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Summary: “And no doubt you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him” Acts 10:38.

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Theme: The anointed One brings healing and peace

Text: Is. 42:1-9; Acts 10:34-38; Mark 1:4-11

Good News can only be appreciated in times of difficulties and troubles. When everything is fine we do not really appreciate any good news and take whatever happens for granted. This is one reason why a trying situation makes it possible to appreciate good news. We should actually see such situations as a chance for triumph and victory. What seems to be a mess should actually offer the opportunity for correction, even for a miracle to occur. All of us have gone through trying situations in life and these should have been times of opportunity. It is when we are in difficult places and desperate situations that we value good news, especially in hopeless situations. Some of us may even find ourselves in such a situation today. It is in this situation that we can really appreciate the good news. The situation could be a dying marriage or a dying loved one. It could be a wayward child or an unfaithful spouse. It could be unemployment or homelessness. It could be we are in a place where we are struggling for our lives, either fighting poor health or fighting powers and principalities in high places. We may have been looking for a way out and some of us have given in to our pain and misery. Some of us may have given in to discouragement and doubt and given up all hope of seeing a change in our condition. But God has provided the means to change our situation and this is really Good News. He has sent the Anointed One to bring healing and peace.

The anointed One is a title ascribed to Jesus Christ. Christ or the Messiah means the Anointed One. Jesus experienced in a deep, inward and personal way the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ demonstrated this power in His life and ministry by transforming the lives of those who were sick or found themselves in hopeless situations. The anointing brings God to us and brings us to God. It brings us into the depths of God, the holiness of God and the power of God. The anointing brings a new dimension of reality and life to the Christian experience. It is this reality that makes us focus on God no matter our situation and gives us the right perspective of life. The anointing is accompanied by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and comes with a humbling realisation that God desires to infuse His power into our human frame. God is a God of power and purpose. There is a purpose for our creation and that purpose is to glorify God.

Each one of us needs a realisation of the will of God. This is only possible through the Holy Spirit. He works in ways not unlike our own, which should not surprise us if we are connected to Him as our Creator. Deep encounters between human beings usually depend on seemingly small things to begin with. It could be a fleeting glance, one warm word, and a smile in our direction or something that makes contact in a personal way and opens our hearts to the possibility of deeper contact. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. He speaks in quiet personal ways. Sometimes He has a special word for us. It may come through something we hear or read, perhaps in the Scriptures. He often whispers to us in our circumstances. Sometimes He shouts to us in our pain. The Holy Spirit is not short on ways to make us aware that He has something to say. Christ wants us to experience the reality of His power and His anointing in the Holy Spirit. It is this reality that will make us want to glorify God at all times, in all places and in all situations.

When we speak about the Holy Spirit we are speaking about a person who speaks to us personally. This means that He can communicate and make Himself real to us. Although we do not necessarily see Him, He is real and can make a great impression on our lives through our inner being. The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity. Our relationship with the Holy Spirit should be sincere. In our relationship with each other, some are superficial. The relationship that is deeper and enduring is the one that is sincere. These are the ones that stir up our spirits and leave a lasting impact on our lives. As persons we have the capacity to decide what kind of relationship we want. We can open or close our inner being to one another and to the Holy Spirit.

Just imagine walking down the street and you come across someone you know but to be truthful you cannot stand. What do you do when that person greets you? You cannot just ignore the person and pretend he or she has not said anything. You respond to the greeting, smile, say a few words and probably shake hands. Although some exchange has taken place, no deep personal encounter took place because you have already decided to keep yourself closed to that possibility. On the other hand imagine seeing someone on the same street you admire greatly. You greet each other with the same handshake and the same conversation but something very different happens. It is as if a deep spiritual meeting had taken place. Perhaps it is only for a minute and then you leave but it seems as if part of you had gone with the person. Our friendship and openness to the Holy Spirit should show a depth of personal commitment. The Holy Spirit as a person has the same capacity to open Himself into a situation or to withhold Himself from it. He is right inside our life situations, communicating with us, opening Himself to us and looking for us to open ourselves to Him in response.

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