• Bishops/Elders Devotional

    1 Peter 2:12

    We are to take the words and example of our elders seriously because they prepare us for the judgment seat of Christ. They preach the gospel, administer the sacraments, and discipline us so that we might be converted, brought back from sin, and built up in faith. Let us never forget the important, God-ordained role they play in the Christian life, and may we never be so arrogant as to think that we do not need to be in submission to a gospel-centered church. View Resource

  • The Authority of the Church Devotional

    1 Corinthians 5

    Today’s passage is a proof text for question and answer 85 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which deals with how church discipline opens and shuts the door to the kingdom of heaven. Excommunication shuts the door by declaring that the excommunicated person is not a Christian. When this decision is made carefully and in accordance with Scripture, the word of church leaders carries biblical warrant, and we are foolish not to heed it. View Resource

  • The Key of the Gospel Devotional

    John 3:31–36

    Preachers open and close the door to the kingdom not by their own authority but by the authority of God’s Word. As they faithfully preach the gospel, they open up the way of salvation and call people to follow this way into the kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ. But if they do not preach the gospel, they keep the door closed and the way of salvation hidden to unbelievers. We must therefore encourage our pastors as they preach the gospel. View Resource

  • The Revelation of Character Devotional

    1 Timothy 5:24-25

    A man cannot hide his character from God, but it can remain unknown to others. This practical observation should always be kept in mind as men are considered for church office. But even if we are not candidates for leadership, our love for Christ and His church is just as important, and it will become manifest (or not) at some point in our lives. If you struggle to express this love, deliberately seek to serve the church according to your gifts today. View Resource

  • Ordain with Discernment Devotional

    1 Timothy 5:22-23

    John Calvin writes, “Every person should attend to his own health, not for the sake of prolonging life, but that, as long as he lives, he may serve God, and be of use to his neighbors.” While we must be ever careful not to bow to the idols of physical perfection in our culture, biblical wisdom would have us do the best we can to preserve our health that we might be able to serve the Lord well over the course of our lives. View Resource

  • In the Presence of the Court Devotional

    1 Timothy 5:19-21

    John Chrysostom says, “As it is wrong to condemn hastily and rashly, so not to punish manifest offenses is to open the way to others, and embolden them to offend. …The threatenings of hell show the care of God for us no less than the promises of heaven” (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. 9, p. 205; hereafter, ACCNT). To excuse anyone’s sin is neither loving nor gracious but falsely implies that Jesus can be Savior without being Lord. View Resource

  • Honoring Church Elders Devotional

    1 Timothy 5:17-18

    The way in which we value goods or services is seen in the amount we are willing to pay for them. We have no qualms about spending money in order to get the best medical care or receive the best food in a restaurant. Why, then, are we too often unwilling to make sure those who teach us the life-giving Word of God are able to make a decent living? The amount of time and money we give to the servants of the church reflects our valuing of their service. View Resource

  • The Deacon’s Home Devotional

    1 Timothy 3:12

    We who belong to God’s household need to keep in mind that a person’s way of life identifies him as a potential church servant, not his charisma, social influence, or good looks. Our culture prizes these things, but we must esteem only those who live a life of repentance and proven character. As you help identify your congregation’s elders and deacons, make sure that the quality of godliness is your chief concern. View Resource

  • The Testing of Deacons Devotional

    1 Timothy 3:10

    John Calvin also explains that “those men are to be chosen who are approved by their past life in such a manner that, after what may be called full inquiry, they are ascertained to be well qualified.” The concern is not the potential servant’s behavior but how he has lived since professing Christ. How have you lived since your conversion? All of us should be living in a way that would qualify us to serve God’s flock, whether we are eligible for ordination or not. View Resource

  • When the Outside Looks In Devotional

    1 Timothy 3:6-7

    Non-Christians should be able to look at a Christian leader and say that he lives according to his profession and is quick to repent when he fails to do so. Yet all believers should be known by their exemplary lives, their living of “a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:2). What is the testimony your non-Christian friends, neighbors, and co-workers would give about you? If accused of being a Christian, would you be found guilty? View Resource

  • Caring for God’s Church Devotional

    1 Timothy 3:4-5

    John Calvin comments that Paul recommends for eldership a man “who has learned to govern a family by wholesome discipline.” If you are a parent, are you consciously trying to lead your child in the faith in a way that will help engender in him love for the church? Even if you have no children you can help discipline the young people in your church by modeling a life of thoughtful service to God in the freedom brought to us by Christ Jesus. View Resource

  • The Desire for Ordination Devotional

    1 Timothy 3:1

    John Chrysostom notes that in wanting the office of elder “what is terrible is to desire the absolute authority and power of the bishop but not the work itself” (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. 9, p. 168; hereafter ACCNT). Men who desire to be ordained need to take care that they are not craving power for power’s sake. Decision-makers in the church should likewise watch out for this when they gather to call a new pastor. View Resource

  • Order in Creation Devotional

    1 Timothy 2:13-14

    As we consider the many cries for equality in our day, we must always test them against the authority of Scripture. Equality of worth is not grounded in the ability for men and women to serve in any office they choose but in our being made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). Women should not covet the position of elder, and men, especially if they are pastors, teachers, or elders, should be clear that men and women alike are of equal value in the eyes of God. View Resource

  • You Who Are Younger Devotional

    1 Peter 5:5

    Are you submissive to the elders in the church? Do you follow their leadership even when they do something you do not like, or do you seek opportunities to undermine their authority? Do you pretend to find sin in all they do so that you do not have to follow them? What about your relationships with others in the church? Do you treat others with humble love or look down upon fellow Christians? Find a way to serve both your elders and others with humility today. View Resource

  • Bishops/Elders Devotional

    1 Peter 2:12

    Do you delight in the authority given to elders to shepherd the people of God, or do you think that they have no business getting involved in the personal lives of God’s people? God has ordained the office of elder so that His people can be prepared for Christ’s return. Ask the Lord to convict and help you submit to your church elders. View Resource