"He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come." Luke 4:18b-19

In my quiet time today I read about when Jesus returns to Nazareth, where he grew up, and spoke over the scrolls in the synagogue. I cannot imagine the mood in the room, the hush as he spoke, everyone listening so intently. Whether they realized who he was or not, his very presence must have left everyone with some sort of edge knowing there was something about him. He was the Word made flesh, God's Son come to save us. This Scripture is so inspiring, to know His purpose, to know that truly God is on our side. More than anything remembering what Jesus did for us on the cross, His death and resurrection gives us reason to celebrate our freedom in salvation, our joy and our greatest peace. There are those in the world who would love to prove it all myth, or just a story, and question how we can have such faith, such strong belief in something unseen. I can remember a time when I would have argued til my face turned red over the validity and strong evidence of Christ's life, death and resurrection. As I grow in my faith and embrace the Scripture before me, I know it is enough to believe and tell it to others, pointing them to the Word and to talk to God. In their search, I know the Holy Spirit will break through and shatter their unbelief. Only He can do that, we cannot save or convince anyone that they need to be saved: that is the Lord's job. We are messengers, tools to be used in the process. Some of us will be the first to share, others will fall somewhere in the middle of their journey, and a few of us will be blessed to be present when someone chooses to come to Christ. We cannot take the credit for any of it, we must look to the Lord and give Him all the thanks He is due. I hope I am convicted more each day to be useful for the Kingdom, stripping away my pride, my own agenda, my selfish motives and lay my life before the throne to be used by Him.
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