Thursday, January 22, 2015
When was the last time you sat down and evaluated your testimony? Not the story of how the Lord saved you, but the daily testimony of your life. What does your life say about your faith, your knowledge of God and His Word, and your love for His people? In simple terms, what is your reputation?
Monday, January 19, 2015
Rightly Handle God’s Word
Christians have the advantage of knowing in simple terms what God wants them to look for in a shepherd. In 1 Timothy 3:2-3, Paul spells out God’s standards for shepherds, summed up by the phrase “above reproach.” That passage clearly shows out that God is primarily concerned with a pastor’s moral character rather than his abilities. Nonetheless, He does include one crucial skill—the ability to teach. Some may wonder why Paul features this qualification in a list of moral qualities. He does so because effective teaching is woven into the moral character of the teacher. What a man is cannot be divorced from what he says. “He that means as he speaks,” writes Richard Baxter, “will surely do as he speaks.” An elder must be a skilled and effective teacher, who works hard in his studies and proclamation (cf. 1 Timothy 5:17). That is the one qualification that sets him apart from a deacon. Since the primary duty of the overseer is to preach and teach the Word of God, being gifted for that is crucial.