DATE POSTED: Sunday, 2023-04-30
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Timothy 3:1-3
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)
BIBLE TEXT: This is a true saying: If a man is eager to be a church leader, he desires an excellent work. 2 A church leader must be without fault; he must have only one wife, be sober, self-controlled, and orderly; he must welcome strangers in his home; he must be able to teach; 3 he must not be a drunkard or a violent man, but gentle and peaceful; he must not love money;
OBSERVATION: Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul had important advice for Timothy as he searched for and indoctrinated leaders into churches he started and/or while ministering at some that Paul had already started. Surely God has not relaxed His qualifications because of the times we are in today, for the ‘times we are in’ churches seem to have merely relaxed their demands because of Satan’s push for less stringent rules. So, let’s not skip this aspect of the Scripture that we will come across as we commit to read, understand, and obey, the full Word of God.
APPLICATION: I would suggest that you click on the Bible reference above and read the full chapter, as I chose only a few verses to introduce the subject and remind you of the importance of obeying God and His teachings in this important aspect of His church. Let me say right at the very beginning of this study that every child of God has a place of ministry as they give witness to the God who saved them from a life of sin and eternal damnation. However, for those who will lead God’s church, He had Paul instruct how important it is that we get it right, at the very top of the chain of command. Having served for 47 years in the banking industry, I can assure you that the bank would not hire less than perfect individuals to serve in leadership positions in the bank. After all, can you imagine how thousands of bank customers would react if they became aware of an unworthy, unqualified, known criminal who was making leadership decisions over their hard-earned savings at the bank? Would it not be even more important that we make similar precautions when it comes to the leadership God’s church here on earth? Sure, we live in an imperfect world, but I had a pastor once say that he would choose to recommend that the church elect no deacons at all, if they couldn’t find biblically qualified deacons. Friends, we will be answerable to God if we choose leaders based on popularity, or their known financial worth, or a pushy individual who can demand quick decisions from a church. I have always heard of this Scripture, as it referred to Pastors, and in some cases, elders. However, one commentator said: ‘Because the words “bishop,” “pastor,” and “elder” are used interchangeably throughout the New Testament, Paul’s instructions concerning bishops apply to anyone who wants to be used by the Lord’. This makes more sense to me, because in most churches church leaders other than the pastor, give advice and/or direction to the pastor. It would therefore be important that such ‘leaders’ be faithful, biblically minded men of God. I’m sure you are probably nodding your head that this is really key information for church leaders, but wondering why God would have everyone learn this, and become liable for obeying this. In most churches you, the church membership, elect your church leaders. I believe that Paul, and especially God, are very interested in you choosing your church leaders in line with God’s instruction. In the same way that I go off and research the autobiography, records and references of political leaders I plan to vote for, I would highly recommend that you do the same when it comes to voting for your church leaders. If this is done at a regular church business meeting, then it is incumbent upon you to be at the business meeting and elect to vote your God-given conscience. This is also a good place to ask questions of the leaders you are being asked to vote for. If they are not present, perhaps that’s your first indication of the lack of dependability by the official running for office. Friends, it takes obedient, practicing, godly men to lead a godly church. If you are one asked to serve, please be sure that you are in full obedience to the Word of God. If you are one asked to vote for such men, do the same – make sure they are qualified, proven and ready to serve with all their might! We must all ensure that visitors to our church will find no reason to reject the call by God on their life. I pray that they will never be distracted by seeing men serving on my church’s leadership that are questionable in the community.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God showed us the way to have our churches led by holy and righteous saints, now may we do our part as a congregation to insist on the same.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank You for preserving holy men to lead our churches. Please help us to always choose to ignore Satan when encouraging us to choose otherwise. It is so pleasing to most congregations to choose the most popular, the richest, the longest attending and the most likable, without checking off all those who do not meet the qualifications mentioned by You. Lord, may we be found faithful in all that we do to preserve the holiness of Your church, so that we would never be a ‘turn-off’ for those seeking to worship with an honest and God-honoring body of believers. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!