In the last few years of his life my Dad and I spoke with each other more than we did in the earlier years of my adult life. We didn’t talk to each other every week, but when we did it was most often on a Saturday. Our conversations were primarily about church work and preaching. Dad would always ask me what I was preaching about the next day and I would in turn ask him what he was preaching.
Dad would usually ask me if I had heard about a certain illustration or if I was going to use a specific passage of Scripture in the lesson. It’s been two years since we’ve had one of those conversations and I sure wish I could have that discussion with him again.
This Sunday tens of thousands of preachers will stand before churches all around the world to preach. Various topics and texts will be used to present sermons to encourage, challenge, convince, and convict those who hear them.
There is one clear mandate in Scripture that should guide every man who attempts to preach. It is the mandate given by Paul to his young protégé, Timothy.
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
In this passage:
We are reminded of the serious nature of our task. “I solemnly charge you…” The preaching event is not something to be taken lightly.
We are reminded of the presence of our Lord. When we preach we stand before God of the Universe and the Savior of all men. We should be reminded that He will be with us, but also that He is listening.
We are reminded of the accountability involved. The judge of the universe will judge both those who preach and those who listen.
We are reminded of the need to be prepared. “Be ready…” Preaching sermons that make a difference in the lives of those who listen takes a great amount of time and energy. Brothers, no one knows how much time you have put into your message other than you and the Lord. It is impossible for people who have never preached to appreciate how much is involved in preparing a sermon.
We are reminded of when we are to preach the Word of God. “…In season and out of season…” This statement simply means that we are to preach the Word of God all the time. There is never a time we should lay aside the Word of God and replace it with anything else.
We are reminded of how we are to preach the Word of God. “…Reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction.” There is a positive side and a negative side to how we are to preach. However at all times we are to have exhibit “great patience.”
By the way, if I could talk to my dad I would tell him I’m preaching about the family. My goal is to take the Word of God and apply it to how families can be stronger as well as grow in their faith.
What are you preaching this week? Whatever topic or text you are preaching be certain that you are guided by the Word of God. God will be pleased, sinners will be converted, the church will be encouraged, and you will be blessed. PREACH THE WORD, BROTHERS!
Dear Father in Heaven, may those of us who stand to preach tomorrow make sure that we are guided by Your Word. Help us to never forget the importance of preaching. Help us to do everything we can to preach in such a way that people will hear a Word from You. Give us strength for the task. May the words of our mouths be acceptable in Thy sight. In Jesus Blessed Name, Amen.