ISAIAH 61:1-4: “The Spirit of the Almighty LORD is with me because the LORD has anointed me to deliver good news to humble people. He has sent me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to announce that captives will be set free and prisoners will be released. ⌊He has sent me⌋ to announce the year of the LORD’s good will and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all those who grieve. ⌊He has sent me⌋ to provide for all those who grieve in Zion, to give them crowns instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of ⌊tears of⌋ grief, and clothes of praise instead of a spirit of weakness. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, the Plantings of the LORD, so that he might display his glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will restore the places destroyed long ago. They will renew the ruined cities, the places destroyed generations ago.” (GW‬)

OBSERVATION: The Holy Spirit makes the difference! What can renew our mind, illuminate truth to our heart, empower us in times of weakness, deliver us from bondage, and restore our lives? The answer is – the power of the Holy Spirit! Apart from the Holy Spirit we are simply trying to serve God in our own strength. We are trying to accomplish the will of God through mere human efforts and ingenuity. Rather than inspiration we will depend on perspiration. Without the Holy Spirit we will honor effort more than prayer, and trust in formulas more than grace. 

The Holy Spirit makes the difference!

A common fact that we need to continually remind ourselves of is the place of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ ministry. When Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove. Jesus then went to the temple, took the scroll of Isaiah, and read these verses. When He concluded His reading He said,

  • “…This passage came true today when you heard me read it.”” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:21‬ ‭GW‬‬)

Jesus, fully God and fully man, was filled with the Holy Spirit before He began His earthly ministry. Every step Jesus took, every word Jesus spoke, every prayer Jesus prayed – was directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Many wonder why the ministry of Jesus was so effective. Was it because He was God? No, when Jesus came to the earth He had emptied Himself of all of His Godly attributes and power (read Philippians 2). Rather, it was because Jesus, without sin, fully devoted to the Father, fully surrendered to the Word – was able to walk perfectly and completely in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit makes the difference!

We too are called to walk in the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit! Unlike Jesus, none of us can do that perfectly, and none of us has the Spirit without measure within ourselves. However, together, as the Body of Christ, we have all the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit available to us. We enter into this fullness when we walk in true humility of heart, and in true dependence upon the Spirit of God in everything that we do. As a church we need to recognize the Spirit within each person, and embrace the tapestry of gifts that He has placed within the Body of Christ. We cannot do this alone. The call to walk in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit is a call for the church, more than it is a call for the individual.

  • “That is why you are no longer foreigners and outsiders but citizens together with God’s people and members of God’s family. You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone. In him all the parts of the building fit together and grow into a holy temple in the Lord. Through him you, also, are being built in the Spirit together with others into a place where God lives.” (‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:19-22‬ ‭GW‬‬)

The Holy Spirit makes the difference!

Lord, forgive me for the times I have relied on my own wisdom or strength, rather than on the power of the Holy Spirit. Forgive me for the times I felt I could do it alone, apart from Your Spirit, and without the ministry and gifts of those in the church. Guard me from trusting in formulas and methods, rather than the personal and individual revelation of Your Spirit. Fill me anew this morning so that the Holy Spirit can make a difference – in me!  Remind me each and every day,

The Holy Spirit makes the difference!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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