Monday, June 11, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

APOSTOLATE: CALL FOR GOOD EXAMPLE
1 Timothy 3:1-10
"The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task" 1 Timothy 3:1
 The letter Paul wrote to Timothy contains clear guidelines on matters of church organization and pastoral responsibilities. In the Biblical text for today, Paul is primarily talking about the selection of overseers and deacons, but these characteristics expected of all Christians, as we are called to serve the church in various roles and capacities, Paul gives emphasis to faith, character and family values as requirements for this noble task (V.1) to lead and mould a society based on kingdom values.
I.    Faith: Paul says, "an Overseer must be able to teach" (V.2) and "Deacons must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience" (V.9). In other words, the primary qualification that is required for a Christian to lead and guide others is knowing the Word of God and having faith in Lord Jesus Christ. This is not an intellectual knowledge, but an absolute trust in the word of God and what Christ did on the cross for us. Without being solidly founded on these, nobody can effectively function for this noble task.

2. Character: The code that follows in Vs. 2-10 gives guidelines for measuring a candidate's reputation, which must be above reproach. That includes self-control, gentleness, abstaining from drinking, and honesty in money matters, vigilant and Christian maturity. Looking deeper into these values we see that these are not values developed by a person by his own effort, but involve walking in the Holy Spirit, crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires as Paul explained in Galatians 5:19-25, a life filled and controlled by Holy Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
3. Family Values: Vs. 2 and 4 give emphasis to the family values that leaders must keep. That includes faithfulness to their life partners and also bringing up their children in a disciplined life style. As it is generally been told "Every husband and father is a pastor in his own household" where his ministry begins and the values of his family will impact the community where he serves.
Finally, Paul does not limit this lifestyle only within the Christian community, saying "He must be well thought by outsiders also" (V.7), which expands the boundaries of a Christian beyond the four walls of a church building to a 24x7 service where ever he goes.
Prayer:
Lord, Thank you for the noble task that has been given to us to lead and guide others in various places. We pray for the power of Holy Spirit to empower us to become good examples with our life and to lead others to you. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

An exemplary life speaks more than an exemplary speech.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church