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How to Proclaim Jesus (Devotional 1 of 2)

Daily Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-2

Scripture Focus: Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1.5)

Devotional Thought: I am so thankful that my spiritually formative years were shaped by Rev. Nelson Perdue, a powerful, spirit-filled, and passionate preacher. His example has formed my conception of ministry from that day until this. He proclaimed the gospel in the manner of the Apostle Paul:

• Not only in word. It is purported that St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words." I understand the sentiment of that, but it really is not biblical. When St. Paul of the Bible said, "It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe," he was speaking of preaching the Word. Paul preached the Word. We must speak and bear witness to Jesus.

• But also in power. But, Paul didn't depend on his words alone. He knew that he needed power. He preached in power. I need power to preach, also. And, you need power to be his witness.

• In the Holy Spirit. Where does that power come from? Jesus said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you" (Acts 1.8). Jesus urged his disciples to receive the Spirit (John 20.22). We are to ask for the Spirit (Luke 11.13). We have not, because we ask not!

• With full conviction. Paul preached with conviction because he was convinced! He had met Jesus on the road to Damascus. He really met him. Jesus changed his life. Like the disciples before him, he was so convinced of the truth of Jesus' resurrection, that he staked his life on it. That's how you and I need to testify, too. We do that when we are with him, really with him.

Prayer: Lord, help me to speak with courage, in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction. Fill me with your Spirit so that I may proclaim you with boldness and effectiveness. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 27.7-10

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;

be gracious to me and answer me!

8 You have said, “Seek my face.”

My heart says to you,

“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

9 Hide not your face from me.

Turn not your servant away in anger,

O you who have been my help.

Cast me not off; forsake me not,

O God of my salvation!

10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,

but the Lord will take me in.

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