Theme of the Week: Success As A Christian Man
Bible Verse: “For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden…” 1 John 5:3
Scripture Reading: 1 John 5:1-4
Have the Ten Commandments, at least some of them, ever seemed a little . . . basic? Sometimes we treat them like they represent some unrealistic standard; they don’t. Don’t kill each other. Don’t take each other’s stuff. Don’t sleep with other people’s spouses. They don’t seem to set an extreme standard, and yet it’s shocking how often they are broken.
Writing to a couple of young pastors, the apostle Paul gave a set of character qualities that people should look for in church leaders (See 1 Timothy 3: 1-7 and Titus 1:6-9). Those Qualities are not extraordinary either. D.A. Carson notes how low the bar is. Godly men are “supposed to be gentle, not supposed to get drunk, and so forth: the list is remarkable for being unremarkable.”1
Paul’s list is worth looking at for what it means to live successfully. Although Paul wrote it as a list of character qualities for church leaders, almost every quality — with the exception of not being a new believer and being able to teach — are mentioned elsewhere as qualities that should describe every Christian. This isn’t just a list for church leaders; it’s a list of character qualities we should all develop.
Paul paints a picture of what the successful Christian life looks like. It’s challenging, but it’s also basic. In the next few days, we’re going to look at these qualities and how to develop them in our lives.
Prayer: God, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the things that seem simple and easy. But simplicity doesn’t mean unimportant. Help me to see the characteristics and behaviors that you set forth as foundational to a life that is both successful and fulfilling.
Reflection: Which characteristic that Scripture calls for do you find the most difficult to express in your life. Ask the Spirit for his help in growing that in you.
1 https://s3.amazonaws.com/churchplantmedia-cms/the_gospel_coalition_losangeles/carson-defining-elders.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2022.
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