“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2
When people hear the statement that they should preach the Word (the Bible) many start saying that they are not a preacher or a pastor. Others may say that is not their gifting. Preaching, in the way Paul is using it, is just a way of saying to tell other people the Word. To tell people what God’s Word says.
Believers are to be ready at all times to speak God’s Word to someone who needs to hear it. It is not just for Sunday mornings or just in the pulpit. God’s Word is applicable to everyday life for every person.
Three reasons are given for speaking God’s Word to someone: for correction, rebuke and encouragement.
Correction is for believers who are off slightly in their thinking about God’s ways. Some people will have beliefs that are not correctly aligned with the Bible. Sometimes these are just by mistake or misunderstanding. Knowing the Bible fully will help a person correct those mistakes.
Others will be defiantly doing things that God directly disapproves of. These people need to be rebuked. Let them know that what is being done is sin and God does not like it.
The third way is with encouragement. People go through tough times in life. Life can get depressing and difficult. Believers may know in their mind that God is helping them, but they need someone to encourage them to believe it. Giving them a piece of God’s Word showing that He is in control and loves them will go a long way for a person. It will build them up.
All of these ways of using God’s Word is to be done with a lot of patience and careful instruction. Do not beat someone over the head with God’s Word. Show God’s love and mercy to each person. Make sure that the Word you are speaking is correct and what the person needs to hear.
Read and study God’s Word. Be ready to tell someone what God has to tell them. Allow God to use you to correct, rebuke and encourage other believers and non-believers.
Do not be afraid to “preach,” it is just telling others what God wants to tell them.
I pray today that God will reveal to you His Word; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit in correctly using it; that you will not be afraid to tell others what God says; and that God will use you to touch the lives of others for Jesus.