Thursday, February 13, 2014

Priority of Preaching

"Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2 NLT) 

Paul is likely writing his last letter to Timothy. His execution is imminent and he's teaching his son in the faith his last words.

"Preach the word of God" is his first exhortation. He prioritizes things for Timothy. 

Paul continues by telling him to be prepared all the time--no matter what the conditions are. He needs to be ready to preach whenever God gives him an opportunity.

Then Paul tells him how to preach. 

"Patiently correct, rebuke and encourage your people with good teaching." That speaks to the temptation to be impatient with people who hear but don't live the word. A lack of patience is a lack of love. ("Love is patient..." 1 Cor 13:4) That speaks to holding people accountable to live what has been taught. That also reminds him to encourage people who are likely to be discouraged. It reminds him that they are HIS people. And finally, it reminds him that his teaching should be good.

Our response should be the same. I should preach like Paul tells Timothy to. 

I need to be prepared to preach at any time. That comes from spending time in the word daily and then to go live out that word. I'm to make preaching the word a priority. I'm to do it patiently for MY people. MY flock. I'm to correct, rebuke and encourage my people to obey the word. 

Lord, make me a better prepared preacher. Move me to lovingly and patiently teach, correct, rebuke and encourage my people. Start by preaching to me and find me teachable and obedient. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.