Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7
For those in church leadership, this passage speaks volumes. Not all church leaders are necessarily “elders,” but let’s not split hairs here on semantics. Paul is setting the bar high for people with authority in the church. These expectations are all attainable, and quite honestly, it would be good if we held our leaders to these standards. Some churches do!
The true character of a person is reflected in all areas of their life, not just who we see in church on Sunday mornings. Why is this important?
Consider this: we are called to a life in Christ, in other words, life with Christ in our lives. What does this look like? We should look different, and we need to show that to the world. Be a sermon with no words. I’ve heard it said, people may not remember what you say, but they will remember what you did.
What do you think about this list of prerequisites Paul sets out here? What qualities would you add to it? If you are currently in church leadership, how are you doing in terms of this list?
Let’s pray. Lord give our church leaders courage and boldness to follow closely to you and not falter. Cleanse us of our sinful nature and help us to be more like you in all we say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Read 1 Timothy 1:1-11
This is a book was written by Paul as encouragement to one of his closest companions. Timothy was a young Christian leader in Ephesus, and Paul was a bit of a father figure to him. While written to help Timothy discern issues facing the early church, the wisdom speaks to us as well. I’m going to focus in on verse 5. “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
Paul’s words here are clear as to Timothy’s mission, and I think we should see it as our missions as well. While it sounds simple enough, it is also very difficult. Let’s unpack that a bit. We, by nature, are so pulled by society and often drawn to darkness. We might not even realize this deception is happening to us. To have a “pure” heart becomes a struggle. What does that even mean, a “pure” heart?
If we are true to ourselves, having a clear conscience is also fleeting, unless we truly focus on the truth and rid ourselves of the evil and folly that surrounds us, that is trying to devour us. The evil one is crafty and he uses many means by which to tempt us to leave behind our destiny. We too often shut ourselves off from a life of faith and the enjoyment a pure heart and clear conscience can bring. To be right with God.
What does living of a life of faith in God look like these days? Take some time today to reflect on how you are living out your faith.
Let’s pray. Lord help us to discern the evil around us that is ready to deceive our hearts. Help us to stand strong against those false teachers and pray for them. Thank you for the encouragement you send to us in your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.