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August 28 I Friday

Psalms 123-125

1 Corinthians 10:1-18

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the Word…”   —2 Timothy 4:1-2

 

Paul’s final words to Timothy carry an intense imperative as he calls on the presence of God and Christ Jesus to compel Timothy’s attention to the most important thing: preach the Word. In light of eternity, Timothy is to give himself fully to preaching of the Word.

If we were to look around our world today, preaching is oftentimes looked down upon. I was curious so I went to Webster’s Dictionary online for a definition of “preaching” and it says, “to give moral or religious advice, especially in a tiresome manner.” Feeling somewhat discouraged by that description,
I thought I would look at another source, so I went to Dictionary.com and it says, “to give earnest advice, as on religious or moral subjects or the like; to do this in an obtrusive or tedious way.” From these definitions, it does not seem like modern culture looks upon preaching with a positive emotion.

For 18 years, I was an urban missionary, working with gang-entrenched youth throughout the city. When I meet new people, friends or neighbours, after about 20 or 30 minutes of small talk, the inevitable question will come up in the conversation: “What do you do for a living?” My response would be, “Well, I am employed in a faith-based organization that works with gang-entrenched youth, helping them get life back on track.” These people would be intrigued and all kinds of interesting conversations would emerge. In the last few years, I became a pastor. I remember when I was on a ski trip one time; after a full day of skiing, we sat in the hot tub with a large group of people. The inevitable question came up 45 minutes later and I responded, “I’m a pastor.” Someone would have thought I just said, “I’m a serial killer” or something, because the initial reaction was people just froze. I could see their minds going, “How many times did I just swear in the last 45 minutes? What was I talking about?”

Even though our culture looks at the role of the preacher with a “do not give me any moral or religious advice” attitude, it should not stop us from heeding to the words of Paul to Timothy: preach the Word. The late C. H. Spurgeon, who was known as the “Prince of Preachers,” once said, “Preach not calmly and quietly as though you were asleep, but preach with fire and pathos and passion.” May we boldly preach the
Word, not a philosophy, not a truth, but the truth of Christ, that He is the only path, the one Mediator who reconciles man to God.

Prayer: Almighty God, even though the culture is wary of Your truth and Your ways, may I remain bold to preach Your Word in light of Christ’s return and Your kingdom. Thank You, God.


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