Scripture reading for July 1st: 1st Kings 9, 2nd Chronicles 8, 1st Timothy 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 5:17-21 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”
Paul gave some simple instructions to Timothy concerning the treatment of elders in the Church. First, elders that ruled well were to be given ‘double honor’. Teaching and preaching were to be held in esteem and those laboring honorably were to receive proper compensation. However, if there was sin involing an elder, there must be two or three witness before considering the charge. If found true, public rebuke was required if there was no repentance. Both of these ‘rules’ were to be kept without partiality. All heaven is watching!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for clear instructions for elders in Your Church. I have sought to keep these instructions without partiality. Help me to continue in sound teaching and preaching to honor You alone!
2nd Chronicles 8:15 “And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries.”
Scripture reading for December 9th: Revelation 7, Psalm 117-18, Proverbs 29
Key Scriptures: Revelation 7:9-12 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen!””
As John beheld the glory of God and the Lamb, he saw a great multitude of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation assembled in white robes and shouting praise to God and the Lamb for their salvation! This caused a domino effect as the angels, elders, and living creatures joined in the shout of blessing to the great God of heaven and earth! Amazingly, this was going on then and is now and will for eternity!
Faith Confession: I look forward to joining the throng around the throne of God in worship of the Lamb and in thanks for His great salvation. It is my prayer that none of my family or friends will miss out! Help me to pray Lord!
Psalm 117:1-2 “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
Scripture reading for September 28th: Isaiah 11-14; 1st Timothy 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 5:17-20 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”
Paul gave clear instructions to Timothy about the honoring of church leadership who labor faithfully in the church. Teachers and preachers deserve double honor. But those who are in sin must be confronted with two or three witnesses concerning truth of the sin. Where there is no repentance, public rebuke will help all to live in holy fear.
Isaiah 12:3-4 “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His Name is exalted.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for placing elders in Your Church to teach Your people to exalt Your Name and proclaim Your mighty deeds. Help me to give them proper honor. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 30th: 1st Timothy 5
Pastors must be able to deal with all ages of people and levels of maturity. Paul instructed his young understudy in the proper conduct of an overseer. “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (1st Timothy 5:1-2) Respect and relationship are key elements to proper conduct. The relationships in a family were a great example of how to conduct yourself in God’s family. Absolute purity must be practiced, especially towards the younger women! Satan’s temptations have brought down many pastors who were not purposeful in purity!
“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.” (1st Timothy 5:3) Paul wrote more extensively about caring for widows. God’s heart is for the hurting and disadvantaged. Widows have a priority in the church and family. Family members should care for widows, where possible. A widow could come under the church’s provision if “she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” (1st Timothy 5:9-10)
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1st Timothy 5:17) Proper respect must be given to church leaders. This included financial rewards as well as protecting from false accusations!
“I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” (1st Timothy 5:21) God is watching!
Scripture reading for November 26th: 1st Peter 4:12-5:14
Peter addressed the elders in the body of Christ. Elders were the senior leaders of the church and usually held offices of pastor, bishop or overseer. They were primarily there to serve and lead by example. Jesus taught His disciples that the path to greatness in His kingdom was to become a servant of all! (Mark 10:42-45)
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under our care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1st Peter 5:1-4)
Peter was an eye-witness of Jesus Christ’s life, suffering, and death. Peter appealed to those in leadership as equal brothers and ones who would share in the reward of faithful service in Christ’s Body, the Church. He was a fisherman but learned the shepherd metaphor from the Lord Himself. Jesus had taught His disciples that He was the Good Shepherd that laid His life down for the Sheep. (John 10:11, 14) On another occasion, Jesus had likened the crowd as ‘sheep without a shepherd.’ (Mark 6:34) Finally, Jesus had challenged Peter three times to feed or care for ‘My sheep’ in response to Peter’s declarations of love for Him. (John 21:15-17)
As Jesus willingly served the flock of God’s people, so those in the positions of elders must be willing serve God’s people in the church. Elders aren’t to be motivated by money, but by love of the Savior and His sheep! The world’s leaders lord it over those they lead, but in the church a humble servant’s heart should mark the men and women of God. This example of servant-leadership will do much to shape the hearts of the flock to be more like their Chief Shepherd!
Jesus is coming back! His reward is with Him for those who faithfully serve His flock! A crown of glory awaits those who are willing servants and examples of Christ’s love!