John 17:20-23 – “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” NKJV
Jesus’ pray for the disciples was powerful and it is most encouraging that He intentionally stressed that His prayer was not for those hearing and following Him at that time but for future believers as well. He identified that this prayer was for them but also for all WHO WILL BELIEVE and then emphasized the importance and power of preaching.
My lament to the church is that we too often relegate the idea of ‘preaching’ to that activity in the pulpit on Sundays and at other times. Preaching is simply the ‘proclamation’ of the gospel and that can transpire anywhere, at any time, and under any conditions. The opportunity to ‘proclaim’ the gospel should be exhilarating to every believer regardless of their oratorical ability or lack thereof. We are instructed to “go” and “proclaim” to anyone and everyone the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some of the greatest preaching I have ever heard has come from believers who would cringe at the thought of standing in a pulpit and preaching. Yet, on the street corner, offices, homes, and restaurants some of them give a powerful presentation of the Gospel in the most simplistic terms and the anointing is powerful and the message gripping. Their lives so authenticate their words it reaches deep into the soul and arrests the hearer leaving them no choice but to receive or reject the conviction that floods their hearts and minds.
Please do not think that I am discounting our devaluing pulpit preaching for I have heard some incredibly powerful, enlightening, and arresting proclamations from that sacred desk as well and treasure those memories and experiences. The Word of God coupled with a life of Righteousness has a power to which nothing can compare.
The Word of God is, according to Hebrews 4:12, Alive, active, sharper than any man-made sword, and capable of penetrating to the very depths of the soul, judging and inspiring the heart. When God’s Word is verbalized and delivered orally it has a unique power and one that is sometimes missed or misunderstood. God’s Word in the mouth of God’s children is a mighty weapon of spiritual warfare. It provides spiritual nourishment and sustenance that can be received in no other place.
Therefore, let me encourage you to be unafraid to ‘proclaim’ the Word of God and know that when you speak His Word you are speaking Spiritual Power into the atmosphere, and when it is spoken in faith and confidence it pulls down strongholds, encourages hearts, breaks chains, and sets captives free. So, let’s do more and more PREACHING daily through our living!
God bless you as you continue your journey in Christ!