Some folks have difficulty with the expression ‘preach’ as if it meant nagging. We might hear someone say, “Don’t preach at me!” If we were to take them literally, they are actually saying, “Don’t proclaim good news to me!” That’s the true definition of preach, to proclaim good news: Quite frankly, I’m rather fond of the idea. You can preach at me anytime! And I certainly won’t be insulted should you call me a preacher! To be a bearer of good news is an honor, and it’s also a blast. All things considered, I’d rather be a preacher than a prophet. It seems prophets were usually the bearers of bad news. They generally warned idolaters and backsliders of impending wrath. They said things like, “Get it together or else!” Read Isaiah for example. There are some tasty nuggets in that book to be sure, but many of the verses would be frightening if you ever found them on a greeting card. They are not what we’d normally consider as inspirational. The same is true for Jeremiah. Then there was Jonah who told the Ninevites, “In 40 days you’re all history!” Who wants that job? Not even Jonah wanted it. Ah, but to be a preacher! “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7) I’ll sign up for that job any ol’ day! The business of preachers is to bring good tidings and to proclaim salvation. Ours is not a message of doom, but deliverance and hope. The good news we preach is Jesus Christ! Jesus saves! Preachers find themselves in excellent company. The original preacher was God Himself. The first time the word ‘proclaim’ is mentioned in the Bible is in Exodus 33:19 where God says, “I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee.” This announcement was first made millennia ago by the Most High. It has resonated unto every generation since then. It sounds forth even today. And the name of the Lord is still good news!
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