Terry Baxter Devotional

The Importance of Biblical Literacy: 1 Timothy 4:13

The Importance of Biblical Literacy: 1 Timothy 4:13
“Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭
This is an insightful verse. It fills in the balance from 1 Timothy 2:1-8 that dealt with the priority of prayer. Now Paul is telling Timothy to also place a priority on the ministry of the Word. This means that early churches took Acts 6:4 seriously. They “devoted themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” Just as praise, prayer and worship go together, so now we see the public reading of Scripture, exhortation (preaching) and teaching go together.
Prior to the invention of the printing press, the Bible was not readily available to people. Books of any kind were rare. As a result, most people were illiterate. Learning of any kind both secular and sacred took place in public gatherings devoted to drama and oratory.
Jewish homes featured better education because of home schooling. Christianity adopted the Jewish model. Note the emphasis in 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:14-15 of Timothy’s mother and grandmother teaching him the sacred writings from childhood. As was common among Jewish people, they were both literate and educated in Scripture.
As the gospel spread to gentile regions, so did the need for “the public reading of Scripture, for exhortation and teaching.” It seems from Acts 2:42-47 that the early Christians met daily for the reading of Scripture, teaching and prayer.
The same holds true in many 3rd world countries today where poverty and illiteracy are prevalent. We work with some pastors in India, parts of Africa and tribal regions of South America who cannot read. They have developed a system of meeting during the week for Bible reading and teaching in preparation for their weekend preaching and teaching in their own churches. They are amazing audible learners and many are gifted orators.
This is part of the reason why pastor conferences are in high demand in these regions. It is also the fuel behind Christian schools in these area’s. In many places adults attend literacy classes.
Lest you celebrate the high literacy level in many developed countries, it is sad to acknowledge that biblical illiteracy is very prevalent within many secular and communist countries. Yet history supports the phenomenon Biblical literacy and the spread of biblical Christianity does more to bring blessing, righteousness and prosperity on a nation than any other factor. When taken seriously with much reading of Scripture built into the education system, it shapes the moral conscience of a nation.
How much more the fiber of a church. Few things distinguish an on fire and Spirit filled church more than the priority it places on prayer and the ministry of the Word. This ensures that God and not man is the center and focus of the church.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

It’s Not About A Persons Age: 1 Timothy 4:12

It’s Not About A Persons Age: 1 Timothy 4:12
“12) Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭
Physical age has nothing to do with maturity, character, godliness or gifting. Paul told Timothy not to let anyone despise his youthfulness. His speech, conduct, love faith and moral purity were to be exemplary.
It all comes down to the depth of a persons walk with God. The Holy Spirit is not limited from working through young or old, rich or poor, male or female, or ethnic background. Joseph, Daniel and Timothy were young when God started using them in great ways.
By contrast, Abraham was close to one hundred when he finally had the faith to give birth to Isaac. Moses was eighty when he stood before the burning bush. Some believe the Apostle John was in his nineties when he wrote the book of Revelation.
Danial was faithful and fruitful for God his entire life. He built a daily walk with God that spanned many decades. So was Anna. She was an aged widow and prophetess on fire for God in temple with fasting and prayers night and day past age eighty-four. (See Luke 2:36-38) She was a fire ball for the glory of God.
We need to reprogram our thinking. Fruitfulness is not tied to age. It is tied to the depth and sincerity of a walk with God and the corresponding anointing of the Holy Spirit in the persons life in the “Now!”
I have watched people who were young and on fire for God have their flame go out. I have also seen people who have been on the side lines their entire life suddenly turn to God and burn with passion, power and great fruitfulness.
The point Paul was making to Timothy was that physical age has nothing to do with ministry potential or fruitfulness. God can work equally as powerful through young or old. Age doesn’t matter. It’s not a persons age that counts, rather it’s the depth and sincerity of a persons walk with God!
In the case of Balaam, God spoke through a Donkey. Jonah is an example of God doing great things through a very reluctant and stubborn prophet. This underlines the fact that God and not the person is the ultimate source for all effective ministry. But when the human agent is in synchronism with God and anointed by the Holy Spirit, unfathomable things can happen.
The implication of this verse is that your past performance does not determine your present fruitfulness. By the time Paul wrote 2 Timothy, the fire in Timothy was growing dim. As mentioned earlier, Moses didn’t acquire the fire until he was eighty.
Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit is a “Now” phenomenon. Godliness is a daily pursuit. Past failure can bring future fruitfulness, just like past successes can lead to pride, arrogance and a time of wandering from God. It is your “Now” walk with God that matters!
So let me ask you a few questions: Is your fire burning “Now?” Are you walking in the power of the Holy Spirit “Now?” Is your time in the Word and in the prayer closet effective “Now?” Are you being faithful in season and out of season “Now?” Are you setting your mind on things above “Now?” Are your priorities right “Now?” Are you storing up treasures in heaven “Now?”
I’m not interested in your past biography or some future dream, I want to hear and see current events of what God is doing in your life right “Now!” Are you on fire for the glory of God “Now?”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Setting Personal Priorities: 1 Timothy 4:7-10

Setting Personal Priorities: 1 Timothy 4:7-10
“7) … On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8) for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9) It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 10) For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:7-10‬
We now have a great text for helping us prioritize our live. When setting up personal disciplines, place top priority on those things that lead to godliness.
Paul concludes that bodily disciplines are good and yield some benefits in this life, but godliness is profitable for all things. Building your daily walk with God has a double return. It has great benefits in this life and in the life to come.
This is comparable to Jesus in the sermon on the Mount saying; ““19) Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20) But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21) for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew‬ ‭6:19-21‬) Don’t consume all your time, energy and resources on here and now. This life is short, but eternity is forever. Invest in eternity.
Paul concludes in verse 10 by saying we should labor and strive with our hope fixed on God. Don’t make the mistake of being so self absorbed that you have no time or thought for serving God and others. Being self centered is a dead end road.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Harness the Power of Consistency Over Time: 1 Timothy 4:6-9

Harness the Power of Consistency Over Time: 1 Timothy 4:6-9
“6) In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7) But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8) for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9) It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:6-9
Paul now tackles the subject of personal discipline. He wanted Timothy to build his life and ministry around daily godly disciplines. Nothing is more important in any endeavor than daily consistency over time. It may start small but over time momentum builds in like an avalanche. Soon it will become a nighty force and affect many things in its path.
Paul wanted Timothy to discipline himself for the purpose of godliness. A life of godliness is the result of daily disciplines we build into our life. I will expand on that in a moment.
But first we need to observe that there are two sides in this text to the coin of self discipline. The first relates to the positive things we need to do every day. The second relates to negative or sinful habits we need to avoid or conquer on a daily basis. Learn to feed your spirit and starve your flesh daily. Why? Because both respond to the principle of consistency over time. You reap in your life what you sow on a daily basis. Starting today, assume responsibility for your own life!
So what are the positive things Paul wanted Timothy to build into his life. At the top of his list were spiritual priorities. He wanted him to set aside daily time for seeking God in prayer, studying the Word and laying the foundation of sound doctrine in his life. We can build this assumption on Acts 6:4. The Apostles “devoted themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”
I believe according to Ephesians 4:20-24 that Paul made the renewing of the mind his second priority. He taught people to take control of their thinking. They needed to sort out truth from deception. They needed to build positive attitudes and emotions into their life. They needed to feed faith and starve doubt. They needed to convert the soul and work on positive mental health.
As you read all of Pauls writings you soon discover that good nutrition and physical fitness also ranked high on his list. Don’t mistake 1 Timothy 4:8 as Paul saying he did not value physical fitness. He was merely putting it below daily spirit and soul priorities. A casual reading of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 undergirds this point. Many Christians don’t do well spiritually because they are not taking proper care of the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Paul also put learning positive relational skills (Philippians 2:1-11), developing a good work ethic (Ephesians 4:28) and financial stewardship (2 Corinthians 8) among his personal disciplines. He emphasized intensional daily personal growth and development in all the above areas of his life.
On the opposite side of the coin, he instructed people to put off the old self. Don’t make the mistake of trying to put on the new without putting off the old. (Compare Ephesians 4:17-32 with Colossians 3:1-17) Positive disciplines and negative habits have a way of neutralizing each other. The spirit and the flesh are in constant tension. (Galatians 5:16-24)
Notice in 1 Timothy 4:6-7, Paul told Timothy to build on sound doctrine while avoiding worldly fables. Let me be candid; you will never come to godliness by just reading your Bible and praying a few minutes every day… if you spend most of your time surfing the internet, watching Hollywood smut, reading romance novels, dabbling in pornography and living in an immoral relationship. Stop fooling yourself! Your struggles in your walk with God are your own making. An undisciplined life is a wasted life.
Paul was telling Timothy to take control of his own life. If you want to be a fruitful Christian and effective leader then start building your daily life around godly disciplines. Harness the principle of daily consistency over time in your life. Lay the groundwork for an avalanche of godly momentum in your life. Forget the past and sow the daily seeds for a new life and future.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The End Time Apostasy: 1 Timothy 4:1-5

The End Time Apostasy: 1 Timothy 4:1-5
“1) But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2) by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3) men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4) For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5) for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:1-5‬
Caution: You are about to wrestle with some deep truth. Proceed only if you are not weak of heart or mind!
This chapter opens with a contrast and a warning. Note, “in the latter days some will fall away from the faith.” This is often called the apostasy. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 issues the same warning.
In the later times, many will claim to be Christians but will abandon biblical truth and live as they please in accordance with their own passions and desires. They will “fall away” from the truth.
Notice there will be two voices speaking. First will be the Spirit of God. He is often referred to as the Spirit of truth. (See John 14:16-18; 16:13) His role is to guide believers into all truth.
Second, Paul warns the later times will be accompanied by many deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. Like the serpent in Eden, they will twist the truth and distort the clear teaching of Gods Word.
Jesus warned in John 8:44 that Satan is the father of lies. He seeks to lead people into bondage, corruption and death. Colossians 2:8 issues the warning of being looted and led captive through philosophy and empty worldly deception rather than according to Christ. The enemy always uses lies and deceptions to promote his evil schemes.
Paul used a graphic word picture in verse 2 to illustrate how these deceitful spirits will work. They will use lies and deception like a hot branding iron to sear or burn the human conscience. It leaves the smell of flesh burning as a permanent scar is formed. The red hot branding iron was used to mark slaves in Pauls day.
But in this text it is not skin burning, it is the human conscience. They will no longer be able to distinguish good from bad, right from wrong or truth from lies. The inner guide of human conscience will be left hard, callused and scared. As a result, people will become slaves to immoral passions.
Ephesians 4:17-19 documents the tail spin into the resulting callused condition and hard heart. Because of the constant bombardment of lies and deception, people will be given over to a futile mind. Their understanding will be darkened and their heart will become hard. Soon they will be given over to sensuality and embrace and defend every form of impurity. Romans 1:18-32 presents the same decline into human depravity but with more vivid step by step detail.
Paul then warns Timothy that there will be two immediate outcomes of the doctrines of demons. First, the sanctity of marriage as defined in the Bible will be abandoned. Instead of saving intimacy for the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman in covenant relationship with God, marriage will be replaced with open immorality of every kind. Society will be full of fornication, adultery, pornography, self stimulation, incest, pedophilia, rape, homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, sexual exploitation, orgies, prostitution, and human trafficking. (This is a compilation of numerous texts defining sexual sins in the New Testament.) Let me summarize, Paul was saying in the later times the institution of marriage will be under attack and the nuclear family will deteriorate.
But second, Paul notes that in later times the conclusions and designs of Creation will be distorted and changed. Romans 1:25 explains this phenomenon; “25) For they exchanged to truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
This will show up in human diet, but the motivation behind certain diets is the issue in this text. For example, Hinduism excludes eating many animals because it worships them. Modern environmentalism abstains from numerous meats for similar reasons. It is influenced by evolution, naturalism and the desire to be one with nature. This is also a form of worship.
Modern activists want to grant human rights to all animals because humans are merely part of the animal kingdom. This is the natural outcome of evolutionary thinking.
Therefore, the concluding logic is that eating meat is a kind of cannibalism. The problem is that the truth of a Creator is absent from the picture. Truth has been displaced by deception. As a result, human reason is distorted.
In some cases, the fines are now more severe for killing an animal than killing a human. If you doubt this, compare the penalties for stealing an eagle egg to aborting a human baby!
This text is not condemning a vegetarian diet so long as God is honored as Creator and Provider. Plants were given by God as a primary food source. They are very healthy. (See Genesis 1:29-31) Daniel and others were vegetarians, however they did not condemn others for eating meats. There is great latitude for personal diet in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 puts the hammer to the nail. It says that God designed everything for a purpose. Verse 13 says He designed the stomach for food and food for the stomach, but the human body was not designed for immorality, but for the Lord.
The modern lie is that people are primarily sexual creatures driven with animal like instincts. The biblical truth is that people were created in the image of God to be spiritual beings and their bodies can become a temple of the Holy Spirit.
The humanistic lie is that people are free to indulge in the flesh and are excused if they loose control in the process. The biblical truth is that we should believe in Jesus Christ, walk in the Spirit and live by the grace and power of God.
We are now living in the apostasy of the later times that Paul warned about. You and I have a choice. We can either embrace the lies and live in bondage with a seared conscience and moral defeat; or we can embrace Jesus Christ and biblical truth and live in freedom.
I know where I stand and why! You also have the freedom of choice. Either way, your basic life philosophy, personal identity, primary motivations, world view, key decisions and life experiences will be radically affected. I point you to Jesus Christ, the Bible as the foundation of truth and a growing walk with God. But please take your life seriously. Don’t join the apostasy by mindless default.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Mystery of Godliness: 1 Timothy 3:16

The Mystery of Godliness: 1 Timothy 3:16
“By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭3:16‬
Every aspect of the life of Jesus Christ contributed to the gospel. This verse alludes to His pre-existence, His incarnation, His Deity, His sinlessness, the continual angelic interaction and affirmation of every aspect of His life, the spread of the good news of His death burial and resurrection and His ascension to heaven.
Each of these claims are worthy of a detailed book examining all of the supporting Scriptures. Jesus Christ is in a category all of His own. Let me try to introduce Him to You: He is the Uncaused Cause, the Creator of all things, the Sustainer, the Only Begotten Son of God, Higher than the angels, Holy, Sinless, the Perfect Sacrifice, the Savior of the World, the Author of Salvation, the Son of Man, the Carpenters Son, the Promised One of Israel, the Messiah, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Door, the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the True Vine, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the Groom and Head of the Church, the Living One, He Who is and Who was and is to Come, The First and the Last, The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords!
That may have been a long sentence, but it’s just a brief introduction of Jesus Christ; The Mystery of Godliness.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global.

The Mystery of the Church: 1 Timothy 3:14-15

The Mystery of the Church: 1 Timothy 3:14-15
“14) I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15) but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭3:14-15‬ ‭
Paul took seriously his apostleship and oversight of the churches he helped start. Though often absent in body he was present in spirit. He carried them in his bosom night and day. (See 2 Corinthians 11:28-29) He constantly prayed for them.
Though he did not stay long in one location, he made a constant circuit of ministering to both churches and those he discipled in the faith. When his circumstances prevented his visits, he summoned a scribe or took the pen in hand and wrote them. His diligence to correspond in his absence resulted in much of the New Testament being written. God used his delays to greatly advance the gospel.
Paul had a high view of the church in society. As verse 15 says, he viewed it as “… the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of truth.”
The church is the pillar of truth in society. It has the role of opposing moral darkness and decay and proclaiming the light. While Satan and the world seeks to deceive, corrupt and enslave; the church holds forth truth, forgiveness and freedom through the gospel. It is no surprise that the gates of hell are aligned against the true church.
Though many churches have abandoned the faith and become liberal and secular institutions, Jesus watches over His bride. His church is a living organism. He promised to build His church in such a way that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. (See Matthew 16:17-19 & Ephesians 5:22-30)
Every believer should embark on a detailed study of the church in the New Testament. It is indeed the household of God. It is the pillar and support of truth. It is not made up of brick or mortar, it is made up of born-again believers. (See 1 Peter 2:4-5 & Ephesians 2:19-22) Jesus Himself is the head and we are His body.
I love Jesus and count it my highest privilege and honor to be part of His body. Few Christians understand or value the mystery of the church in the world. The Spirit of God has always been active through the true household of God in the world.
His true church cannot be defined or contained by denominations or human institutions. Though many man made churches are dead, dysfunctional and void of truth; His church is very alive, powerful and active in the world. The Spirit of God is working in unprecedented ways in and through His Church today. I believe He is preparing His bride for His soon return.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Qualification of Deacons: 1 Timothy 3:8-13

Qualification of Deacons: 1 Timothy 3:8-13
“8) Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9) but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10) These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11) Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12) Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13) For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭3:8-13‬
The office of deacon originated in Acts 6:1-7 to help take the ministry load off from the Apostles. Verse 3 says they selected “seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”
According to verse 13, “… they brought these before the apostles; and after praying they laid their hands on them.” Some see this as a form of ordination for this office. It was at the very least formal recognition of their gifts, calling, character and appointment.
One of them was Stephen. He was full of grace and power and was performing wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6:8) He preached with unusual wisdom and power. It is obvious that his ministry soon extended beyond waiting on tables. He also became the first Christian martyr. The heritage of this office quickly become important in the early church.
Sadly, Nicolas was also among this group. (See Acts 6:5) He eventually went astray into heresy and started a movement known as the Nicolaitans. (See Revelation 2:6 & 15) The influence of this heresy was evidently strong in Ephesus and Timothy was sent to counter its influence in the church. Many associate his movement with the counsel of Balaam in the book of Numbers that participated in idolatry and promoted immorality.
The qualifications presented by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 for deacons are very similar to that of an Overseer, with the exception that women are included in this office in verse 11. Deacons were to be mature men and women of godliness with a good reputation. The qualifications should be studied carefully before putting anyone in this office.
Some trip over the mention in verse 12 that deacons should be “husbands of one wife.” This they believe excluded women from this office. I disagree.
I see this as merely excluding polygamous men, which was common in both Jewish and Gentile cultures. The idea was if they were married, they had to be in a good monogamous marriage relationship holding to strict fidelity.
This was a direct counter to the teaching of the Nicolaitans which evidently embraced several forms of immorality including polygamy and concubines. This New Testament restriction was most likely anchored in the teaching of Jesus found in Matthew 19:1-12. As Christianity took root and spread, so did the standard of monogamous marriages.
To summarize, let me say that the early church had high standards for leadership. Both men and women had to demonstrate a godly and Spirit filled life to serve as a deacon or deaconess.
I see the goal of disciple making being the raising up of many fruitful leaders and Christian workers. Every effective church should be turning out a steady stream of gifted, experienced and approved Christian workers and leaders.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Qualifications of an Overseer: 1 Timothy 3:2-7

Qualifications of an Overseer: 1 Timothy 3:2-7
“2) An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3) not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4) He must be one who manages his own household well, 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 not 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.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭3:2-7‬ ‭
The Apostle now turns to the qualifications of an overseer. This list can be broken into several parts. He instructs Timothy to look at his character, his marriage and family, his temperament and diligence, his leadership ability, his teaching and influence on others, his treatment of strangers, his stewardship and financial integrity, his maturity level as a Christian, his free from addictions and his reputation from those within the community. This is a thorough list that reflects balanced Christan virtue and maturity. Though every Christan man should aspire to this level of maturity and godliness, many are disqualified.
Let me touch on a few that stand out. First, being a Christan convert and maturing disciple of Jesus Christ is essential. This whole list is the outgrowth of a deep and intimate walk with God. Many churches have put men of influence into leadership who have no walk with God and lack godly wisdom and biblical understanding. This is a tragic mistake. How can a man lead others into a deep relationship with God when they themselves are shallow or given to worldly wisdom?
Second, he must be a man of moral and sexual freedom. Jesus, Paul and Timothy were single and morally free. Others like Peter were married with fidelity and devotion to their one wife in keeping the marriage covenant. Matthew 19:1-12, 1 Corinthians 5-7 and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 should all line up in the life of Christan leader.
Third, when it comes to character and Godly maturity we might summarize by saying they display agape love and the fruit of the Spirit. Does their life reflect a walk with God? Is there ample evidence of the Spirit of God working in them and through them? Are they being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ? Are their children being positively influenced for Jesus Christ or are they showing signs of reacting to hypocrisy not seen in public?
Finally, does the man have a call or mantle from God on his life for advancing the kingdom of God? Is he concerned about the lost and given to disciple making? Does he have the heart of Jesus for missions? Does he have a witness and positive influence for the glory of God among unbelievers?
It is a tragic mistake putting a man in leadership who has no experience or flame in his heart for missions. We could conclude from 1 Timothy 1:1-8 that his prayer life must have a fire for the lost.
Look at the example of Jesus in Matthew 10 and Luke 10. Every disciple Jesus made, He trained and sent on mission trips. This is where vision is formed, gifts are discovered and the power of God is witnessed. How can a man oversee Christan ministry who has no experience with kingdom dynamics and knows nothing of the power of the gospel?
These are questions seldom asked about prospective leaders, but the context of the book of 1 Timothy and indeed the whole New Testament screams these truths. A Christan leader must be a man with a testimony of a transformed life because of his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. His must have a mature and growing walk with God. He should be a man of faith who is gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit. He should display a positive marriage and family life that validates his testimony and walk with God. He should be a man who is bearing fruit for the glory of God.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Desire to Lead: 1 Timothy 1:3

The Desire to Lead: 1 Timothy 1:3
“1) It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭
One of Timothy’s responsibilities was to appoint leadership over the church in Ephesus. Serving as an overseer is a huge task and great responsibility.
When considering church leaders, personal desire and godly qualifications must come together. Some may desire to be leaders but they are not qualified for various reasons. Others may be qualified but they have no desire to be a leader. Both must come together within a leader.
Some, like Peter may warm up slowly to this calling. In John 21:15-17, Jesus had to beckon him three times to feed and care for His sheep. I am mindful that God is the one who puts leadership in place.
Others, like the false teachers in Ephesus had an aspiration for leadership but were not qualified. (See 1 Timothy 1:6-20) It is as important to avoid bad leadership over the church as it is to find good leaders.
I believe leadership includes both gifting and calling. Paul makes this case in Ephesians 4:11-14. Yet, church leaders must work on personal growth and development. They need to continually hone their skills. It takes effort to move from good to great as a leader.
Every leader should be a reader and devote considerable time studying the subject of leadership, relational skills and the art of communications. John Maxwell is a great author on this subject. I encourage every pastor and Christian leader to study his material.
The bottom line is that Christian leaders are servants of the people entrusted to them and not lords or masters. Jesus had much to say on this subject during His public ministry. Peter also addressed this style of leadership in 1 Peter 5:1-5.
So what are the biblical qualification for leadership? Paul tackles that subject in the balance of this chapter.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global