Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
MTVEA: Do the Work of an Evangelist2nd Timothy 4:1–5
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction…do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all the duties of your ministry. (vs 2, 5b)
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul is concerned about the welfare of the churches during a time of persecution, and he admonishes Timothy to guard the Gospel, to persevere in it, to keep on preaching, and, if necessary, to suffer for it. Paul gives us a look into the five ‘W’s’ and one ‘H’ of preaching the Word.
What is to be preached? Paul exhorts Timothy and us, as members of the church, that the preaching of the Word should continue to remain the principle and primary and pivotal focus of the ministry and the mission of our local Churches.
Who should preach? The word ‘preach’ in Greek means “to proclaim as a herald.” During Timothy’s time, rulers and kings had heralds who made public announcements. The herald served as a messenger with a proclamation not just to be heard but also to be heeded. In the same way, let us all be heralds who share the Word.
When to preach? Paul instructed Timothy as to when he should be prepared and ready to preach the Word. He was to be ever ready to present the Gospel. The preacher was encouraged to hold himself in a constant state of readiness to proclaim the Word boldly and gladly. There is no off or closed season for preaching. The message of God’s true Word is always needed by God’s people.
Where to preach? Timothy was to preach the Word where rebuke, reproof, correction, or encouragement was necessary. Although it is difficult to accept correction or to be told that we have to change, we must be willing to listen to it so that we can more fully obey God.
Why preach? The preaching of the Word is essential to the ministry of the universal church. When we consistently and faithfully preach the Word, we allow Christ to lead, teach, guide, provide, strengthen, and grow us into the people He wants us to be. Together with the help of the Holy Spirit, the proclamation of the Word produces His spiritual fruit in our lives and transforms us by His grace.
How to preach? Paul cautions us not to preach regarding ourselves but rather to preach Christ. Timothy was charged to preach the Word and not to preach politics, philosophy, patriotism, or any other particular passions. He was to preach the truth as it has been revealed in the Scriptures and to do so with long-suffering. He was to be extremely patient as he preaches the Word because he would not be able to see immediate or instant results. Spiritual maturity is only attained over time through the study and application of God’s word.
As we are all called to be evangelists, let us be reminded that our primary duty as witnesses for Christ is to preach the Word. Let us continue to preach the Gospel through our words and actions so that our lives may reflect our Savior and be a source of blessings to others.
Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus. - D. Elton Trueblood
Mrs. Neethi Prasad
Wife of Rev. Christopher P. Daniel,
Diocesan Program Manager and Vicar of Jerusalem MTC, Connecticut