Isn’t it interesting that this morning’s Bible message from the pulpit dove-tailed with a particular matter that has held my interest over the past few weeks of my own Bible Study? I like to think of such things as God’s doing such especially for me! Oh, I know others benefit by it as well, but an occasion such as this just reinforces my faith in His very individual care for me.
With the decision to do a chronological read-through of the Bible this year, I’d not gone very far before choosing to use the Easy Read Version for a change. Since I was already using the YOU BIBLE on my iPad, I knew it would be easy to switch back and forth between versions should I question anything that sounded different than my recall.
Having read a few chapters, I decided to start marking each verse that said or indicated that this particular person “did just as the Lord commanded.” I’d always been impressed with the verse stating, “Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.” (Genesis 7:5) This, of course, was in regard to his obedience in the building of the ark, as well as the follow-through.
As I continued to read through some of the additional OT books, the number of nearly identical scriptures, with more identifying character’s named, was astounding. This afternoon, I counted the scriptures I’d saved so far, a few of which are not in regard to this matter, but of the 178, most in the ERV are. The primary reason for this standing out with such importance to me was based on how reminiscent it was to what Jesus plainly stated, “If you love Me, keep My commands.” (John 14:15) Once I kept coming across first one, and then another of those Old Testament verses stating, “And ___ (name) did all that the Lord commanded,” each one was a personal reminder of that New Testament verse from Jesus, too.
With the thoughts in mind of doing all that the Lord commands from both the Old and New Testaments, let’s go back to the beginning paragraph’s thoughts regarding this morning’s message. (THANK YOU, PAUL SHERO.) Particular focus was placed on consideration of the word “MUST” as it is found in regard to the selection of elders and deacons in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.Though those are scriptures with which I am quite familiar, today it was time to consider them with the word MUST in context in depth. MUST isn’t just another word here. It’s meaning includes: ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, UNCONDITIONAL, NOT JUST A SUGGESTION, BROOKS NO ARGUMENT, NO QUESTION, NO WIGGLE-ROOM, COMPELLLED. Sounds positively definite, don’t you think? Let’s look at a few of the verses with MUST added where the commas originally left the words out:
I Timothy 3:1-7
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer (i.e.elder), it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer (i.e.elder), then, MUST be above reproach, MUST be the husband of one wife, MUST be temperate, MUST be prudent, MUST be respectable, MUST be hospitable, MUST be able to teach, 3 MUST not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but MUST be gentle, MUST be peaceable, MUST be free from the love of money. 4 He MUST be one who manages his own household well, MUST be keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and MUST not be a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he MUST have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
To sum this up, remembering back, the Old Testament leaders “did all that the Lord commanded”, the elders are to be the leaders in the church today with Christ as the Head, and Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commands.” When we look at what is past and what is ahead, we sometimes have a tendency to say, “But that’s impossible today.” Simple faith says, really look at the past. Consume those verses from the leaders of the Old Testament along with the commands and promises in the New, because Jesus promised to be with us always, (Matthew 28:20) and through Paul’s teaching we have learned that ,”I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“Remember those who led you,
who spoke the word of God to you,
and considering the result of their conduct,
imitate their faith.”
Hebrews 13: 7 NASB)
© M Sue 2-26-2017