Luke 4:18,19,22 – "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." All spoke well of [Jesus] and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
A friend of mine shared his credentials outside his church for all to see in the village of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia (you have to go to British Columbia now to see if he is still doing this). On the sign he is referred to as the Rev. Clay Kuhn, B.S., M.Div, N.G. That title at the beginning of his name (Rev.), and the letters at the end declare the authority by which he preaches. The B.S. letters declare his competency (I hope!), the M.Div. letters proclaim his permission to preach. And the letters N.G.? Clay says that they stand for Nice Guy — and maybe that too is part of his authority to preach.
Today I can only bear witness to the Living Word, Jesus Christ, from whom I receive the written word, this gospel, as a treasure. And when I proclaim this gospel, this word about the will of the Lord, how is it received? If we can't see behind and beyond the words to the living Christ, then we are all in trouble – you, me, the church, and maybe above all, this world. The word is sent out, and whatever else happens, it does not come back void or empty. Every Christian has the ability to share this sacred word and bear witness to the Living Word. That authority was given to us by Jesus to continue his ministry. Ask yourself what credentials you possess for proclaiming the gospel, and then go and do likewise.
Prayer: Help me serve you faithfully today, and when I can, let me share your gospel, declare your love, and be your servant, as Christ has been servant to me. Amen.