Gracious God, as I read your Word today, show me where I need to apply it to my walk with you.
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[a] 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.
- 1 Timothy 3:4 Or him with proper
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.
Allow God to give you ears today to hear his voice.
I’m a fan of The West Wing, a fictional television series depicting the inner workings of the White House. Whenever a potential candidate is identified for a leadership role, investigations always follow to identify past scandals that may preclude an appointment. Typically, any such misdemeanor fits into one of the categories Paul details here. The more success one may enjoy, the more one’s character may be subject to scrutiny. This holds too within the church, as in the arenas of politics and industry. Sadly, some high-profile contemporary Christian leaders have succumbed in areas of moral failure and perhaps neglected the fact that it is ‘God’s church’ (v 5) under their care.
Today we find the second of Paul’s ‘trustworthy sayings’ to Timothy. The first pertained to salvation,1 this one to leadership. We may not readily use the word overseer in our context, but it may be understood as an ‘elder’ or perhaps ‘bishop.’ What is evident is that such a position of authority within the church is a high calling and one that should not be taken lightly. Paul details ten requirements necessary to be qualified (‘above reproach’) for such a task (vs 2,3). There’s no mention of academic prowess, rather it is conduct and integrity that matter. Paul is more concerned with highlighting the character of, rather than the ecclesiastical duties of, the overseer. There’s a danger for those of us who are not overseers to regard this as a list representing a level of holiness required for clergy and not the ordinary Christian. While some of us may not set our hearts on the ‘noble task’ Paul is addressing, we are nevertheless called to set our hearts on the character and conduct emphasized.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.2 Review the conduct highlighted in today’s passage and seek God for help in any area you need it.
Thank you, Lord God, for my spiritual leaders. Protect, equip, and direct them.
1 1 Tim 1:15 2 1 Thess 4:11
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