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Servants Of God

1 Timothy 3:8-11
Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. (NIV)

Deacons differ from elders whose first role is to teach. Deacons are the servants of the church, ensuring that the elders are set aside to lead and teach without the added responsibility of practical administration. Although these two roles often overlap, the deacons must also be spiritual men with a good grasp of the gospel and practised in discipleship.

Deacons should be people whose lifestyle commends the gospel, and who are disciplined with alcohol and money. Their wives must also be disciplined people. Malicious talk will never build up the body of Christ. Self-control in the home is the first qualification for serving in the church. Those who can be trusted in their domestic environment may be considered to be trusted with wider responsibilities in the church.

The pressure of extra spiritual responsibilities will often stretch elders and deacons, their wives and their families, to the limit. At that point, character weaknesses will show through. Of course every believer has weaknesses, but those who have not considered it a godly thing to discipline their lifestyles will be a much greater liability to the church. The reputation of the gospel is also in the hands of the wives of the deacons. They should not consider that they have power in the church because of their husbands’ responsibilities; neither should they be gossips; instead they should also serve the church. Churches need clear and disciplined leadership; good role models in the family of God. All who have any role should therefore ask God’s help to be the right sort of people, so that the gospel will be attractive to others (Titus 2:10) .

Almighty God. Thank You that Jesus was willing to be of ‘no reputation’ as He served You and the world during His life and death. Forgive me when I assume that having some responsibility in the church gives me the right to exercise independent power. Please help me to desire each day to be refilled with Your Holy Spirit, and teach me how to discipline my life so that I can be more useful to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams