Good Ministers

“But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state. For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send forthwith, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me: but I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall come shortly. But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need; since he longed after you all, and was sore troubled, because ye had heard that he was sick: for indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow upon sorrow. I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honor: because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.”

(Philippians 2:19-30)

INTRODUCTION:

Why do we need to study about good ministers even if we are only laypersons in our church?

Because all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable (2 Tim. 3:16).

Because if it is the duty of Christian teachers to teach the whole counsel of God (Acts. 20:27), it is the corresponding duty of church members to learn the whole counsel of God.

Because we, in a sense, are all ministers; for example, like parents towards their children (Deut. 11:18-19).

Because sometimes we need to remind our ministers of their duty.

Because we need to know what we should be looking for in a minister if we are searching for one.

Because, who knows, we ourselves might be called to become ministers someday (1 Tim. 3:1).

  1. THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD MINISTER

A) He cares for people (Acts 20:28; John 21:15-17; 1 Thess. 2:7, 8).

B) He prioritizes the interests of Christ (Matt. 6:33; Matt. 6:24; 1 Tim. 2:4; Acts. 6:4).

C) He is of proven worth (1 Tim. 3:6, 10).

D) He risks his life for the work of Christ (Luke 9:23).

  1. OUR OBLIGATIONS TO GOOD MINISTERS

A) Appreciate them (Heb. 13:17).
B) Honor them (1 Tim. 5:17).

Do we appreciate our ministers? Do we honor them?

(Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash)

A Mother's Influence

Read 2 Chronicles 22:1-9.

“He [Ahaziah] also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.” (2 Chronicles 22:3)

One should not underestimate the impact of a mother’s influence upon her child. In Ahaziah’s case, from a young age he was trained in wickedness because “his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.” As a result, he walked in the ways of the house of Ahab (Israel’s wicked king). They too were his counselors. It comes as no surprise, then, that he ended his life badly. An abundance of evil counselors made sure of that, beginning with his mother.

Happily, the Bible also provides a counter-example to Ahaziah’s mother in the person of Timothy’s mother, Eunice. Paul says of Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5) The faithfulness of Eunice – and her mother’s before her – bore fruit in the life of her son Timothy: He became a stalwart soldier of Jesus Christ, a preacher of his gospel, and a shepherd of his flock.

Mothers, by your influence you are a force to reckon with – either for good or for ill. May your influence be for good!

Lord, bless our mothers who have committed themselves to training up their children in your ways. May their hearts rejoice when they see their efforts bear fruit. Amen.

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash