Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV).
Today’s Scripture text addresses what we must do, when we must do it, and how we must do it:
What we must do:
“Preach the word.” Preaching is unique. It’s not a talk about spiritual matters. It’s taking a stand with God’s Word and allowing God, by the Holy Spirit, to speak the Word through you. It involves challenging, warning and urging people (correct, rebuke, encourage). And it’s making the Scriptures the main point, not the footnote of what we’re saying.
When we must do it:
“In season and out of season.” That means when it’s favourable, and when it’s not! Preach the Word when you’re feeling down, and when you’re feeling up. Preach the Word when people say you can, and when people say you can’t. Preach the Word when it’s convenient and when it’s inconvenient. In God’s economy there is no good time or bad time for preaching the Word. And there’s no time out. God wants us to preach the Word all the time!
How we must do it:
“With great patience and careful instruction.” In other words, don’t quit and keep it simple. It’s a long obedience in the same direction. And we must do it graciously, thoughtfully, mercifully and faithfully while never losing sight of the fact that it’s not our words, but His Word we proclaim.
Are you preaching the Word? Secular society tells us to keep our faith private. Tolerance would have us believe that it’s wrong to proclaim God’s Word in the public square. Don’t listen to the Devils attempts to silence or marginalize the Word. We should proclaim divine truth wherever and whenever we can.
Do you want your friends and family to know Christ? Preach the word! Most people have never read the Bible in part or whole. To know the Word, people have to hear the Word. To hear the Word, someone has to proclaim the Word. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14 (NIV).