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Blameless

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blameless

From; Our Daily Journey

Titus 1:1-9
An elder must live a blameless life. . . . An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life (Titus 1:6-7).

Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13 to see what else Paul says about the qualifications for church leadership.

Why do we sometimes choose church leaders based on their abilities instead of their character and spirituality? What qualities do you feel are most important for a church leader?

Many people trust their pharmacists more than their pastors! According to a 2012 Gallup poll, respondents were asked to rate the “honesty and ethical standards” of 22 different professions. Seventy-five percent ranked pharmacists as high/very high. Car salesmen and members of Congress were trusted least. Sadly, church leaders ranked eighth, and only one in two said the ones they know are men of integrity.

Paul had left Titus on the island of Crete to lead the unfinished work there. He was to “appoint elders in each town” (Titus 1:5). But what kind of man was Titus to appoint to church leadership?

“An elder must live a blameless life” ranked first of the 17 qualifications (Titus 1:5-9), a quality so important that Paul repeated it (Titus 1:7): “An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life.” Why is this so important? Damage to a church leader’s reputation is damage to God’s reputation (Nehemiah 5:9Romans 2:241 Peter 2:12).

A church leader “must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money” (Titus 1:7). But he should be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined (Titus 1:8). Not only must a leader meet high moral standards in his personal life; he must have a strong grasp and understanding of God’s Word—firmly holding to it, able to teach it to encourage others, and refuting those who oppose it (Titus 1:92 Timothy 2:15).

An elder “must live a blameless life” (Titus 1:6-7). The person who leads God’s church should possess high moral character and a godly reputation (1 Timothy 3:7). Compromising on these qualifications may be the reason many people trust their pharmacists more than their pastors.

 

wrestling with God

Genesis 32:13-32
A man came and wrestled with [Jacob] until the dawn began to break (Genesis 32:24).

Read Lamentations 3:1-23for a look at one prophet’s struggle with God. Look upActs 22:6-11 and compare that story with Jacob’s experience.

What happens when we try to out-maneuver God in our lives? What things are typically at the center of our struggles with God?

Often, on Saturdays in the 1980s, my brother and I watched professional wrestling on TV. We were mesmerized by the acrobatics and the seemingly super-human body slams that shook the wrestling ring. We rooted for the good guys and pointed at the screen exclaiming things like “Did you see that?” and “Ooooh, that had to hurt!” Fortunately, we did not try (many of) those moves at home.

The Bible records one incredible wrestling match between Jacob and an opponent—God in the form of a man. Obscured by the veil of night, He approached and “wrestled with [Jacob] until the dawn began to break” (Genesis 32:24). Apparently Jacob was one scrappy guy, because he hung in there until his Opponent dislocated Jacob’s hip with just a touch (Genesis 32:25). Despite Jacob’s efforts to out-maneuver God, God was still in control.

Even with a disabled hip, Jacob refused to loosen his grip unless he received a blessing. God renamed Him “Israel” (which means “God fights”), blessed him, and then went on His way. Left alone, Jacob realized, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared” (Genesis 32:30). Jacob met the day injured, sleep-deprived, but astonished by his encounter with his Maker.

Are you struggling with God today? Maybe His Word has revealed His will for your life in a certain area, but you’re not ready to surrender. You know He wants you to give up an addiction, regain your integrity at work, or abandon a relationship that’s not honoring to Him.

Don’t wrestle through the night as Jacob did. Acknowledge God’s perfect, loving ways and surrender to Him. Let His comfort renew your hope (Psalm 94:19). Cling to Him and stand amazed as you encounter the living God.

The Important Things in Life

 

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The important things in life

by STEPHEN

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.”

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

The Important Things in Life, By: Stephen, AcademicTips. org.

 

Carrots,Eggs, and Coffee

This is from:  Inspirational Stories, From:  Roger Knapp.com.

Carrot, Egg, and Coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see. “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”  Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became
hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial
hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water,  the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it  releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things  are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

From:  Inspirational Stories,  At:  Roger Knapp.com