God lays out his plan for the care and equipping of his people by raising up leaders for his body, the church. This encourages us to know that God has not left us to ourselves to figure things out or seek to grow by ourselves. At the same time it challenges us who bristle with the thought of submitting to others. I know too many who claim a love for Jesus but reject the church, either overtly by staying away or subvertly by attending but never committing. Most often this rejection comes because they have been hurt by people in the church,mor perhaps seen church authority abused. This is a tragedy on both levels. It is a tragedy when church leaders fail to lead as they are called, and it is a tragedy that this wrong becomes used as an excuse for the wrong of rejecting God’s church.
1The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. (1 Tim 3:1-13)
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Lev 18, Ps 22, Ecc 1, 1 Tim 3