God’s Saving Word: Encouragement
1 Timothy 3:1-16: Today’s reading offers instructions for church leaders and church helpers. In the early church, a church leader was also known as a bishop, who was the chief leader of a local congregation. Church helpers were also known as deacons who had the task of serving people and taking care of their needs.
Leaders in the Church
3 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; 4 he must be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect. 5 For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of the church of God? 6 He must be mature in the faith, so that he will not swell up with pride and be condemned, as the Devil was. 7 He should be a man who is respected by the people outside the church, so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the Devil’s trap.
Helpers in the Church
8 Church helpers must also have a good character and be sincere; they must not drink too much wine or be greedy for money; 9 they should hold to the revealed truth of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They should be tested first, and then, if they pass the test, they are to serve. 11 Their wives also must be of good character and must not gossip; they must be sober and honest in everything. 12 A church helper must have only one wife, and be able to manage his children and family well. 13 Those helpers who do their work well win for themselves a good standing and are able to speak boldly about their faith in Christ Jesus.
The Great Secret
14 As I write this letter to you, I hope to come and see you soon. 15 But if I delay, this letter will let you know how we should conduct ourselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 No one can deny how great is the secret of our religion:
He appeared in human form,
was shown to be right by the Spirit,
and was seen by angels.
He was preached among the nations,
was believed in throughout the world,
and was taken up to heaven.
Today’s Key Verse: 1 Timothy 3:13
Those helpers who do their work well win for themselves a good standing and are able to speak boldly about their faith in Christ Jesus.
According to today’s reading, what qualities should those who hold leadership positions in the church possess? Think of church leaders you may know. What leadership qualities do they exhibit? What is the “secret” mentioned in verse 16? Have you had an opportunity to share this “secret” with others and speak boldly about your faith? If so, what was the circumstance?
Sovereign God, bless and care for the leaders and helpers of your church. Equip them with integrity, good sense, wisdom, boldness, courage, and love, that they may help the church become a reflection of your realm. By your Holy Spirit, empower me to speak boldly to others about my faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.
And now, join us in thanking God that the audio Bible is helping to bring God’s Word to people in Ethiopia who are spiritually and physically blind. Gracious God, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and there are no teachers for blind people. Thanks to the generosity of Bible-A-Month Partners, men, women, and children who are blind, visually impaired, or unable to read, are being provided with the audio Bible and learning about Jesus. We praise you, Lord God, for the life-changing gift of the audio Bible. Amen.
1 Timothy 4:1-16: The apostle Paul gives personal advice to Timothy.