Prayer Focus: Phillipines

Bible Reading: Mt. 4:1-22, Mt.  13:54-58, Mk. 1:12-20, Mk. 6:1-6, Lk. 4:-30, Lk 5:1-11, Jn 1;35-51, Jn 2:-12

Scripture:  

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. 12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—14to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”17From that time on Jesus began to preach, (Matthew 4:11-17)

Observation:

Jesus had just finished 40 days in the desert, fasting, While Satan tempted him.  The bible is full of wry understatements, it says earlier in this passage: “he was hungry.”  While you can only survive three days without water, you can only go 40 days without food.  This means that he was very near death before Satan left him and the angels came to tend to him.  We don’t know if the angels instantaneously healed him or nursed him slowly back to health.  We do know that they stayed with him long enough to give him the news that John was in prison.

This is significant, because it ushers in the beginning of his ministry.

The inaugural speech for this time in history was written generations ago, by Isaiah.  “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.”  In this verse, Isaiah quotes a psalm  written by King David, generations before HIS time.  Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Application:

We all live in the valley of the shadow of death.  We all know darkness.  But some of you reading today may be so overshadowed, that you can’t tell which side is up.  You may feel like you can’t navigate through your situation, that the darkness is too debilitating to function.

In John 16:33  Jesus says that “in this life you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!”  Isaiah, in the reference we read today says “a new light has dawned”

I beg you to take your crisis to the Lord.  Let Him turn on the lights in your path.

When you stumble in the dark for too long, you stop looking up.  It’s hard to hope, plan, vision, and imagine when you are so defeated that you can’t take your eyes off yourself.

Prayer:

Father, I am so grateful that you have overcome the world.  I pray you increase the hope of those who are reading today, that you would use the rod and staff of your word to guide an goad them into the light.  Amen.

 

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