Today's Word for Pastors...
[The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Fred Craddock shook the homiletical world nearly 40 years ago with his book As One Without Authority. Citing that book in his recent commencement address at Southern Baptist Seminary, Al Mohler goes on to remind us Craddock's title does not adequately describe those who faithfully proclaim God's Word:
"The preacher's authority is a delegated authority, but a real authority. We are assigned the task of feeding the flock of God, of teaching the church, of preaching the Word. We do not speak as one who possesses authority, but as one who is called to serve the church by proclaiming, expounding, applying and declaring the Word of God. We are those who have been called to a task and set apart for mission; as vessels who hold a saving message even as earthen vessels hold water.
"Our authority is not our own. We are called to the task of preaching the Bible, in season and out of season. We are rightly to divide the Word of truth, and to teach the infinite riches of the Word of God. There are no certainties without the authority of the Scripture. We have nothing but commas and question marks to offer if we lose confidence in the inerrant and infallible Word of God. There are no thunderbolts where the Word of God is subverted, mistrusted or ignored.
"The crowds were astonished when they heard Jesus, 'for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.' Congregations are starving for the astonishment of hearing the preacher teach and preach on the authority of the Word of God. If there is a crisis in preaching, it is a crisis of confidence in the Word. If there is a road to recovery, it will be mapped by a return to biblical preaching." (Click here to read the entire address.)
This Christmas, we celebrate not only the gift of the Christ child, but the privilege of proclaiming His truth to a lost world. Merry Christmas!
"An old pioneer traveled westward across the great plains until he came to an abrupt halt at the edge of the Grand Canyon. He gawked at the sight before him: a vast chasm one mile down, 18 miles across, and more than 100 miles long! He gasped, 'Something musta happened here!'
"A visitor to our world at Christmastime, seeing the lights, decorations, trees, parades, festivities and religious services, also probably would say,'Something must have happened here!' Indeed, something did happen. God came to our world on the first Christmas" (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited).
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