Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
I pray you are knowing and experiencing the love and grace of Christ this week. In Christ we are new creations. The old has passed away and we have put on the new man. Praise the Lord that we are not who we once were; but at the same time we are not yet what we will be. The Lord is shaping us – he is molding us – he is changing us more into the image of his son. And the ‘finished product’ will not be realized until we are glorified in the New Heavens and the New Earth. This is our hope. Eternal life in glory with our Savior and King! I pray you know this hope today!
A few announcements:
- We rejoice with the Pastoreks in the birth of their son, Silas!
- Remember our congregational meeting this Sunday immediately following worship.
- We will meet at 7:00 at the Perkins tonight for our prayer meeting. Their address is 8830 Ballinger, Houston, 77064.
- This week’s devotion is a reflection from 2 Timothy on the preaching of the word.
God bless and I look forward to worshipping with you this Lord’s Day.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Preach the Word”
2 Timothy 4:1-2a, “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.”
The end is near. The Apostle Paul is facing death. The ‘time of his departure’ is at hand (2 Tim 4:6). And he pens his final letter to his dear son in the faith, Timothy. And what would be his final instructions to the young Timothy? To preach the word. After expounding the sinful and tumultuous times in which we live (3:1-9), Paul sets forth the Scriptures as the solution to mankind’s plight (vv. 10-17). As he writes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (vv. 16-17).
But the question remains … how is this breathed out word to be communicated to men? What is to be done with this breathed out word? Paul tells us: “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” (4:1-2a). The word of God is to be preached. It is to be declared. It is to be proclaimed. It is to be heralded. Notice also the charge Paul gives to Timothy thereby underscoring the gravity of the call to preach the word. He ‘charges’ him in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus. The preaching of the word is not something that is secondary to the life of the church, but rather it is the very lifeblood of the church. Simply put, no faithfully and powerfully preached word, no church.
And why is Paul so zealous for Timothy to preach the word ‘in season and out of season’? Why is Paul so burdened – even with his imminent death – that the word of God be boldly proclaimed? Because the word of God is living and active! Because the word of God is the power of God unto salvation! And as Paul states elsewhere, “How them will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:14, 17). Indeed the faithful and powerful proclamation of the word of God has been the hallmark of the church from the beginning. The prophets preached the word. The apostles preached the word. Christ himself preached the word (he preached himself!). The early church fathers preached the word. The Reformers preached the word. And today, all over the globe, God’s servants preach his word.
Two final applications: pray for your pastors. Pray that they would heed Paul’s command to preach the word. Pray that they would boldly, diligently, humbly, clearly, and powerfully proclaim the gospel of Christ. And second, put yourself under the preached word. Submit yourself to the word. Hear the word preached and pray the Spirit to impress it on your heart. Pray for a humble and willing spirit to be changed and transformed by the preaching of God’s word week after week!
Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC), www.csopc.org