Thursday, 22 May 2014

Thursday - the call to servanthood

May I open my heart to You today, O LORD.  May I set my heart on doing Your will this day, O LORD.  My rock and my redeemer.  Amen.

            What it all Means

From a discussion of Worship in 1 Timothy 2:8-15  and what should be the proper etiquette of Worship,  Paul moves through to what the Ephesian Christian community needs to look for in an Overseer and Deacon.   

One thing we need to remember is the Christian Community was a community that worshipped together…. males and females worshipped together.  During Paul’s time, this was not something that happened with many other religions.   Men and Women usually were separated for worship.

Then Paul proceeds to give Timothy another bit of advice.  “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1).    This is Paul’s second bit of advice using the phrase “here is a trustworthy saying”.  The other advice was 1 Timothy 1: 15.

Paul sets out a list of gifts and qualifications that Overseers must have.   If anyone is contemplating a call to ministry,  this is a list that you need to check against yourself.  Paul gives this list to Timothy because the care and nurture of God’s people is a noble task.  Noble not in the sense of prestige but noble in the sense of  having excellent moral character…. of being a servant. 

But isn’t the call to ministry a Divine call and not something we just want to do?  Indeed.    But for Paul,  the call to ministry is a three step process. First,  in Acts 20:28 Paul states an affirmation to  the divine call.  One had to be called by God in order to undertake ministry to God’s people.  Second,  the individual must have inner aspirations and convictions to that call.  Have a firm grasp of what it means to be a Christian.  And third, it is here in 1 Timothy  that Paul gives the Christian community a list of requirements for the community to measure whether the candidate meets the requirements and would be considered for Ministry.

Great God,  I thank You that some are called to minister to Your people.    I know that this is not an easy vocation and ask that You be with all ministers this day.  Help them in their struggles and in their joys.  And may I be a help to ministers today.  May I build up ministers instead of tearing them down.    In Jesus name I pray.   Amen.

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