies the source of the good news.  It is not my good news, not my community’s good news, not my country’s good news, and not really even my church’s good news.  It is the good news of Jesus Christ which the Spirit reveals to those called and given ears to hear and a mind to understand. It is a message that can be verbally preached, visually preached, artistically preached, musically preached, orally preached, scripturally preached, historically preached, scientifically preached, and even genealogically preached.

The scripture likewise identifies who our “customer” is.  They are “the poor”, “the prisoner”, “the blind”, and “the oppressed.  All are conditions that may occur physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The customer base or market literally encompasses all mankind. Every person who has ever lived falls into some category which places him under at least one of these conditions.

It focuses on the outcome and end result that is achieved through ministry. The “poor” have good news preached to them; prisoners have freedom to look forward to; the blind are able to see; the oppressed are set free; and the year of the Lord’s favor is proclaimed. The best way to communicate your message to your audience is dependent on the resources at your disposal and your strengths. The key is to identify the needs of your audience and communicate the message that applies to them.

How would you summarize the meaning of ministry as described in Luke 4:18-19? Also, if you had to make a job description from this scripture, what would you include?

Dr. Mike


“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself;

he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.

Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.”

John 5:19 (Jesus’ reply to a question)


            Isn’t it amazing that over a long-term relationship like marriage how two people can anticipate what the other is going to do or say while the statement or activity has just begun? We all know people who have been married for over fifty years and have become “one” in their mannerism, appearance, and focus.  Isn’t that same physical relationship a mirror image of the type of spiritual relationship that Jesus taught and managed to maintain with His Father?

Jesus was on a mission.  His entire focus was to complete and to fulfill scripture. In the process, He relied on following the lead of His Father. His personal ambitions were set aside (Luke 4:1:13) after the desert test. He denied Himself and followed the path of the cross towards His destiny.

Many local churches should find this encouraging that their mission is not to become a “great church” in the eyes of the world or community, but to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.  Many times this may deny them of new buildings, programs or worldly goals, but in return, the Holy Spirit will lead them to serve unselfishly, humbly, without fanfare or worldly recognition as Christ did in His time.

Most recently in my own life I had a Jonah experience.  I was being led to except a new job assignment within an organization that operates in a Hindu culture. Like Jonah, I knew God wanted His message delivered but I didn’t want to be the person to deliver it. Instead, I made every excuse possible to avoid the situation.  The bottom line though, God has a way to accomplish His will and in His love and patience will work with the individuals involved.  Like Jonah, I finally made the decision to fulfill my part of delivering God’s word to people He has chosen. Life is much simpler when we step aside; seek God’s direction as He leads us and follow His work rather than build for our glory and image.  When the work is His, we will be truly amazed at what can be accomplished.

What is our Heavenly Father showing you at this time in your life that you may be fighting him to pursue?

Dr. Mike


           “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Palms 46:10 (NIV)

be still 10

             In today’s culture, where multiple activities, performance-orientation, and the push to achieve greater results are the showcase of a successful life, it is easy to get caught up living the same trap, being so busy that God is pushed out of the picture and the relationship becomes stranded. When we become the center of attention rather than God, and the self is more important in the equation than God, we have lost our greatest strength.  By always first applying Palms 46:10 in the equation, it allows us to focus our lives and participate with “God’s work through us” rather than jump into our work “hoping God will bless it.”  When we stop ourselves to focus on God first, God allows us to capture a better glimpse of his majesty and power.

Every relationship takes time to build and the more intimate relationship even takes greater time. In Luke 10:38-41, Mary sits still before Jesus listening to His teaching while her sister Martha is busy with the necessary activity to provide for the hospitality of their guests. Jesus even states that Mary has chosen the better of the two. In my early twenties when we were very performance-oriented and moved mountains before even asked to, we approached life from the perspective of starting first, then asking God’s blessing on it after starting, and wonder how come things wouldn’t work out as planned. It took awhile to learn how to determine whether a project was my ministry, the church’s or God’s.  It took time to reach the point where we wouldn’t even begin a project until we “first heard from God”.  Over time, we leaned the difference between seeing the hand of God on a project versus only our hand.  Many times God had to intervene to safe us from ourselves.

Of the various individuals who have impacted me, none other than George Mueller would qualify for the top ten list.  His faith to perform a work and wait on God to provide is a lesson for all to take heart.  His experience and confirmation of God’s involvement was constantly demonstrated by the miracles of assistance without asking anyone but God in prayer. He ministered to over 10,000 children without asking for assistance from anyone but God. Therefore, he knew God’s hand was involved through the entire process and it strengthen him during the low moments of his ministry.

Trust begins with baby steps and over time leads to the Mueller experience. Since we are all on a journey of transformation in Christ, why not stop kidding ourselves and begin to live the adventurous life of a saint. I assure you. If you started a written journal today, you would find by life-end a story worth publishing into a Hollywood movie.  It all starts with “Being Still…”

Dr. Mike

What will it take for you to be still for one day?