Tag: deacons

Choosing Godly leaders

Scripture reading for May 11th:  2nd Kings 20-23, Acts 6

Key Scriptures: Acts 6:2-4  “So the Twelve gathered the disciples together and said,”It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the Word of God  in order to wait on tables.  Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”

The Twelve apostles recognized the need to prioritize the use of their time.  Their main responsibility was prayer  and ministry of God’s Word.  Other godly men could and should be raised up to be servant leaders.  This would prepare them to step up in ministry later.

2nd Kings 22:1-2  “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. . . .He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”

Prayer: Lord, Your church needs godly leaders, who are full of the Spirit and wisdom.  Fill me with Your Spirit and wisdom to pray and minister Your Word.  Amen.

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The mystery of Godliness!

Scripture reading for October 18th: 1st Timothy 3:1-16

In this chapter, Paul tries to help Timothy with some guidelines for those who work at overseeing the church.  He gives Timothy some qualifications for both overseers and deacons and their spouses.  These are not meant to be laws, but help Timothy evaluate those seeking to become leaders in the church and to give instruction to the church of the standards that God values in His leaders.  Behind all these values and qualifications is what Paul calls ‘the mystery of godliness.’

It’s a good thing to desire to be an overseer in Christ’s church!  Overseers are what we might call the pastors, superintendents and  bishops of today.   “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.” We note that these qualifications involve character more than gifting or charisma.  The ability to manage and minister in the home takes precedence over ministering in Christ’s church.  If it doesn’t work at home, in will not fly in God’s household!

“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 the devil’s trap.” Time in service is also a qualification.  It takes time to grow in grace and the character of Christ.  Pride and conceit are primary weapons of the devil and each man is born the first time will pride as a stronghold.  When Christ changes us, we need time to grow in relationship and to build a reputation outside the church as well as in as a consistent follower of Christ.  Reputations are easy to lose!

These instructions were given to help people know how to conduct themselves properly.  But a relationship with Christ is foundational to godly living.  “Beyond all question,  the mystery of godliness is great:  He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1st Timothy 3:16)   Faith in Christ brings godliness to all who believe as we humbly follow our Lord!

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The mystery of godliness!

Scripture reading for October 18th: 1st Timothy 3:1-16

In this chapter, Paul tries to help Timothy with some guidelines for those who work at overseeing the church.  He gives Timothy some qualifications for both overseers and deacons and their spouses.  These are not meant to be laws, but help Timothy evaluate those seeking to become leaders in the church and to give instruction to the church of the standards that God values in His leaders.  Behind all these values and qualifications is what Paul calls ‘the mystery of godliness.’

It’s a good thing to desire to be an overseer in Christ’s church!  Overseers are what we might call the pastors, superintendents and  bishops of today.   “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.” We note that these qualifications involve character more than gifting or charisma.  The ability to manage and minister in the home takes precedence over ministering in Christ’s church.  If it doesn’t work at home, in will not fly in God’s household!

“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 the devil’s trap.” Time in service is also a qualification.  It takes time to grow in grace and the character of Christ.  Pride and conceit are primary weapons of the devil and each man is born the first time will pride as a stronghold.  When Christ changes us, we need time to grow in relationship and to build a reputation outside the church as well as in as a consistent follower of Christ.  Reputations are easy to lose!

These instructions were given to help people know how to conduct themselves properly.  But a relationship with Christ is foundational to godly living.  “Beyond all question,  the mystery of godliness is great:  He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1st Timothy 3:16)   Faith in Christ brings godliness to all who believe as we humbly follow our Lord!

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Personal relationships and ministry!

Scripture reading for August 3rd: Romans 16:8-27

Paul concludes his letter of introduction with some personal notes of greeting showing that although he had never visited the church at Rome, he had many connections.  The community of faith is like a family with relationship connections everywhere.  Ministry happens through relationship and when someone is born again, they come into a circle of new relationships.

The first woman mentioned was a sister in the Lord, Phoebe.  She was called a ‘servant of the church in Cenchrea’. (Romans 16:1)  The word for ‘servant’ is ‘deacon’.  Phoebe was a friend of Paul’s who probably took his letter to the church in Rome from Corinth.

Priscilla and Aquila were a husband and wife whom Paul met in Corinth.  Priscilla  and Aquila were originally from Italy and left Rome because of persecution from Claudius, the Roman emperor who ordered all Jews to leave.  (Acts 18:1-3)  They had evidently returned to Italy and were  part of the church there.  Paul had been a tent maker with them and worked with them in sharing the Gospel in Corinth.  These two had risked their lives for Paul.  (Romans 16:3-5) A church was meeting at their house in Rome!

Andronicus and Junias, were relatives of Paul’s who were imprisoned with Paul at some point.   Paul indicated that they were outstanding among the apostles and saved before he was. (Romans 16:7)  This is the only mention in Scripture of a woman who was part of the early apostles!

Paul listed at least 8 women who were his friends and workers for the Lord.  He also listed 19 men by name that he knew in Rome and commended them to the church there.  He spoke of them in very personal ways as ‘dear friends’ and ‘like a mother’.  He called them ‘saints’ and asked that the church greet them for him with a holy kiss of affection.

Paul warned the church there to be on guard against those who would cause divisions in the relationships that they enjoyed.  Each church must be watchful because Satan loves to cause strife and division.  (Romans 16:17-19)  These who cause strife use smooth talk and flattery to deceive naive people.  Paul’s warning was part of his pastor’s heart and years of experience in spiritual warfare.  Personal relationship with Jesus Christ forms the basis of our salvation.  Personal relationships in the body of Christ are essential for ministry.  God knows each  person by name!

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