Wednesday, 30 January 2008

A Man of God

This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:1-6).

The scripture says that they (teachers0 will have a more strict judgment. The job of a Pastor is not an easy one. Paul made an interesting parallel in the third chapter of Timothy. He said that a novice (inexperienced or immature) person should not be a leader in the church. This person has the potential to become arrogant and prideful. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says that pride is the same condemnation of the devil.

Many biblical scholars wrestle over passages like Isaiah 14:12-17, and Ezekiel 28:11-19. they wrestle with the subject of the passage. Is the subject satan, the accuser of the brethren, or is it the king of the nation that Isaiah was indicting? Ironically, I believe Paul gave us an answer to that question in the qualifications for a Church leader.

Pride was found in the beautiful cherub (satan). The desire to be “like the most High” controlled his passions. This fallen one is called the devil or slanderer amongst other names. Paul says that if the leader is a novice, the risk of pride is great and this is what Isaiah and Ezekiel mentioned about the devil. God has revealed so much in His Word. If you are like me, pride might be a struggle, but the Word of God is humbling. May we all be doers of the Word and not heaers only.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Musing: A Capsule Lesson on Witnessing

1 Peter 3:15 provides an ideal pattern for witnessing: …sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

1. Sanctify or hallow God within your hearth. This reminds us that a good witness comes from a right relationship with God.

2. Be ready. The opportunities to bear witness are according to God’s schedule, not ours. They can come at any time, anywhere, and in any situation.

3. Give an answer. You can’t answer something that has not been asked. Ideally, but not always, witnessing comes as a response to a question or problem that God wants to answer.

4. The hope that is in us: we witness based on a reasonable hope, “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1b). that hope cannot be our wishful thinking, but must be based on the promises of God in scripture. It is an inside hope, not an outside chance.

5. The attitude of the witness must be with meekness and fear. This refers to a dual approcach – humility towards the person to whom we tell the Good News, and reverence toward the Lord of whom we tell.