Sunday, January 1, 2006

The Year of the Favor of the LORD

And He [Jesus] was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
  Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
  He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
  And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:17-21)
Jesus came to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, that is, the year for God to show His favor. Ever since then, every year has been the year of favor of the LORD for all those who look to Him and claim it by faith. This year, 2006, is the year for God’s favor to show up in your life.
  • It is the year for the Holy Spirit of God to come upon you. Jesus promised, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8). This witness is the testimony of God’s great power and love in the work of Jesus Christ.
  • It is the year of anointing, that is, the year for burdens to be lifted and yokes to be destroyed (Isaiah 10:27). Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One. All authority in heaven and earth belongs to Him, and He has commissioned us to minister with this same anointing (Matthew 28:18-20).
  • It is the year for good news to be preached to the poor. Poverty is not good news, lack is no blessing. But the overflowing provision of God’s grace and power is wonderful news for all those who are poor in spirit, that is, those who trust in Him. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
  • It is the year of healing for the brokenhearted. Last year you may have felt defeated and crushed by the circumstances of life. You might be emotionally distraught or deeply depressed. But this year is your year. The LORD builds up His people; He gathers together the outcasts; He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:2). This is the year for restoration and wholeness.
  • It is the year to proclaim freedom for the captives. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Strongholds are broken, chains are loosed, addictions have no power over those who look to the Lord Jesus Christ and are born again by the Spirit of God.
  • It is the year for recovery of sight to the blind. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them …” BUT, “… It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 6).
  • It is the year of liberty for those who are oppressed—the bruised and broken, in body and spirit. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Sickness and disease come from the devil, not from God. God’s desire is to heal and restore—that is why Jesus came.
Today, in the year 2006, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!

If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, this is your year to experience the favor of God, to walk in His freedom and wholeness, even to experience His anointing and power to minister His freedom and wholeness to others. If you have not yet received the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the year of invitation. “Behold, now is the accepted time [the time of favor]; behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

(See also The Year of the Favor of the LORD)