I am a preacher. So are you, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. We all are, whether we want to be or not: our lives preach a sermon to everyone around us.
But what kind of sermon are we preaching?
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he gives a charge that is applicable for all believers of all time: preach the Word.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
He gives this charge in the presence of witnesses (God and Christ Jesus). Think about the significance of having witnesses: we have them at our weddings, at inaugurations, at contract signings. And whoever the witnesses may be, the one(s) receiving the charge are essentially made accountable to those witnesses. And here, the witnesses are God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We are accountable, not to Paul or Timothy, not to our parents or our preachers, but to GOD Himself and to the LORD Jesus Christ. We are accountable before them to preach the Word.
So how do we preach it? Obviously, we are not all called to stand in a pulpit and deliver a sermon before a congregation on Sundays and Wednesdays. Nor are we all called to go overseas somewhere and live in a little village and preach to unsaved foreigners. But we are each to be preaching with our lives, by the way we live before God and man.
This starts by preaching to ourselves. We preach to ourselves when we spend time in the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to move us and convict us of sin. We preach to ourselves when we meditate on the words of Scripture. We preach to ourselves when we “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Preaching the Word must begin by preaching to self.
But it doesn’t stay there; we are to extend our preaching to reach others. We literally are living a sermon to those around us – many of whom may have no other contact with true believers. We each have our own sphere of influence among family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers that nobody else has. We can reach people that no one else has access to. And we are preaching to them by our words and our actions and our attitudes. We are living a testimony before them every single day.
The question remains, what are you preaching? What sermon is your life sharing with those in your sphere of influence?
We are commanded to preach the Word . . . the Word, the whole Word, and nothing but the Word. And we can only be doing that if we first know the Word. We must be inundating our minds with Scripture, meditating on it day and night, guiding our every word and thought by it, before we can begin to properly preach it. We must spend time in the Word in order to know the Word. And we must know the Word in order to preach it to ourselves and to others.
So here it is again: what are you preaching?