Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Church Elder Must Discipline His Children


Titus 1:6c (NKJV)

The first requirement of Church elder is he must be blameless.

The second requirement is he must be the husband of one wife.

The third requirement is he must have faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.

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There are three things specifically listed in regards to a Church elder's children:
  • They must be faithful children,
  • They must not be accused of dissipation, and
  • They must not be accused of insubordination.

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Church elder must have faithful children.

Though the Church elder cannot guarantee his children will be believers, he must raise them up following the way of the Scriptures.

In other words, he must train them to be Christians.

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This training is two-fold, using both God's Word and personal example.

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It will be good if their children know the Scriptures from childhood.

Only then will they have the opportunity to learn them and become convinced of them.

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Church elder must also need to be living what the Bible teaches.

If he merely says that it is important, but then don't live it, he demonstrates hypocrisy.

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We must not underestimate the power of hypocrisy to carry our children away from the truth.

We must always live what we say we believe.

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He Must Have Children Who Are Not Accused Of Dissipation

He must not let his children live squanderously, wastefully, and dangerously.

His children must not be partying and frittering their lives away, living like there is no tomorrow.

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If a man allows his children to live like this, he is to be disqualified from consideration for appointment as a church elder.

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He Must Have Children Who Are Not Accused Of Insubordination

The third thing is his children must not be in rebellion.

They should respect their father's authority and be obedient.

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They must be disciplined to prevent rebellion.

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He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. (Proverbs 13:24)

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Contrary to the world's opinion, it is those who don't discipline their children who don't love them.

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With discipline, we are telling our children that we care how they turn out, or what happens to their lives.

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If we are faithful to do these things, our children will have the best possible chance of growing up godly.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pastoral Care


2 Timothy 4:1-22 (NIV)

4:1-2 Preach The Word

Paul urged Timothy to preach the Word.

God is going to judge every person.

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It is the duty of every pastor to preach the gospel and to teach the Bible.

Be ready with the Word of God all the time, in season and out of season.

Be ready even at the times when we are not expected to share.

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Pastors are commanded to correct, rebuke, and encourage their people with great patience and careful instruction.

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4:3-4 Not Enduring Sound Doctrine

Every pastor must have the urgency to preach the Word of God.

As time passes, there will be more and more people in the church who will not want to hear the true Word of God.

More than ever before, they want to be entertained to keep their interest.

They want to hear messages that make them feel good.

They want to be told they are okay even when they are not.

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This has led to the corruption of the church.

This has led to the desecration of the true gospel message.

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4:5 Sober In All Things

Pastors must be serious in everything they do.

There will be hardship in the Christian Ministry.

There will be attacks from every side, because they are on the front lines.

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In addition to teaching the Word, pastor must also do the work of an evangelist.

Why?

Because the great commission that Jesus gave to us was to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Everyone needs to hear about the salvation that Jesus Christ offers.

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4:6-8 Being Poured Out Like A Drink Offering

A drink offering was a sacrifice to God.

Instead of being burnt on an altar, it was poured out.

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Paul was saying that he was like that water, poured out on the ground as a sacrifice to the Lord.

In the world's eyes, his life was wasted.

But he knew better.

He knew a crown in heaven was waiting for him.

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4:9-12 Demas

Paul finished the letter with personal notes to Timothy about his current situation, and where the partners in ministry had gone.

Crescens went to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia, and Tychicus to Ephesus.

Only Luke was with Paul.

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Paul also told Timothy what happened to Demas, how he loved the world and deserted Paul.

This was disturbing, because when Paul was writing to the Colossians (4:14) and Philemon (1:24), Demas was partnered with Paul in the ministry, a fellow worker.

But now, we found out that he was more into the things of the world than the things of God.

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It is sad to see people that we have led to Christ, discipled, or served in ministry with, walk away from the Lord, from fellowship, and from the church.

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4:13 When You Come

Winter was approaching.

Paul was getting cold.

He also wanted his library back.

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4:14-15 Alexander

Alexander was the guy that Paul told Timothy about in the first letter (1 Timothy 1:19-20).

Apparently, Alexander continued to cause trouble in the church and with Paul.

Paul warned Timothy to watch out for him.

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4:16-18 The Lord Stood With Me

Through many of Paul's legal troubles, he stood alone.

But he wasn't really alone.

The Lord was with him.

Paul knew that God was going to safely carry him to heaven, no matter what happened on earth.

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4:19-22 Final Greetings

Paul told Timothy to give his greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.

He also filled Timothy in on the status of Erastus and Trophimus, as well as sending greetings from Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and others that Timothy knew.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Be Strong In The Lord


2 Timothy 2:1-10

2:1 Be Strong In The Lord

Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Grace is a gift that we don't deserve.

It is God's favor on us that we are completely unworthy of.

God loves us so completely that He offers us this free gift of grace.

The Bible says that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are saved by God's grace, not by anything that we have done.

We were sinners, and God reached out to us.

We were unlovable, and God loved us anyway.

That is what grace is all about.

Let us be encouraged that God loves us no matter what.

Let us remember that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us.

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2:2 Commit To Faithful Men

Paul also encouraged Timothy to raise up other Bible teachers.

Pastor must learn to train others, equip them, raise them up and send them out.

The gospel truth is for the common people.

And the church's responsibility is to raise up people to bring the teaching to them.

The people we send out should be faithful, dependable, and trustworthy.

They must be people we can trust to carry on the work of the ministry.

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Paul used three word pictures to illustrate service in the kingdom: that of a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer.

2:3-4 The Soldier

The soldier dedicates his life to the service.

He is not entangled by the things of the world.

He has a single purpose; he is not entangled with anything else but his duty.

2:5 The Athlete

The illustration of an athlete is another powerful picture.

An athlete is someone who trains diligently, striving for his or her personal best.

Look at the sacrifice and commitment that athletes make.

How much more should we as Christians be training, striving, sacrificing to win the race?

We have been given the rules to this race.

Let us run according to them.

2:6 The Farmer

Paul's third illustration is that of a farmer.

The farmer works diligently and sacrificially over a long period of time.

And the end result is reward.

All of the plowing, planting, watering, and caring yield a crop that he benefit from.

There is an eternal reward waiting for us when we invest our life in the work of the Kingdom of God.

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2:7 Understanding In Everything

Paul reassured Timothy that if he didn't understand, that the Lord would give him understanding in everything as he considered it.

This promise is to all who have become born again into the new life in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit living inside us can give us understanding in everything as we seek Him and consider the Word of God.

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2:8-10 The Gospel

Salvation is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.

This is the pure message of the grace of God: that He loves us in spite of the fact that we have rebelled against Him in our sin.

While we were sinners, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place, to be killed on the cross so that we could live.

Not everyone receives this grace.

Many reject it.

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Will we receive God's grace through Jesus Christ, risen from the dead?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Pastor's Job


1 Timothy 4:6-16

Pastor is to present the Word and walk the walk.

Timothy was to point out Paul's teachings, namely:
  • People in the church shouldn't teach strange doctrines.
  • Christians should pray for the people in authority.
  • Women should dress modestly and not take spiritual authority over their husbands.
  • Men should be godly in their reputation and behavior.
  • Christians should be warned that some would fall away from the faith.
When a pastor points out these things, he is a good servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Word of God is life-giving nourishment to our spirit.

Like food to our bodies, the Word of God feeds our spirit.

It is time that we asked ourselves, "How have we been feeding ourselves lately?" Are we nourishing ourselves on the Word of God?"

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Too many of us are paying attention to myths and neglecting the word of God.

Paul told Timothy to have nothing to do with these things.

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We are to have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales.

We are to pay attention to and work on becoming godly people.

The investments we make with prayer and Bible study will last for an eternity.

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Paul says that "we have put our hope in the living God."

Can we say today that we have fixed our hope on the living God?

If we are fixing our hope on anything that is on this earth, it will fail us.

But if we fix our hope on the living God, then we will not ever be let down.

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Timothy was a young man to be a pastor.

But he could prevent people from looking down at him, if he set an example in 5 areas:
  • Set an example in speech. Keeping our tongues from evil will serve to keep people from looking down on us.
  • Set an example in conduct. The way that we live, the way that we act, our behavior.Our conduct should be impeccable, our lives drawing people to Jesus.
  • Set an example in love. God loved each one of us in the world, even though there was nothing lovable about us. And that's the kind of love God wants us to have for each other. Love that stays even when someone is unlovable. Love people that are hard to love.
  • Set an example in faith.When we fall short of faith in God, we need to turn to the Word of God.
  • Set an example in purity. Purity means to be free of pollution, to be undefiled. We are not to defile and pollute ourselves with the things of the world. The Lord desires that we would be pure.
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Paul emphasized to Timothy again how important the Word of God is to the ministry of a pastor.

He must read the Word publicly, exhort people to act on it faithfully, and teach it understandably.

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There are many ways to receive Spiritual gifts.

One is by the laying on of hands by the elders.

Timothy had received his gift in this manner.

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What was Timothy's gift?

It is the gift of teaching (Romans 12:7).

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Timothy is told to pay attention to his life and to grow spiritually.

Timothy was to watch his life and doctrine closely.

He was to persevere in them.

By doing so, he could insure salvation for himself and for those he encountered.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pray And Share The Truth


1Timothy 2:1-8 (NIV)

To keep faith and a good conscience, we have got to be praying.

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What to pray?

Four essential parts of prayer:

(1) Petitions - We tell God about our needs.

(2) Prayers - We talk to God reverently.

(3) Intercession - We pray for those in need.

(4) Thanksgiving - We thank God for all that He has done.

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Who to pray?

We are to pray for all men.

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We are to pray for kings and those in authority.

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The authority over us may not be godly, wise, or right in making decisions.

But God's plan is that we are to submit to authority, even when it may be unbearably difficult.

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When we don't submit to the authority over us, we are bringing judgment down on our heads.

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God's desire for our lives is tranquility, quietness, godliness, and reverence.

When we Christians live a quiet and godly life, pray for our leaders, and righteously being subject to them, we have nothing to fear.

But when we rebel against those in authority, we cause the government to become suspicious of us.

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It is our duty to pray for them.

It is our responsibility to intercede for them.

We are not to be angry at them.

But we are to love them, to pray for them, and to share with them the knowledge of the truth.

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If we still remembered, many of us became Christians when some believers prayed for us, loved us and shared the gospel with us.

Like the unbelievers, we were once unlovable and unapproachable.

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God wants us to hear and believe in the truth.

And we cannot know the truth apart from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ personally.

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The Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator by which we approach God.

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We can't get to Him on our own, because we are dirty and sinful.

We cannot come to God based on our own good deeds.

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God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the death penalty for our sin.

By His dying on the cross, He bridged the gap between us and God.

His death was the ransom for we who were held captive by sin.

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Maybe today, some of us are still held captive to sin.

We are still separated from God because we have never received the ransom that the Lord Jesus Christ paid to save us.

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For some of us, it is time to accept God's free gift today.

Come to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

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Maybe it is time for some of us to pray and talk to those in need.

Would you pray and talk to them?


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Great Commission: 3 Important Attitudes


Matthew 28:16-18

Our important calling is to "go and make disciples."

This is the main reason why we are left here on earth.

We are to make disciples.

We are to bring people to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Now, if we are to make disciples, we must have the attitudes of availability, worship and submission.

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Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. (Matthew 28:16)

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The first requirement is to make ourselves available for the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must be ready for His service.

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When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:17)

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There is a second requirement and that is the attitude of worship.

This is a question of focus.

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The risen Christ commanded our worship.

We are to worship Him as God.

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Our whole heart is to set on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our whole affection is set on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our whole mind is to set on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our all in all.

He fills our thought and our intention.

And we spend our time thinking how we can exalt His blessed name.

How we can win the lost souls.

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So where is our focus?

Are we available?

Are we worshipers?

Do we focus our whole intent and purpose in life on the Lord Jesus Christ?

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The Christ-centered life is a life that is yielded to the Spirit of God.

It is a life that is centered on the Word of God.

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But there is a third important attitude and that is submission.

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And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18)

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The Lord Jesus Christ is in control and we are to submit to Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ is in charge and we are to listen to Him.

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The 3 necessary elements to win souls are attitudes.

It is the attitude of availability.

It is the attitude of worship.

It is the attitude of submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Our important mission in life is to make disciples of all nations.

That is the main reason why we are still left on the earth.

And if we are to make disciples:

... We are to make ourselves available for the Lord Jesus Christ.

... We are to have all our attention on the Lord Jesus Christ and worship Him.

... And we to submit ourselves to do His will.

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There are incredible opportunities for us to reach the world,

... if we have the right attitudes of availability, worship and submission.