The Lord's Servants
A daily devotion for November 8th
8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:13).
Here Paul explains the function of the deacon, and two things will result when the service of a deacon is done correctly. First, it will create a great sense of appreciation on the part of the congregation--deacons will have
excellent standing for themselves. Their own ministry will be widely received and appreciated. We ought to be careful to be aware of all those who are serving a congregation, and, every now and then, there ought to be some way of recognizing them. It is right that we should give thanks and not take for granted those who so diligently and faithfully serve week after week. They are not being paid, and they are not hired to do this work; they are volunteering it in the name of Christ. That should earn for them a great sense of appreciation on the part of the congregation.
But the second thing Paul says is most interesting. He says that deacons earn for themselves
great assurance in their faith in Christ. The word is really boldness. When you serve the Lord with all your heart in whatever ministry He gives you, especially if it is on behalf of the whole congregation, you develop a wonderful sense of God at work with you helping you solve problems, and this creates a deep sense of boldness.
I have a remarkable paper that was given to me by a deacon who works in one of the major industries. This man said that he began to realize that since Jesus was Lord of his life, he was not only Lord at church and in his Christian relationships, but he was Lord of his life at his job and could work through him at his assigned tasks just as freely and abundantly as He did in any church-related matter. So he began to lean on the Lord at work, expecting God to help him think of insights and aspects of his work that others, perhaps, would not see. He found it was true that the Lord did help him to see things others did not see. He found that he had, in a sense, an edge on the others because the Lord of glory was enlightening his mind and heart to see things about his work that others would pass by.
That is all outstanding testimony to what Paul is saying. When you serve the Lord in any capacity, you gain from God; and it is promised here that those who serve as deacons in the congregation will gain great boldness in the faith. What a wonderful promise, and how adequately and fully it is confirmed by this testimony!
Thank You, Father for the practical quality of Your Word. Teach me to be a faithful servant and to depend upon You in all things, reckoning upon Your wisdom imparted to me.
Life Application: Are we serving others for Christ's sake, or for our own self-seeking agenda? Do we continually seek the power and wisdom of His indwelling life?
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