Lord, I pray that I may know Your Word better each day and live by it more consistently, too.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 3:1-13
 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.  Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,  not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)  He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.  He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.  Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.  They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.  They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.  A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.  Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow would you characterize these standards Paul sets out?
During one of Billy Graham’s missions, Bill Clinton, the former US president, commented that Billy Graham lived out his faith all the time. Billy’s Christian life was not restricted to when he was at church or preaching at a crusade. Every Christian, even those not in a leadership role, needs to follow and serve God 24/7.
Verse 2 lists qualities needed to be a church leader. Some of these, such as being cool-minded, self-controlled and avoiding too much alcohol, apply to all Christians. Others, such as being able to teach, apply more specifically to church leaders, since teaching is an important part of their function. It can be extremely hard to lead a Christian family in today’s secular and multi-faith world. Guiding your children so that they behave well is a tough task. Paul makes a wise point in v. 5: how can someone run the wider church family if they struggle to run their own?
None of us is perfect and we can all let down God sometimes, but we should strive to live consistent lives, following what’s written in the Bible.
Which of these qualities applies to you? Ask God how you can put them more into practice today.
Lord, I know you have high standards for all Your followers. Help me to live up to them more fully.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.