“A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more” (Robert Murray M’Cheyne, 1813–1843). Get “on your knees” today.
Read 1 Timothy 3:1–7
Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
3 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat difference is there between the way others see you and who you truly are?
In the church, there can be a tendency to give leadership responsibilities to people who display some ability, a bit of commitment and some desire to do the task. If they’re keen, why not let them get on with it? But what is often overlooked is what Paul highlights to Timothy here: character. Paul’s focus is not on what overseers should be able to do but on who they ought to be. In an Ephesian church where some elders had gone a bit off the rails with their beliefs and teaching, this was undoubtedly doubly important.
For the church to be properly cared for (5) and to be a Gospel witness to the world (7; 3:15), leaders of sound doctrinal convictions (6:3) and mature relationship with God (6) are essential. Otherwise we risk false teaching in the church (1:3), or the hurting being let down (3:5) or failing to reach out to the lost (3:7).
In small churches, this can present a dilemma when jobs need to be done. What should we do in such circumstances? Maybe we need to look first at ourselves—are our convictions biblically sound, is our relationship with God close and growing, is our character worthy of full respect (4) and are we building relationships with others within the church that encourage them to the same end?
There is not one Bible for pastors and another for common believers. How does your life need to adjust when you line it up with Scripture?
Pray for the leaders in your church now.
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