God, speak to me through Your Word.
Read 1 Timothy 5:17—6:2
17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”[b] 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.
6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.
False Teachers and the Love of Money
These are the things you are to teach and insist on.
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.
ReflectDo you pray for your pastor regularly?
Leadership in a church can be a uniquely lonely place. There are few other jobs in which not only are your skills scrutinized, but also your character, your integrity and your family! We should pray for our church leaders, and our default attitude towards them should be supportive and encouraging (17–19). Do your church leaders know you’re behind them? Why is this so important? In part, because their job is keeping the church on the right track as the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (3:15; 17b). But also, because their mistakes affect the whole church.
In the Ephesian church, the leadership needed sorting out. Some of the elders had certainly been involved in the false teaching (1:3–7; 5:20), and some might have been involved (19), so careful and impartial action was required (20,21). I knew a minister who consistently taught Jesus was not God, nor died for sin; his denomination should have taken action. Some Ephesian elders would need to be replaced (“laying on of hands” was the commissioning ceremony for new elders—4:14; Acts 13:3). Paul warns, if you place someone you know is not fit for the task in a position of leadership, you implicate yourself in their sin (22). So be careful in your choice—candidates’ flaws are not always easy to spot (24), but neither, always, is the potential of quality individuals (25; but remember 3:1–13).
Make it a point to ask your pastor or other church leaders this week how you can help them. Maybe it’s bringing a meal, giving the couple a date night or just writing a note of encouragement.
If the church is to be “the pillar and foundation of the truth,” quality leadership is essential. Pray for your church leaders now.
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