Readings

  • Revelation 2
  • Revelation 3
  • Matthew 16:18

Prayer

Pray… that you would learn from the characteristics of the churches we read about today, and live to honour Christ.

Day 355 – Revelation & the Seven Churches

Jesus’ promise to the church will be fulfilled by Him

10 days to go!

 

  • These two chapters, like much in Revelation, could have books written about them just on their own! There is a lot of content to consider. What do we read across Revelation 2-3?
  • Today we saw seven letters (that number again!). These letters were addressed to seven churches in Asia – real churches that were in real cities. They would have actually been sent. Barring occasional differences, they all have the same pattern, don’t they? Can you spot it?
  • Here’s the pattern I hope you spotted. 1) Jesus, the author, describes something about Himself; 2) the positive and/or negative issues facing the church; 3) words of comfort and command to the church; 4) a call to hear and listen to the words of the letter and 5) a blessing for churches that “conquer” their battles.
  • Go through each letter and see if you can pick out each of the five sections of the letter. This will take a little while. Your study Bible may have a table to help you.
  • Which two churches have the most encouraging reports? Which two have little or no positive comments?
  • The first purpose of these letters was to communicate with the literal churches and meet their needs at that time. The second purpose is to reveal seven different types of churches (and you can think about the same types of individuals too) throughout history and give them wisdom and encouragement to deal with the problems they may face. Which church do you think your Christian life is most like, and can you get encouragements or warnings from Jesus’ message to them?
  • Jesus taught lots of things when He came to the earth for the first time, but the Christian church as we know it didn’t begin until after His ascension. Do you find it rather cool that in these words we have Jesus himself giving loving guidance and teaching to the actual churches of the day?
  • Jesus promised many things to churches in these words, and Scripture says that they will all be fulfilled by Him. Which of the promises made in these verses are you most looking forward to when Christ comes back to reign?

 

Think of the church(es) that you have been involved with in your life (which will probably only be one, unless you’re one of the adults reading along!). Do any of the ones listed in Revelation 2 and 3 sound similar to yours?

 

Think about individual Christians you know. Can you see traits of any of the seven churches in their lives? Are they like Ephesus, who forgot their first love of the gospel and drifted? Or Pergamum, a church that needed to repent? What about Thyatira, the church with false teaching, or Sardis, which had fallen asleep, or Laodicea, with its wishy-washy lukewarm faith? Perhaps encouragement can also be found if they reflect Smyrna, which endured persecution well, or Philadelphia, which patiently kept true to God’s word.

 

It’s important that as you finish your reading today that you understand the general differences between the churches (as I described in the last paragraph). Jesus has messages of application for each church in light of His death and resurrection. Jesus is speaking to you today too, as I’m sure that you might have felt like one of the churches today. Listen to Jesus’ words of warning, and remember His words of joy and comfort!

 Readings

  • None… unless you need to catch up!

Prayer

Pray… for something that is on your mind today.

Day 354 – Day Off

 

Our second to last day off of the year, and Christmas is well and truly on its way. School’s out, the Christmas songs are on the radio. This year will be a very different one to many, of course, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that a very special day is coming soon, which we can rightly celebrate.

 

I know well enough now that holidays doesn’t always mean extra time to read! But do try not to push the readings too far out of the way. Even, dare I say it, on Christmas Day itself! Give yourself time with them. The readings this week are hard. Revelations is hard. The stark reality of death outside of Christ is hard.

 

Come to your readings this week with a prayer that the words you read will challenge you with the seriousness of the Bible’s warnings, but never forget the great news is the gospel message either.

 

And tomorrow… Well, tomorrow we’ll start our ten day countdown. Who’s going to finish on time?!

Readings

  • Revelation 1
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
  • Romans 13:8-14

Prayer

Pray… for help over these last few days as we get stuck into the tricky imagery of the Book of Revelation.

Day 353- Revelation & the End Times

Jesus’ soon return will mark the end of a ‘Spiritual Night’

 

12 days left, and it’s all in the wonderful book of Revelation!

 

  • Much of what we read in the Old Testament was pointing to an historical point in time – the coming of Jesus. In the New Testament we read about those wonderful events of 2,000 years ago, and the beginning of the church age in which we’re still living. Revelation is unique in the Bible though. It takes us beyond our time, into future events which have yet to happen. These prophetic words are as exciting as they are confusing! As we come to the last few days of our reading plan, let’s be like Paul, and keep running the race well as we dig into these amazing words.
  • Who was the physical author of this book, and who was the spiritual author? Where was the book written? Why was John there (Revelation 1:9)? John was probably – although some people disagree – the same John that wrote the gospel.
  • The number seven appears many time in this book. It’s a special number in the Bible – it’s used a whopping 860 times in different forms. What times can you remember it being used in the past? What seven things are shown in Revelation 1?
  • The doxology (which is a short expression of praise to God) in Revelation 1:4-8 contains some great, but simply-worded, truths about Jesus. What sort of things does it say?
  • How is Jesus pictured in Revelation 1:12-16? What do you think all the attributes mean? For example, the double-edged sword in his mouth could signify God’s powerful word, with the judgement it brings. What about the others? Spend a bit of time on this.
  • What do the lampstands in the vision represent? How can churches be like “lights”?
  • The passages in 1 Thessalonians and Romans have similar messages. What are the main points?
  • Do we know, or should we try and work out, when the second coming of Christ will be? Why not?
  • Today’s title refers to the fact that Jesus will come to end the “spiritual night”. Heaven is described as having “no more night” in Revelation 22. What do you think the topics of darkness and night might represent? What sort of unhelpful activities often place in the dark? Do you think it’s easier to succumb to temptations when it’s dark? Why?
  • Christians are called to “belong to the day”. What does that mean, do you think? What does it look like when we do this?

 

As we head into the book of Revelation, we’ll be reading some astonishing words about future events to come. Something like Wikipedia would call Revelation “apocalyptic writings”, which means that it is prophecy about the future end of the world. Revelation has the most references to this, but we’ve also seen similar prophecy in sections of the bible like Daniel 7-12, Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

 

With much of the Bible, Christians look back and trust in events of the past to see how God worked for us. We look back to the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection every week. Christians are challenged, regularly, to show evidence to back up the events of the past. With Revelation, however, that’s not the case. It’s very different. Suddenly we’re not trying to understand events and teachings of the past, but instead evaluating prophecy which haven’t yet happened. It’s a bit like the promises that the Old Testament people had about Jesus, before Jesus came. It will help to remember that as you read over the next week or so.

Readings

  • 2 Peter 1:1-15
  • Philippians 1:12-26
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-8

Prayer

Pray… a prayer of thankfulness for the selfless proclamation of the gospel that the apostles did all those years ago.

Day 352- Peter and Paul

Peter & Paul finish their life well & are prepared for eternity

 

  • Well, we’ve spent over a month looking at the lives of the early apostles, focusing in on Peter and Paul as we read through the book of Acts, and we come at last to their final teachings, as they look back on many years of proclaiming Christ to the world. What do you think their influence on the Christian church has been?
  • The verses we have read from Peter’s second letter, written to all Christians, remind us that if we have a good understanding of the gospel message, it should be changing us from the inside out. What things does Peter say to “add to your faith” in verses 2 Peter 1:5-7?
  • We trust in a gospel of grace, not of works, and we know that kindness and love don’t, by themselves, save us. Nevertheless, our lives should be filled with the practical attributes listed in these verses. Importantly, though, we should look to fill our lives with virtue, and self-control, and steadfastness and godliness because of what Peter says in verse  9 – it comes when we understand how we have been cleansed of our sins by Jesus.
  • Paul’s letter to the Philippians contains some of the most joyful passages in Scripture. Written from Paul’s jail cell, the letter called on the readers to persevere with thanksgiving and prayer even in the toughest of times, setting their sights on Jesus when they needed Him the most. How had Paul’s tough times helped him to “advance the gospel”?
  • Paul found ways to be encouraged even when he heard of the gospel being preached with the wrong motives. It seems some people were sharing the good news about Jesus for some selfish reasons, whatever they may have been. What did Paul think when he saw this? Verses Philippians 1:17-18 will tell you.
  • Philippians 1:21 is very powerful. Living on this earth as followers of Jesus is “Christ” – and when we die, it will be even more glorious! What did this logic lead Paul to think about in verses 23-24? What conclusions did he come to?
  • Underline the verses in this passage which have encouraged you as you read through them. You might also enjoy reading the beautiful words of Philippians 2:1-11 whilst you’re in this part of Scripture.
  • Paul’s second letter to Timothy gives some of Paul’s final teaching. What general things did he encourage Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 4:2-6?
  • Paul knew his life was almost at an end when he penned his words to Timothy. How did he summarise his life’s work? Had he continued to “run the race” for Jesus to the end, and finish well? How do you hope that you would sum up your Christian life when you come to your final days?

 

Paul and Peter were just men, of course. It’s Jesus to whom we turn for our salvation. But apostles such as these, and especially Paul, have shown what living with Christ at the centre of their hearts looks like. The gospel utterly transformed them from the inside out, and their lives overflowed with Christ’s message and love. From that point of view, there are few greater role models that you could look to as you “run your Christian race”.

 

Today marks the end of looking at Paul and his letters. Our reading plan doesn’t go through Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and all the other writings attributed to Paul in the way that we looked chapter-by-chapter at Acts. Instead, we have been dipping into these letters time and again throughout the last 352 days. We’ll continue to dip into them for the rest of our reading plan too, I’m glad to say! Tomorrow, however, the focal passages will bring us to the start of Revelations, which is an astonishing piece of writing which prophesies into the future and talks of end times. It’s exciting – and often bewildering!

Readings

  • Acts 27
  • Acts 28
  • 2 Timothy 1:15-18

Prayer

Pray… a prayer of thankfulness that God is in control at all times, even when life is tough.

Day 351 – Paul – Journey #4 (Shipwreck, Malta, Rome)

Onesiphorus cares for Paul in prison

 

  • I doubt there are two other chapters in the bible that have so much human action and suspense than the two that bring the book of Acts to its conclusion. It reads like the plot to a disaster movie, doesn’t it!
  • You may have noticed that the word “we” is now used in the story. This probably means that Luke joined Paul on the journey to Rome.
  • Paul, of course, was still under arrest. His journey to Rome stopped off at several places. As with the previous journeys, I encourage you to take a look at a map of the journey that he likely travelled.
  • In Acts 27:9 Paul warned them about the dangers of setting sail from Lasea. The reference to the Fast shows us it was late September or early October. Sailing at this time was increasingly dangerous. Sailing after the 11th November, based on the weather conditions and the location, was considered suicidal! It seems, however, that the captain of the boat was in no mood to hang around in Lasea all winter due to the poor quality of the harbour, so he decided to sail along the short of Crete to find a better spot.
  • What happened whilst they sailed, in Acts 27:13-20? How did Paul comfort his fellow passengers in Acts 27:21-26? Who is in control? Why do you think Luke, who likely wrote these words, recounted this dangerous journey with so much detail, such as the attempt made by some of the crew to escape from the ship?
  • The inevitable shipwreck led to them running aground at Malta. How did God keep Paul’s life – and the lives of everyone else on board – safe?
  • God continued to protect Paul when he was bitten by the snake. Isn’t it interesting how God allowed Paul to go through the difficult time on the boat, and with the snake, and yet looked after him through the ordeals? How has God looked after you through a difficult time (when you might have been wondering why God allowed the difficulty to happen in the first place!).
  • What was Paul’s reception in Rome? How did the Roman church know about Paul? Under what conditions was Paul kept prisoner? The might seem quite relaxed to you, but remember that Paul wasn’t a violent man or a rebel, nor a political prisoner. The Romans probably knew he wasn’t going to cause trouble by being under house arrest.
  • The book of the Acts of the Apostles comes to its conclusion with the Roman church struggling to decide whether Jesus was the promised Messiah. What did Paul say to encourage them?

 

Acts then, rather abruptly, stops. We know Paul stayed in Rome for two years (verse 30) but we don’t read about any more specific events in Paul’s ministry. Christian tradition has it that Paul was released at this time, and went on to Spain, and then back to revisit places such as Crete, Colosse and Ephesus, before returning back again to Rome. He certainly wrote a large number of his letters at this time, wherever he was. On next day of readings, we’ll think a little more about Paul’s incredible life and legacy.

 

We’ve come to the end of the book of Acts, which I find an absolutely fascinating picture of the struggles, successes and unrelenting desire of the early church as they shared the exciting news of the events they had just witnessed about Jesus. I hope that if you didn’t know too much about it before you’ll have found it equally interesting to consider in so much depth!

Readings

  • Acts 25
  • Acts 26
  • 1 Peter 2:11-17

Prayer

Pray… for the Holy Spirit to help you whenever you give a defense of the gospel amongst your friends.

Day 350 – Paul – Journey #4 (Caesarea)

Paul’s trials & submitting to the laws of the government

 

  • The story continues today directly after yesterday’s account, with Paul’s trial continuing after his two years in prison. A man named Festus had, by then, replaced Felix as the governor. Despite this lengthy delay, were the chief priests able to show anything that proved their charges against Paul?
  • What did Festus ask Paul in Acts 25:9? Why did Paul refuse? Who did Paul appeal to in verse 11? This was something Roman citizens – of which Paul was one – were legally entitled to do.
  • You might have wondered why Paul would seek to extend these rather long legal proceedings even further by asking to take his case all the way to Caesar. There was very good reason! Paul was determined to bring the gospel to Rome (remember that from our readings a week or so ago?). This was the perfect opportunity to get there. Paul might not imagined he would be sent there in chains, but he trusted in God’s providence to work through this difficult situation.
  • Festus went to King Agrippa (he’s one of the Herod family). How did Festus explain the situation to the king? Acts 25:18-20 show Festus’ confusion!
  • In chapter 26, Paul defended himself in front of the king. He began, like he has done before, by explaining how he was transformed from a Christian-hater to an apostle. What did he say?
  • What was Paul’s question to the assembly in Acts 25:8? Paul’s aim was to convince his audience that the resurrection is the central pillar of the Christian faith, and that God has always brought life from death.
  • Acts 26:22-23 show the climax of Paul’s speech, firmly claiming Christ’s suffering,death and resurrection as God’s plan for bringing “light to the Jews and to the Gentiles”. What was Festus’ response, and what was Paul’s reply?
  • In verse 28, the king seemed to be mocking Paul by laughing when he suggested that he could be converted to Christianity. What was Paul’s response to this in verse 29?
  • Did you smile at the confusion of Agrippa in Acts 26:30-32, knowing what you do about Paul’s plans to get taken to Rome?
  • Our third reading in 1 Peter links in to the Acts story in two ways: Paul’s conduct amongst the gentiles, and his submission to both God’s authority (in his faithful preaching) and the authority of the Roman rulers (as he accepted the prison and trails he endured). In nearly all situations, submitting to both God and the government is right for us too, even if the government is antagonistic towards Christians.

 

Paul has now explained himself to many people: the Jewish leaders, Felix, Festus and now even King Agrippa. The responses have ranged from anger to confusion to mocking indifference. But in all situations Paul accepted the process that the officials went though, even when it meant staying in jail for two years. His responses to  seemed to be fair to all who heard them, as he lovingly, and with a bold conviction, told them the truth of the gospel. He was never uncontrolled or angry in his responses, even when he could have rightly been frustrated at the situations he found himself in.

 

That’s been challenging to me. I often find myself quick to become frustrated when things don’t happen as and when I hope. I can write a talk for the youth club, and be annoyed when the people who I hoped would hear it don’t turn up that week, for example. I’m tempted to be frustrated at the time I spent writing the talk, and I can sometimes catch myself asking God why He would not bring many people along to hear it.

 

This is a sinful attitude, of course. It’s right to be disappointed that someone doesn’t hear a gospel message, perhaps, but when the root of that is a desire to impress people with time and effort I put in, or the quality of my jokes, then that, of course, is a really selfish attitude. Paul could have had a self-centred attitude about his treatment in the recent readings, but it seems that isn’t the case. Proclaiming Jesus with his words and his humility came first. That’s something we all, me especially, can probably learn a great deal from.

Readings

  • Acts 23
  • Acts 24
  • Philippians 1:27-30

Prayer

Pray… and remember that even if everyone about you seems to be giving you a hard time, God will never stop loving you, because when He sees you, He sees His Son.

Day 349 – Paul – Journey #4 (Jerusalem, Caesarea)

The Sadducees, Pharisees, & Paul’s trial before Felix

 

  • The story of Paul’s increasingly challenging life steps up a gear again today in today’s passages which show some harsh treatment, trial and imprisonment at the hands of the Jewish leaders.
  • Let’s set the scene, just so we’re all up to date. Most of Paul’s missionary journeys have now taken place. These events mark the start of his fourth (and final) journey. It’s now about 57 AD, 27 or so years since Jesus died. Paul had, by now, written his letters to the Galatians, Thessalonians (both the letters), Corinthians (again, both) and to the Romans (who he had still yet to visit).
  • Today’s passages open with Paul debating with the religious leaders. What did Ananias do in verse Acts 23:2? It was illegal under Levitical law. When Paul referred to him as a “whitewashed wall”, he may well have been referring to a tomb, which were often bright white on the outside but inside, of course, were full of death and decay. What would Paul’s point have been?
  • Acts 23:6-10 show disagreement between two of the different Jewish groups, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. What did they disagree about? Does this disagreement between these two groups of leaders surprise you? Is it like different Christian denominations disagreeing nowadays?
  • What did Jesus say Paul would do in verse Acts 23:11?
  • What was the plot of passage that follows, in verses 12-22? How was it foiled? Do you think those who took the vow ended up dying of thirst, based on the foolish oath that they took in verse 12?!
  • The Romans, rightly, seemed keen to ensure that Paul was properly treated. How do we see this in the letter written at the end of Acts 23? This should encourage you. Sometimes the people who you don’t expect to help you or encourage you can!
  • What were the arguments made by the religious leaders about Paul in his trial in chapter 24, and what was Paul’s cheerful response? The main issue the Jews had was that they thought Paul was stirring people up with false teaching and lies, but Paul continued to prove everything that had happened had been prophesied in the Old Testament. Paul used this argument several times. He even used this platform as a chance to preach the gospel to the Romans!
  • Felix, the governor, listened to the debate with interest. How did Paul’s words make him feel (Acts 24:25)? What did Felix hope Paul would do (verse 26)?
  • Don’t let Acts 24:27 pass you by. Felix, not really knowing what to do, now decided to leave Paul languishing in jail for two whole years. What sort of things have you got planned for the next two years? How do you think you might feel if your life was put on hold for all that time by being wrongfully imprisoned?

 

We’ll read tomorrow about how the trial continued after the two years were up.

 

We’ve read about Paul being in prison before, haven’t we? There was the time when he and Silas were in jail and were singing and sharing the news about Jesus with the jailer, who becomes convinced of the truth for himself. Paul, I’m sure, would have taken the chance to do the same when he was locked up this time. He would also have written some of his letters at this point, I’m sure.

 

I wonder if Paul struggled during these times too, though. John the Baptist, when he was imprisoned, went through a period of doubting Jesus. Difficult, protracted situations like being in jail can be a perfect place to be challenged with doubt. It’s worth bearing in mind that Paul wasn’t miraculously freed from jail this time. Sometimes God doesn’t do things in the timing we would hope for.

 

There is nothing to suggest in the Bible that Paul had the same questions that John had, though. Why do you think this might be?

Readings

  • Acts 21
  • Acts 22
  • Philippians 3

Prayer

Pray… that you would stand firm in the words of the Bible – not just against the challenges from non-Christians, but also those who are, but twist God’s word to suit themselves.

Day 348 – Paul – Journey #3 (Arrest in Jerusalem)

The Jews oppose Paul for being called to the Gentiles

 

  • On Paul’s way home, at the end of his third journey, he briefly stopped at a number of places including Caesarea. There he met a prophet named Agabus. What did he prophesy about Paul? What was Paul’s unsurprising response?
  • When Paul arrived back in Jerusalem, I’m sure he was looking forward to a few days’ rest! The Christians in Jerusalem were delighted to see him again, but they were concerned about a rumour that was going around about his teaching. Can you see what the rumour was in Acts 21:20-21?
  • The men in verse 23 had taken a Nazarite vow, just like Samson had all the way back in the time of the Judges. Do you remember what this meant? Go back and look at your notes if not.
  • What did the people ask Paul, in Acts 21:23-26 to do to show that he respected the old customs? Did Paul agree? How does this show that Paul was willing to “be all things to all people”?
  • This passage also show us an interesting insight into what some of the officials were worried about at the time. They thought that if people were taught about free grace in Jesus, people would think that they could be free to sin all they want, and that there would be anarchy! Some Jewish leaders thought that there would be no motivation to lead a “righteous” life if there wasn’t the prospect of punishment. How can we understand grace in such a way that doesn’t lead to this “I can do what I want” mentality?
  • In Acts 21:27 onwards, Paul was attacked by a mob of Jews. What was the crowd angry about? Who rescued him in verse 35?
  • Paul was allowed to address the Jewish crowd, and we can see what he said in Acts 22. His main point was to underline his own Jewish upbringing. Try and work out his main point in each of these sections: Acts 22:3-5, 6-11 and 12-16. What language did Paul use? Why?
  • What made the crowd angry again in verses 21-23? How did Paul talk his way out of a flogging?
  • Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, written when he was in prison, is full of encouragement. It links in to the passages in Acts with his comments in Philippians 3:4-11. Here Paul reminded his readers that he was once a “perfect Jew” too, but that counted for nothing compared to knowing Jesus (Philippians 3:8). In fact, he describes being willing to lose everything in his life for the joy of knowing he has been justified (verse 9), sanctified (verse 10) and glorified (verse 11) through Jesus.
  • How do you think Paul’s words in Philippians 3:12-21 about “keeping going” would have helped him though the tough times we’ve read about? When you’re going through tough times, what do you hold onto for comfort and encouragement? I highly recommend marking this chapter and coming back to it from time to time to put Christ back into perspective in your life.

 

“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

 

Wow – what words! Paul claimed that anything that isn’t Jesus is worthless compared to knowing Him. He was willing to lose it all to gain Christ, and to be found in Him. These aren’t the words of someone who was ambling along quietly knowing a bit about Jesus and once a week saying a couple of prayers. This was someone who had encountered what it is to know Christ, and realised that there is nothing on earth that could match up. Whatever struggles Paul came up against – and we saw more of these in Acts 21 and 22 today – he dealt with them in the power of Christ.

 Readings

  • None… unless you need to catch up!

Prayer

Pray… for something that is on your mind today.

Day 347 – Day Off

 

About a year ago, Harry got baptised. What a wonderful thing that was to see!

 

A year later, you’ve nearly worked through the entire Bible. What an awesome achievement.

 

I hope and pray that you’ll continue coming to Jesus every day, even after we finish our reading plan in a few weeks’ time.

Readings

  • Acts 20
  • Titus 1:5-10
  • 1 Peter 5:1-11

Prayer

Pray… for Hannah as she begins her work this year with our youth groups.

Day 346 – Paul – Journey #3 (Macedonia, Troas)

Paul teaches the Elders how to shepherd

 

  • Paul’s third journey continued as he moved around from place to place, encouraging and teaching as he went. Remember that on this third journey he would sometimes have been back to places he had been to before, in order to visit old friends and see how the church he established was doing. He purposefully didn’t stop at Ephesus again though, as he had already been there several years last time.
  • The story of Eutychus (which means “lucky”) might have brought a smile to your face if you’ve ever had to sit through a particularly long sermon! What happened to this young man as Paul’s sermon went on a bit too long? What did Paul do when he fell? How were the people comforted by what they saw?
  • Today’s passages main focus, however, is on church leadership and the importance of personal integrity of those who teach God’s word. Why do you think having such integrity was (and is) so vital?
  • Who did Paul call in Acts 20:17? If you could sum up Paul’s speech to them in a couple of points, what would they be?
  • How did Paul make reference to his own life, teachings, actions and experiences to encourage others to faithfully preach God’s Word in difficult situations?
  • Acts 20:29-30 show remarkable insight into how the church as Ephesus would later struggle. We know from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, written ten or so years later, that false teaching was something that they had to deal with. Why do you think false teaching exists?
  • The short letter to Titus is an important explanation of the characteristics that should be seen in church leaders. What types of attributes did Paul say that godly leaders (elders and overseers) should demonstrate? Are any mentioned more than once?
  • The list was expanded in the passage from 1 Peter. What else does Paul add?
  • Pick out one or two of the attributes that a leader should display. Imagine they were failing to live up to these attributes. How would it affect how you listened to, and acted upon, their teaching? Would you accept that people are sinful and mess up, or would it affect how you consider their credibility? Or both?

 

Leaders – rightly – are called to live to a high standard in their life. Do you think you, as young people who perhaps aren’t in leadership positions, can be more relaxed about your standards? I would argue not. The younger children will look up to you as role models. You are also the face of the Christian faith to your friends. Make no mistake – today’s words apply to you too!

 

How well do you think you are displaying Christ to those who are looking at you (in your everyday words and actions, I mean, rather than when you talk about Christian stuff)?