Growing In Godliness Blog
Author: Gary Watson
How Long, O Lord?
By Gary Watson
David was being hunted in the mountains by Saul. Saul's jealousy had prompted him to make a vow to take the life of David. David flees for his life and while in the mountains, he wrote Psalm 13. (http://www.fbbc.com/messages/hyles_psalms.htm). It might be observed that David was so stressed that he felt alone and deserted.
Psalm 13 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress has many common effects on our bodies:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems
Common effects of stress on your mood
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
Common effects of stress on your behavior
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Social withdrawal
- Exercising less often
Scripture abound in assuring us that God will help us cope with stress. 1 Peter 5 strongly assures us that God will help.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever.
Note the assurances, challenges, and attitudes necessary as the passage describes: we must humble ourselves, submit ourselves to God, be sober-minded, and watchful. We must resist the doubt and despair Satan causes. We need to be firm in the faith even if we suffer a while.
The words of Isaiah should reassure us:
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Elders and Leadership
by Gary Watson
The role, work, and characteristics of elders are clearly listed in Titus and 1st Timothy. Examining the nature of elder leadership will help us understand God’s plan for the effective work of congregations.
“Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to "win" as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way.” (https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_41.htm)
The professional and business world knows the importance of good leadership for accomplishing their goals. Following is an analysis of leadership skills from the business and professional world coupled with appropriate scriptures.
1.Open-minded and Humble
Is he self-willed (head strong, contentious)? (Titus 1:7)
*Greek word authades ‘selfwilled’ is used twice in the NT, here and in II Peter 2:10. Denotes one who is “dominated by self-interest, and inconsiderate of others, arrogantly asserts his own will” (Expository Dictionary of NT Words, by W.E. Vine).
*“one so far overvauling any determination at which he has himself once arrived that he will not be removed from it (Trench’s NT Synonyms).
*Such words as “self-satisfied, arbitrary, unconsidered, morose, gruff, blatant, and shameless” (Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of NT)
*“human impulse violating obedience to the divine command
Meek, considerate, kind, peaceable. Able to bear, endure strain. Not harsh nor unkind in manner.
2.Empathetic- Just (Tit. 1:8). One fair in his dealings, exact, upright, acting without partiality.
*“Watchful and vigilant imply acute perception of what is dangerous or potentially so” (Duncan, p 23)
*Watchful, both for himself and all the flock (Acts 20:28).
Given to hospitality (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8). A lover of hospitality. Not forgetful to entertain strangers (Heb. 13:2). Entertains members and strangers in the home - having the spirit of the good Samaritan. Shows a warm welcome to visitors at services, sets an example for the flock to follow.
*Gentle -- patient (1 Tim. 3:3).
*Meek, considerate, kind, peaceable. Able to bear, endure strain. Not harsh nor unkind in manner.
4.Confident- Desire the work (1 Timothy 3:1).
*Desire is translated from 2 Greek words. First, “to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or grasp something, to reach after or desire something” (J.H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, p 452). The second, “to have a desire for, long for” (Thayer, p 238). The later is equal to our expression, “to set one’s heart upon” (Thayer).
5.Ethical and has Integrity Is he a lover of money (covetous, greedy)? (1 Tim. 3:3)
*An unhealthy desire for material possessions – an inordinate desire for money. Unholy desire for gain.
*One against whom no evil charge can be sustained -- innocent -- not guilty of evil. This does not mean that elders must be sinless (Romans 3:23, I John 1:8). Jesus is the only man who ever lived a sinlessly perfect life (Heb 4:15). This man must be a man about whom no uncomplimentary evil rumors are circulated; character is to be unimpeachable. Elders must be men who live pure, clean lives.
*Good common sense, mature in judgment, not frivolous, flighty, or flippant. But prudent, dignified, quiet, cool, collected, grave. Realizing the importance and earnestness of life.
*Humble- Not a novice from the Greek is “newly planted”. KJV margin note – “One newly come to the faith”.
*Why? “lest being lifted up with pride he fall into condemnation of the devil” – suggesting the sin for which Satan was expelled from heaven was the sin of pride (Luke 10:18).
7.Communicative, Accountable- 1 Peter 5:3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
Temperate (Tit. 1:8).
*One self-controlled, using moderation so as to blend the faculties to the highest degree. Ability to deny self.
Not given to wine (no brawler) Does he drink alcoholic beverages?
*The Greek word paroinos, literally means “by or beside wine”. A marginal note in the KJV says, “ready to quarrel, and offer wrong, as one in wine.” The ASV translates the word “no brawler”.
*Wine is generic determined based upon context. It can mean in the grape, freshly squeezed, or fermented.
*If drinking any amount of alcoholic beverages is wrong, why didn’t Paul say that elders should not drink wine at all?
*Elders cannot be brawlers b/c their examples would be tarnished and it is behavior that is contrary to the kingdom of our Lord.
*Elderships would be unable to meet and make decisions without brawling, quarrelling, being contentious, as if they had been drinking strong fermented drink.
*Is he soon angry (quick tempered)? (Titus 1:7)
8. Disciplined and character- Good testimony (report) from without (1 Tim. 3:7).
* One who has a good report from those which are without (not members of the church). Well respected by those outside the church. Well thought of by outsiders.
*“What kind of reputation does he have among the people with whom he lives and where he work?
*What do the people with whom he has done business think of him?
*What kind of reputation does he have among his own neighbors?
*What kind of estimate of the church will these people have when they learn he has been appointed to serve as one of the overseers of the flock
Well governed, able to manage own household well.
A. His children not accused of riot or unruly.
B. His children must be in subjection with all gravity.
C. His children must be faithful, believing.
D. His wife cannot be the "boss" but must be in subjection
E. The reason: "For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?"
F. To meet the qualifications, an elder MUST have children. If he
has none, there is no way of knowing whether he has the ability
to so govern and rule the congregation.
10.Courageous It takes a lot of courage to correct others. Convince ejlegcw el-eng’-kho; of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: — convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.
Elders and all members are important to the work of the church, evangelism, and achieving the goal of eternal life with our Father.
(This writing is based on: Here are the top 19 leadership qualities you should look for in a candidate.
Of Rudders and Bits James 3:3-5
There is a battle we all fight every day: conquering our tongues. James 3:8 But no human being can tame the tongue. Our tongues are powerful. A Google search revealed 19 pages of scriptures that refer to the tongue and its power for good or destructiveness !!!! “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21) Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts…” James chapter three details the power of the tongue for good and bad. James 3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
The Battles We Fight
1.We make assumptions sometimes and tell them to others. In Acts 21:37-41 we read that Paul was the subject of a widely communicate false assumption that could have cost him his life.
2.The Lying Tongue Acts 5:3 Proverbs 6:16-19
3.The Boasting Tongue Luke 18:9-14
4.The Gossiping Tongue Proverbs 20:19
5.The Critical Tongue Ephesians 4:29
6.The Double Tongue James 3:9
7.The Hateful Tongue Ephesians 4:31-32
8.The Retribution Tongue 1 Peter 3:9
9. The Explosive Tongue James 3:8
10.The Correcting Tongue Ephesians 4:29 Matthew 18:15-17
The Right Uses of the Tongue
There are many ways to constructively use our tongues:
1. To praise God (take time to read through Psalms 148, 149 and 150!)
2.To pray to God 1 Peter 5:7
3.To sing to the Lord (Read Psalm 96).
4.To encourage and help others (So many good ways to do this!)
5.Also consider these scriptures: Mark 9:50 Romans 12:10 Galatians 6:2 Ephesians 4:32 Colossians 3:16 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Hebrews 3:13 Hebrews 10:24 James 5 :16