Preacher Irony

From http://i-heart-god.com/
    From http://i-heart-god.com

It is the primary job of the preacher to preach the Word. Most preachers are speaking four or more times per week, demanding a great deal of preparation. I know some are more gifted than others in presentation, but most of the preachers I know spend a lot of time trying to do their best with the one message that the whole world needs to hear.

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

This means sometimes preachers have to speak about things that might be uncomfortable … or even pointed. Correction is not something most grown ups enjoy. But the spiritual minded among us would rather hear what God has to say and make needed changes than to just be soothed when there is a real problem. Of course many do not want to be confronted about needed changes, and so tune out or find another preacher who doesn’t bother their conscience.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. ~2 Timothy 4:3

But the instruction of Scripture is to carry on, preach the Word, and to not be deterred from your mission.

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. ~2 Timothy 4:4

So one of the ironies of preaching is that there are messages that need to be preached, and some important things that need to be said,  and the people who most need them are not present to hear them. These are not opinions or self-focused homilies … they are needful teachings from the Scriptures. And they are things that one observes if they were followed would produce a better result in life than the self-directed paths we are all tempted to take.

Patriarchs …priests … prophets … and preachers … God had a way in mind to convey His Word. But the ears and hearts have to be present for the Word to be received. It is ironic that many who have the most to gain and who have invested the most in the plan to have the Word proclaimed are not present to hear it.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? ~ Romans 10:14

Thanks for reading!

John