“Preach the Word, preach the cross
Preach redemption to a lost and dying world
Lift your voice unashamed, in the power of His name
Until all have heard…
Preach the Word”
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke,
exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” – 2 Timothy 4:2
The month of October is known as “Pastor Appreciation Month.” Specifically, today (Oct. 14th) is also “Pastor Appreciation Sunday.” It is a day to honor those who are faithfully serving the church, preaching the Gospel and encouraging the saints. So, if there are any pastors/preachers out there reading this post today (or any other day!), I want to personally thank you for dedicating your life to the ministry – keep up the good work, ya’ll are making a difference!
On the other hand, I’d like to point out that we can be an encouragement to our pastors and church leaders by preaching the Word in our circle of influence. I see this taking place in “our kind of music” all the time. If a Gospel singer isn’t an ordained minister, we probably wouldn’t call them a pastor, yet, they are using their lives for the same purpose – to spread the message of Christ Jesus. Therefore, I must conclude, that if a Gospel singer can preach, encourage and see souls saved – so can we! The Lord has told us in His Word that we are to be involved with other Believers, encouraging them, and being a witness for Him among the lost. There must be a great deal of encouragement given to church leaders when they see their flock following their example, and taking the Gospel to places they can’t go themselves. Yet, that’s a big responsibility! Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the “spiritual work” that surrounds us, and sometimes, we don’t know where to start. What do we preach? How do we preach? Questions like these can be daunting, but let’s look at two areas where we can start.
What then, do we preach? Paul cried out in 1 Corinthians 11:16, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” So the first place to begin would simply be, preach the Gospel! Yet, among the children of God, there are disputes as to what method of presenting the Gospel is most affective and sometimes we even argue as to what the “Gospel” really is. So let’s make this even simpler – just preach Christ. Paul explained the importance of this to the Corinthians, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:1-2) Ya’ know, sometimes I think that un-believers are turned off by Christianity ‘cause they see so many different “versions” of Jesus in today’s denominations. Truth is, there won’t be any denominations in heaven! Many times have I heard Believers boast in the denomination that they belong to, and though I also, love my church dearly, let’s remember what Paul said in Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” So when we do preach, let’s keep the focus on Christ, why He came and what He did on Calvary.
Secondly, how do we preach? While listening to the Gospel Greats program this weekend, I heard Steve Ladd say it best, “How you act, how you talk, preaches to everybody.” How we conduct ourselves in the work place, school, around family and friends will speak louder than words. If we say we follow Christ, then we need to act like Him! The Scriptures show us the do’s and don’ts. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32 Wow, that’s quite a list! There is another verse in chapter five that says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And one of my favorite verses is found in Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” All of these verses have one major theme when it comes to living – be positive! I don’t know many people who like being around someone who is always prophesying doom for tomorrow and trying to dampen the day with negative thoughts! Rather, I find myself drawn to Believers who are happy in spite of their circumstances. Those who are realistic, yet, positive. Which gets me thinking…if we preach that God is the most wonderful person in the world (and He IS), but walk around and grumble about all the bad things going on – well, others will see that our lives aren’t matching up with our words. How we preach will be determined by how we live our lives.
So my conclusion is this: preach Jesus Christ and Him alone, and live a life that proves He is all that He says He is! After all, it’s all about Him!