Sunday, June 29, 2014

The character of an Elder

S - TIT 1:5-9 NASB

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

O - Paul is writing this letter to Titus, one of his former disciples whom he left to lead the church in Crete.      Much like his letters to Timothy, Paul is giving instruction to Titus so he might know how to strengthen the local church, to ensure it stays holy and true to God's word and truth.     This particular passage gives instruction as to the character of Elders  Just by the fact that Paul points out these character traits of elders, leads me to conclude two things,    Elders are an important foundation in  a solid church,   and second at some point in time the wrong elders had been chosen and consequences of that were visible or discernable.    The list is a tall order to fill, but one in which is neccessary to ensure the health and well being of the church is being fostered and guarded. 

A -  The application for me is to understand that I am not to desire to be an elder but I am to develop the character of an elder.    It is a reminder also that as I build teams and put people in charge of others, I must be mindful of their character.  God chooses criteria for Elders (via Paul) so that His people will be properly shepherded.   Without good shepherds , the sheep will wander.   Jesus is the good shepherd, so our job is  to back him up. 

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's devotion, may it be sealed to my heart.   I pray that you would continue to shape, instruct, and convict me to have the character of a biblical elder.   I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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