November 1: 2 Tim 4
November 1, 2010
"Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season: reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching"- II Timothy 4:2
Last Monday I got together with several other men with whom I went to seminary thirty years ago. It was an informal reunion built around the visit of Peter, a Korean student in our class. I expected a laid-back evening of reminiscing, but instead I was deeply moved by Peter's testimony. He had returned to America for the first time after all these years, sent by the church that he had founded and still led, in order to thank the Americans who had helped him so much. Peter's zeal was evident, and he questioned us: "Do you remember when the faculty hosted our class for a graduation dinner?" Most of us vaguely remembered the occasion. "Do you remember what our homiletics professor said that evening?" Blank stares met his fiery eyes. Then Peter mimicked Mr. Harding's walk and voice: "PREACH THE WORD!" After all the other speeches of the evening, just three words: "PREACH THE WORD!"
For thirty years these words of Paul had rung in Peter's ears. Second Timothy is the final impassioned plea of the aging apostle to his child in the faith. From the depths of prison and the gates of eternity Paul pours out his heart to young Timothy. And the most urgent command was this- Preach the Word! If the gospel is the power of God unto salvation unto all who believe, then the most important work of the Christian servant is to declare it to all. Period. Nothing else is more important, especially for a pastor.
I drove home that night thinking about the last thirty years. What have I done? In the endless round of committee meetings, church activities, programs and visits, have I preached the Word? Have I done "the work of the evangelist" (verse 5)?
And how about you? In whatever your calling, you are to participate in the spreading of the gospel, in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.. What have you done today to preach the Word?