1 Timothy 3 (Listen)

Qualifications for Overseers

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Qualifications for Deacons

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Godliness

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

  He was manifested in the flesh,
    vindicated by the Spirit,
      seen by angels,
  proclaimed among the nations,
    believed on in the world,
      taken up in glory.

(ESV)

Next Chapter: Ezekiel 33

Ezekiel 33 (Listen)

Ezekiel Is Israel’s Watchman

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Why Will You Die, Israel?

10 “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

12 “And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins. 13 Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die. 14 Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just. 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it. 19 And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”

Jerusalem Struck Down

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been struck down.” 22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.

23 The word of the LORD came to me: 24 “Son of man, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’ 25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: You eat flesh with the blood and lift up your eyes to your idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land? 26 You rely on the sword, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife; shall you then possess the land? 27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence. 28 And I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and her proud might shall come to an end, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through. 29 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.

30 “As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, ‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’ 31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain. 32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it. 33 When this comes—and come it will!—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

(ESV)

Next Chapter: Proverbs 12

Proverbs 12 (Listen)

  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
    but a man of evil devices he condemns.
  No one is established by wickedness,
    but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
    but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
  The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
  The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous will stand.
  A man is commended according to his good sense,
    but one of twisted mind is despised.
  Better to be lowly and have a servant
    than to play the great man and lack bread.
10   Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12   Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13   An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14   From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
15   The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
16   The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.
17   Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
    but a false witness utters deceit.
18   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19   Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20   Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
    but those who plan peace have joy.
21   No ill befalls the righteous,
    but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22   Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23   A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24   The hand of the diligent will rule,
    while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25   Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.
26   One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27   Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
    but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
28   In the path of righteousness is life,
    and in its pathway there is no death.

(ESV)

Next Chapter: Psalm 135

Psalm 135 (Listen)

Your Name, O Lord, Endures Forever

  Praise the LORD!
  Praise the name of the LORD,
    give praise, O servants of the LORD,
  who stand in the house of the LORD,
    in the courts of the house of our God!
  Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
    sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
  For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel as his own possession.
  For I know that the LORD is great,
    and that our Lord is above all gods.
  Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.
  He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
    who makes lightnings for the rain
    and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
  He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    both of man and of beast;
  who in your midst, O Egypt,
    sent signs and wonders
    against Pharaoh and all his servants;
10   who struck down many nations
    and killed mighty kings,
11   Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    and Og, king of Bashan,
    and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
12   and gave their land as a heritage,
    a heritage to his people Israel.
13   Your name, O LORD, endures forever,
    your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
14   For the LORD will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants.
15   The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
16   They have mouths, but do not speak;
    they have eyes, but do not see;
17   they have ears, but do not hear,
    nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18   Those who make them become like them,
    so do all who trust in them.
19   O house of Israel, bless the LORD!
    O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
20   O house of Levi, bless the LORD!
    You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
21   Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
    he who dwells in Jerusalem!
  Praise the LORD!

(ESV)

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