Devotional Thought for This Morning
1 Timothy 3:1-7
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.  Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,  not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,  for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?  He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.  Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Great leaders are impactful and unforgettable. One of the most influential leaders in my life, as I was growing up, was my little league baseball coach. He knew how to make the game of baseball enjoyable, but at the same time he knew when to push us hard. He would always end each practice by sharing lessons about winning and losing and what it means to be part of a team. His words and leadership made a lasting impression, and I still remember many of the lessons he taught us to this very day.
In today’s passage, Paul is conveying to Timothy the importance of leadership. Paul tells him that a church should have qualified leaders, like pastors or elders, with a high degree of integrity. He uses the word “overseer,” which means “one who has a bird’s eye view of the church and is able to look after it as a whole.” The first and general requirement is that overseers must be “above reproach.” This means that leaders should have blameless reputations, which include fidelity in marriage, hospitality, ability to teach, temperament, charity, spiritual maturity, and a good reputation amongst outsiders. No wonder Paul calls it a noble task to be a leader!
Spend some time this morning lifting up the leaders in our lives – pastors, ministry leaders, elders, family members and others. Pray that they would lead with integrity and Christ-like character. If you are in a leadership position, pray that the Lord would give you strength to continue to lead above reproach.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the leaders in my life who have influenced me. I pray for their leadership that they would continue to lead with integrity and honor. Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 12
Lunch Break Study
Read Galatians 5:22-26: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.  “The God who can change a sinner into a Christian by giving him His life can equally transform the fleshly Christian into a spiritual one by giving him His life more abundantly.”
Questions to Consider
- According to these verses, what is the result of being sanctified?
- What is the standard for bearing fruit as we advance in sanctification?
- In what areas of our lives have we been bearing fruit (areas we have been changing in)?
- By His sanctifying power we begin to bear spiritual fruit in our lives and grow to be more like Christ. Paul teaches in today’s passage that as we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16–17).
- However, the standard for bearing fruit as we advance in sanctification is not perfection, for the Scripture tells us we will not walk in perfect holiness until we are glorified. And our need for perfection in order to stand before God unafraid is met in Christ, and the imputation of His righteousness to us. But if His righteousness has been imputed to us, then His Spirit is sanctifying us.
- Personal response
Today, we’ve been reflecting on transformation and being more like Jesus in our leadership and in our daily lives. Spend some time in prayer, asking that we would continue to change by the Holy Spirit.