People are very heavy on my heart this morning. I have great hope and expectation for what God has but still I see the burdens people carry and the things people suffer and as I study I pray for people.
It has me reading 1 Timothy and meditating on Paul's counsel to Timothy. He gives all kinds of administrative advice that likely meant so much to that younger man who had to cope with his leadership position.
"I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service," - 1 Timothy 1:12 ESV
Paul was grateful that he could care for people. He was grateful that he was given a clear manifestation of the message. He saw the value of ministry and imparted what God had given him to others.
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," - 1 Timothy 2:1-5 ESV
Prayer is valuable. The salvation that comes in the person of Jesus Christ is needed across the board.
"The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. ... And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless." - 1 Timothy 3:1, 10 ESV
Leadership is needed... but also it is a fine thing to let there be some obstacles to overcome before hands are laid on a person. This is true in ministry and also in life. I like that the requirement the ministry I was reared up in requires a Bible college education and not some subjective test that might be passed due to charisma, connections or soul power. These tests are grace oriented ones for sure but still they remain. Leaders appoint leaders because they see something of God's work on a person and that is good. No one wants to be a leader without God's blessing.
"Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden." - 1 Timothy 5:22-25 ESV
I think of doctors who take precautions to keep themselves free of infection. t is important that we do that also.
"Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers." - 1 Timothy 4:13-16 ESV
The food we eat as spiritual people makes all the difference. Living in grace moment by moment. We can't afford to be self occupied or to neglect what has been given to us. People have great needs and we must be stewards of our own spiritual health to walk worthy of what has been given to us.