Devotion – Jan. 2011

Last Friday I spent the whole day learning about public speaking.  We learned about gestures.  We learned about posture.  We learned how to organize speeches.  We learned about establishing credibility.  Establishing credibility is what a speaker does to make the audience believe him.  He may establish credibility by telling about his education, his experience or his position.  Establishing credibility is an important part of speaking.

There is an advent story about credibility.   I am thinking of the angel Gabriel appearing to Zacharias to tell Zacharias about the John the Baptist.  You know the story.  Zacharias had a problem didn’t he?  Zacharias didn’t believe Gabriel.  Zacharias said “How can I know this is true.”  This is always a striking picture for me – a man, asking an angel to establish credibility.  Gabriel went along with it.  Gabriel started with “I am Gabriel,” and that would have established a lot of credibility.  Gabriel was God’s special messenger angel.  Gabriel is only mentioned 4 times in the bible:  twice in Daniel, once appearing to Mary to tell Mary she would be the mother of Jesus, and here appearing to Zacharias.  The name Gabriel carried a lot of credibility.  Gabriel did not stop there.  He went on.  Gabriel said “I stand in the presence of God and I am sent to bring you this news.  Gabriel built his credibility on two facts – God was with him, and he was sent.

Sometimes I think I need to establish more credibility.  I think all of us feel this way sometimes.  We doubt our own credibility.  We have opportunities to tell people about our Savior and we hesitate.  We hesitate because we think it is not the right time or place.  We think we don’t have the right words.  We think people don’t want to hear our message.  When we hesitate, we need to remember that God gives us all the credibility we need.  Think of Jesus words, “Lo I am with you always” and “Go and teach all nations.”  God is with us, and we are sent.  Next time you hesitate, and doubt your credibility, remember that God has established our credibility the same way Gabriel established his.   God is with us and we are sent.