Have These Spiritual Goals
1 Timothy 3:1-7
July 23, 2016
All right. Paul is writing to young Timothy. He has seen such potential in this young man. He met him when he was on a second missionary journey in the Asia Minor area, Durbian Listrap, and he discovered that this man was well taught in the scriptures, a real zealot to the Lord, something authentic and genuine, well-spoken up by the brethren and so he invited him to join him on the missionary team, planting churches throughout the whole area. When Paul as his mentor he is now rising in stature, respect in the churches and so, at one point, Paul really asks Timothy to go to Ephesus and to oversee the work that is happening there, there was a major revival when we spoke of before when Paul was in Ephesus and now the church needs leadership. Needs leadership because the church is now encountering problems, danger. These teachers have a reason, what Paul calls strange doctrines that have the potential and danger of bringing the church into the weeds. And so, it now needs leadership. And so, Timothy is sent to deal with this, confront these problems, to keep the church spiritually strong heading in the right direction. And so, when you get to Chapter 3, Paul is giving instructions to Timothy in regards to the qualities and character that he should look for in those that are going to be leaders in the church.
I. Be an Example of Character
Now, this is absolutely critical. If you want the church going in the right direction and keeping it from wandering into troubles you need good leadership. Nothing like wrong leadership to get the church in trouble but this list of qualities are not just for those who aspire to be leaders. Actually, I think these are qualities that everyone should desire to have in their lives and here's why, because these are the very definition of spiritual maturity and that we should all desire. See, notice something. Notice there's not a list of educational degrees. A person can have a lot of degrees and still be quite short in character. So these is a list of character qualities, of spiritual maturity, because the content of character ultimately will determine the course of a person's life. It will determine the course of the church and ultimately the course of a nation, in fact, I suggest to you that what we are seeing right now in our country is nothing short of a crisis of character and there is a tremendous need to understand what that looks like in God's perspective. See, these are qualities that everyone should seek after. I mean, are we done growing? Are we finished being transformed? God has so much more that He would like to see in our lives when we understand His heart we want these things. So, let's take hold of them and see that our character be transformed as He sends forward His word by the spirit to do it. Let's read the first seven verses.
Again, the other verses were covered by the Wednesday service. Chapter 3 Verse 1. It is a trustworthy statement. He loves that phrase and it means this is very important to receive. If any man aspires to the office of overseers, a leader who oversees in the church, it is a fine work that he desires to do. He commence people who have that desire to be used of the Lord for this effect. So then he describes, and he's going to give us a list of those qualities of character that really describes spiritual maturity in it he should seek after. An overseer, church leader, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious. I just love saying that word. Pugnacious. What does that mean? We're going to look at that but he should be gentle and uncontentious and free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well. Well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. Let me add this phrase. If a man does not know how to manage his own household how will he take care of the church of God? And he should not be a new convert lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil, which was pride. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church so that he may not fall into reproach and the sneer of the devil. Those are the verses. And one of the things we need to capture right away is the calling out of us to be an example of character. That's what he is asking for us. In other words, not just overseers should be an example of character. Frankly, we should be all be examples whether your husband or wife or mother or father, we need examples of what it looks like to have spiritual maturity and character of Christ. Whether you are a Christian out there in the regular world. We need to be an example of that character of God in our lives but He says, He starts to list up by saying that that quality that should be seen in a leader is the quality of being above reproach. Now, in the Greek, this word literally means he cannot be laid a hold of. In other words, the idea is that there isn't anything in his life that someone can lay hold off and accuse him of wrongdoing.
Now, let's be clear of something. This does not suggest that anybody, a leader or anyone, is perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect person but what He is describing is this person does not have anything in his life by which his character can be impeached. There are certain things that are impeachable, you might say. Now, the idea is that there's a consistency. In other words, you know, many people when they're at church, they're awesome, they're great, they're wonderful and they're warm, they're friendly, they're gracious, they're kind but then they get home and they're a whole different person. Or they go to work and they're a whole another person yet again. And so, He's calling us out to be consistent in our character at all times. Now, that doesn't mean that you should bring your ugly side to church. That's not what He's saying. What he's saying is bring your gracious Godly side home and bring it to work and let it be consistency in your life. If you were to ask my kids, if you were to go to my kids and say "Tell us about Pastor Rich. What is he like at home?" and I tell you what, you are welcome to talk to my kids. What is he like at home? I think they would say "What you see is what you get." Now, I'm not perfect. They would be the first to tell you he's not perfect. That's true. But we need to have a consistency.
Reminds me of a story which is kind of interesting and funny. A friend and I were golfing and we went to the course and they were really busy and sometimes they'll pair you up with others because they're busy and we got paired with this couple, husband and wife. Never met them before and so, of course, introductions and we started golfing. Well, it became apparent very, very fast that this fellow had a hot, hot temper. And whenever he would miss a shot, which was pretty often, he will get hot. Now, golf is a game of imperfection. I mean, you are going to make a lot of mistakes when you're golfing so you might as well enjoy your day and stop it. And so, he was just getting hot. And whenever he will get hot he would let fly with some cuss words. I don't know if he was a sailor but he could have been, I mean, he was just "Whooo!” He was letting it fly. He doesn't know us, didn't know who we are and without any consideration about who we might be he would just let them fly. So, I'm thinking to myself "Okay, you want to let fly with that then I'm going to bring out Christ." Amen! I want to engage him in a conversation so at one point I say to him "So, tell me, what do you do for your day job?" See, I want him to ask me that next. What do you do for your day job? And he tells me and then he says, "So, what do you do?" "Oh, I'm a pastor of a church." And then his wife jumped in. "Oh, that's very, very interesting." I said, "Really, what church do you go to?" And then they told me what church they go to. And then the wife adds, "Oh yeah, yeah. My husband was just recently asked to be considered for an elder." Houston, we have a problem. I'm telling you this is not going to end well. This is not going to end well. Interestingly, the cussing stopped right on the spot.
A. Be the husband of one wife
He's calling us out here. Beyond reproach, there's something we should all have a desire for, in our lives. Because the consistency, as we go on to explain, let them be the husband of one life. Now, that's met with some controversy as to what He means exactly but I think the meaning is plain enough. Be a one-woman man. And post-day, post-culture, it's very common for a man to have mistresses. Very common that day. If a husband is not pleased with his wife for whatever reason, maybe she didn't bring kids or what, he just moved on to the next one. Now, that's the way of the world. That was the culture but see, it shows Christian character and Christian maturity to be different than the world. We've been brought out of the kingdom of darkness. We've been brought in to the kingdom of life. There is a whole another better set of principles that should guide our lives. In other words, when you honor your wife you are honoring your God. When you honor your husband, you are honoring God. Do it for God. It's His principles and the understanding is He honors marriage. And He honors marriage because of the great spiritual significance and what it represents. Let me give you some verses. Ephesians 5:25. Husbands, love your wives. But it goes on. Just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He's showing us that there's a spiritual significance. Hebrew 13:4. Marriage is to be held in honor among all and the marriage bed is to be undefiled. I don't think He could be much clearer than that. Ephesians 5 Verses 31 to 32. For this reason, now, He gives you the foundation of the principle of marriage. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, shall be joined to his wife and the two shall be one in flesh. Now, this mystery is great, speaking of the mystery of marriage. This mystery is great but I'm speaking with reference to Christ and the church. It's honored by God and it has the spiritual significance. So, therefore, you honor it and you're honoring God in it.
B. Be temperate and prudent
Reminds me, when I think of this, reminds me when we were in the Congo some years ago, in Africa, and we were doing a pastor's conference. 250 or so pastors in this conference and at the same time, we brought some of our women's leaders and we were having three different women's conferences around us, very large city, maybe 500 women were in these conferences. And about three days into these five-day conference, some of the leaders asked for a private meeting. So, we said sure. See, that was unexplained. The vast majority of these pastors that are attending this conference and frankly, in many places of Africa, have mistresses and many mistresses on some of them. Now, we want you to be aware of this so that you can pray what to do. Of course we knew we needed to do something. We had to say something but how to address it. We were praying and this is what we decided to do. We announced to the pastors that we will have the last session be kind of a grand session and we said "So, therefore, we're going to rent this big hall and we're going to ask that all of you bring your wives for this big, grand thing. And then, bring your leaders and have them bring their wives." And we're going to ask all of these women at these women conferences to also come to this conference, the last big grand finale. I mean, we rented this big hall and there were a lot of people there and we filled it up and I had the opportunity to speak and the point of the message was the heart that we have after God. God wants to bless our lives in such a huge way does God want to bless our lives but He wants us to have a heart after Him, a sincere, genuine, real heart after Him and that we should not let anything stand in the way of God's fullest and richest blessing but there are things in our lives that God wants to remove so that He would then pour out His blessings but these are like, boulders standing in the way. I said, "For example, it has come to our understanding that many...” it wasn't just pastors by the way. It's very common in their culture but these are leaders. And so I said, "It's come to our understanding that many of these pastors that are even here today, have mistresses. Jesus got heart. He wants to bless your life. Don't allow this thing standing in the way. This is not His heart. He honors marriage. You honor marriage. And so I said, "Here's what I am going to ask that you do. I want to ask that you today would make a covenant with God that this would end today. And so as to indicate the sincerity of your heart, I'm going to ask that in front of all the women that we've invited here, in front of the wives that are here in this place and as God as your witness, that you would stand on your feet to indicate that this is the covenant of your heart today before God." And then I said, "We'll wait". And we just stood there in silence. And I watched some movement towards the middle through the fourth throwback.
This fellow is putting very deliberate movements. Put these materials aside. You can see him mastering us, courage, living forward and he stood up on his feet by himself. That my friends is courage. It's the spiritual courage that stand before God. That stand before all of this women. That stand before his wife and they indicate, this is a Holy Spirit inspired moment. It takes spiritual courage to say, God, I will take those things out of my life and they’ll ask that you are pour out the fullest of blessings on my life. I'm going to make the covenant and I will indicate it by standing on my feet. That is courage. And here's what happened, the women started a plotting and you could see the momentum building us to get louder and louder and then another past will stood up and then another one and another one and the applause of the women started to become thunderous and then they started to shout out their Hallelujah! As more and more men's pastures started us standing up to make this covenant before God and it became a thunderous moment. As a Holy Spirit inspired revival and that's what we need today. We need a Holy Spirit revival where the people have the courage, the stand and to remove those things out. I'm not going to ask you to stand today.
But, I'm going to ask that we would pray me, you. All of us would pray. Is there anything in our lives that God would say, it's in the way of God's riches blessings and that's the hard thing wants for us. We need that today. Then, it goes on to this driver back to first time and few three and then look for this qualities that he'd be temperate and prudent. Now, personally it's temperate. If the person who is not given over to extremes. In another words, they're studying. They're reliable, they're trustworthy, they're steadfast in their faith. Some people are given over to extreme mood swings and their life is determined by how they feel today or they're super excited about this, whatever, new thing for about a week and they're often extra, super exciting thing. The longer I've been in ministry, the more I've come to appreciate the person who study reliable. Now, things happen in life. Crosswinds come, waves smashing it to side of the ship but that study steadfast faithful, reliable. That's leadership. That is maturity of leadership and God vow use that in the person’s life. It shows wisdom and maturity to stay committed to something. Even when crosswinds come and waves smash against it from the side. It's a spiritual moment of maturity to see that steadfast to sustain committed. Now, the opposite of temperance is, impulsiveness. An impulsive person is ruled by their emotions rather than being ruled by their faith. And so they are called God's calling us to temperate person is mature as careful and thoughtful and prayerful inconsideration of thing. Impulsiveness is often an attribute that we attribute to people that are young. You know, no offense to teenagers but you know, it's kind of a reputation. Impulsive teenager, you know. Kind of making decisions in the impulsiveness of the moment without consideration of the consequences of the thing and so the idea of why bring it up as an attribute of the young is that, that something that is matured as the person grows in their faith, as they grow in their character, as they grow in their Christ. That's one of things that is transformed so that they are no longer moved about by the impulsive when lose that rather their steadfast. They're not driven by the emotions. They're driven by their faith in Jesus Christ. See in Proverb chapter 25 verse 28, it says, "Like a city that's broken into and without walls is the man who has no control over his Spirit". All right, then he brings up, he brings up the word of prudence. He's temperate and prudent. What is that mean? It means to use good and golly judgment in the decisions that you make in life.
Now, we make a lot of decisions in life and frankly, the decisions that we make are often a hinge points that change the direction that we go. Therefore, we must be thoughtful, wise, prayerful, prudent. Now, God gives us wisdom so that we can make decisions by that wisdom. God gives us the principle that is words so that we can use them and frankly, he expects us to use them. Somebody might say, well I don't know that I know of the wisdom or principles of God's word. What do I do? I'm glad you asked. He says, I would delight to give you wisdom if you would asked for it. James 1:5, If any man lacks wisdom, let them ask that God who gives to all generously and without reproach and it will be given to him fast. Here's Proverbs 14: 15-16, “The naive believe everything, but the sensible man considers his steps" A wise man is cautious in terms of way from evil but a foolish man is arrogant and careless. So, he says, look for this quality that prudent one is the wise person who’s making decisions according to the wisdom and principles of God. It's Christian maturity.
II. Be Worthy of Respect
Now, he continues on and says, not the quality of leader that you should look for also is that he is respectable. In other works, he is worthy of respect. He has earned respect. Now, this is an interesting word, the roots of them are in the Greek actually means orderly or proper and in chapter 2:9 the same word is used and it's translated there as modesty which is interesting and the emphasis on chapter 2:9 is the way a woman dresses and of course, he uses the word modesty to describe that but what's interesting is that the emphasis on chapter 2:9 is that when a woman dresses and frankly, this would apply to a man, to not dress with ostentatious displays of wealth. Ostentatious displays of wealth, you know, wearing gold and diamonds and silver. I mean, not just bling. I mean, it's like real. And the idea is, when you wear ostentatious displays of wealth you kind of, communicating to the people around you I'm better than you and I want you to take note of it. You see my ostentatious display of wealth, yeah, you don't have this and I do. That isn't respect, people. That's not respectful. There are many, many people who are broken and hurting and suffering and so when you respect people you are worthy of respect yourself. That's the emphasis giving. It's a principle. You know, Matthew 5 Verse 7 gives us the principle "Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are those who respect for they are worthy of respect themselves." One of the principles of parenting. We have a class coming up in August on the principles of parenting. And in that class, I like to emphasize this point. We should respect our children. Parents, if you respect your children, they will respect you in return. And this is the principle of God's word because He value... you see you respect that you value. And He's therefore, telling us that you would put value on the people around you.
A. Be hospitable
And so He goes on, for example, describes the next word as being hospitable. Well, this is the word that many people, kind of, I can't say they misuse it but they use it too lightly. Oftentimes, when we think of the word "hospitable" we think of somebody who opens their home to invite others for dinner. Oh, they got the gift of hospitality. They like to serve dinner to others. But that is a very light interpretation. Very thin because actually, it is a deeper meaning than that. The roots of it in the Greek is friendship to strangers and it has a great significance. Jesus, when He was giving us that message about the last days, Matthew 24 and 25, we saw that recently, He's speaking about the events of the last days and the signs of the times and then He speaks about having your life ready, being on the alert because you don't know the day or the hours when the son of Man will come. But then He asks this statement that when the Son of Man comes, He will sit on this glorious throne and He will judge the nations. But for what will He judge them. What will be the basis of His judgment? That is a very interesting thing and it has everything to do with His word. The roots of the word "hospitality" is found in the answer.
Let's look at it. Would you turn your Bibles to Matthew Chapter 25. I want us to read this because it is so significant. Matthew 25. We begin in Verse 34. Here again He's saying the Son of Man is going to come with all His glory, all the angels with Him. He's going to sit on his great throne and then all the nations are going to be gathered to Him and He's going to separate them one from another, like a shepherd separates his sheep from goats. Then it says Verse 34, then the King, he's speaking of the Son of Man, the King of kings, Lord of lords, will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Then He explains. "For when I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. The root is the same root. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "When did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and gave you drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in? Or naked and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? We don't remember that." And the King will answer and say to them, "Truly I say to you. To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even to the least to them you did it unto me." This is a whole another depth to the meaning. The very basis of the judgment of the nations is according to the heart that they had for those that were around them, particularly for the least. That is the basis of judgment. That is how important it is to the Lord. And frankly, He's calling us to have the same heart.
But see, here's the problem. We live in a culture. We live in a time where that is completely the opposite of our culture. I mean, you have to meet with me. We are in a culture that seems to be just infatuated, just stuck on. Fixated on the wealthiest. The most important. The most popular. The most beautiful. And that's news. That's the news we're following, you know, the paparazzi, following them around, magazines are written to follow them and it's the news. It's in the news. What's happening with the Kardashians? I'm sorry, that is not news. But see, that's the culture we are living. We're fixated on the important people which reminds me of an interesting and funny story having to do with the Pope. Is he really going to tell a story of the Pope? I am. It goes like this. So, the Pope is visiting a foreign country and he was busy with all his various schedules and things and on the way, he was late getting back to the airport. And so he said to his driver, "I am so late. You're going to have to go fast." And the driver responded, "You Holiness, I'm sorry, but there's no way that I am going to peed when I have the Pope in the car." And so, to go a bit farther and he says, "Really, seriously, we are so late. Please. You must go fast." And the driver responded, "I'm sorry, your Holiness. There is just no way I am going to speed with the Pope in the car." Then they get into the hills and they're going around the mountains and he goes the way slow. Then he says, "Oh surely, please go faster." And he says, "Your Holiness, there is no way I'm going to give the Pope anything but the smoothest of rides." The Pope finally says, "You know what? Pull this car over." So he pulls the car over. The Pope gets out. He goes to the driver's door, opens it and says, "Get in the back." So the guy sits on the back seat, he seats on the driver's seat and he takes off. And he is just careening around corners. He's going fast now, screeching around corners. As you going to expect, the lights come on and the police officer comes up. He says, "Excuse me, your license please?" And so the Pope gives him his license and he's looking at the license, he looks at the Pope, he looks at the license, he looks at the Pope... He says, "Excuse me. I'll be right back." He goes to the radio and he calls his captain. "Captain, I don't know what to do. I stopped a VIP." Very Important Person. And he said, "Really? How important is he?" "Very, very important." "Is he more important than the mayor?" "Oh yes, he is." "Really, is he more important than the governor?" "Definitely. More important than the governor." "Really? Is he more important than the president?" "Absolutely. He is more important than the president." "Really? Well, who is he?" The police officer said, "I don't know but he has a Pope for a driver."
B. Be able to teach others
Back to our regular scheduled message. So, the point is that we are in a society that seems to be fixated on people that are important but God gives us an interesting thing. It is actually the heart that you have to the least, the last, the broken or hurting that will determine whether you'll follow after God's heart. So then He goes on. He goes on to say, "And then let him be able to teach others." at the end of Verse 2. Now, clearly, pastors and elders ought to be equipped in the word of God to be able to teach but frankly, everyone, everyone who is a believer in Christ should desire to grow on their faith and to have a knowledge of God's words so that they can teach others, so that they can defend their own faith when talking to people in the world, we all need a grasp of God's words. In other words, we need to be fed the word so that we can grow in the word and He uses the idea then of food. He starts out by saying a baby needs milk. Someone who is young in his faith, the basic things, the milk of the word is good, wonderful. But He's calling us out to say but can you grow beyond that? He's calling us out to deeper things, solid food, the meat of the word. That's why to me, this is so important.
Now we go Verse 5 or chapter by chapter. Through the entire word of God because we need to make sure that the church is growing in the word. And I love, particularly, our Wednesday study. Manages verse by verse by verse. That God uses the word of God in our lives. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. We need to be equipped in the word. Let me give you 2nd Timothy Chapter 2 Verse 15. Be diligent to present yourself a proof to God as a workman who does not to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. See, God wants us to grow beyond milk so we can digest deeper things. Meat. At one point in the Book of Hebrews He actually corrects them for their lack of, grasping deeper things. He says, "I actually... I want to speak to you about deeper things but I can't do it." And in Hebrews Chapter 5 Verse 12 He says, "By this time you ought to be teachers." I mean, He's just calling them out. He's speaking to the church there. By this time you ought to be teachers but you have me again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God. Literally, the ABCs. And you have come to need milk and not solid food. He's calling them out. You see, God expects us to grow. Same as parents. I mean, any parent would expect his child to grow. God's just saying. You know we raised five kids and I tell you what, kids are absolutely the most fun, delight, joyful thing and when they're young they say some of the cutest, most wonderful things. We've been having our four year old grandson over and four years old is a fun delight. We were just having so much fun and at one point I brought out some old walkie-talkies and got some new batteries in it and we're like three feet apart doing a walkie-talkie conversation. Over. And he was just so absolutely delightful and fun. Just laughing and laughing. Here's the thing. He's four. When he's 14, I'm expecting more than that form him. When he's 24, I'm expecting more, even more than that. How much more with a true God? He wants to see us growing in our faith. We should have a desire to grasp it. See, Hebrews 5 Verse 14, solid food is for the mature, who, because of practice have their senses trained to discern through the needful. The other day, Via, our 8-year old, now 9-year old, we were driving somewhere and just having a casual conversation and somehow, a math problem came up in the conversation. And so it was a math addition thing and so she did it in her head but she got it wrong. And so she said, "Oh, I'm not good in Math." I said, "Via, let me say something about that. God gave you a very good mind. You are very, very smart but you have to take the time to put those things in that great mind in order to be able to have this. God's given you great things but you have to put this in your mind. And then, you'll be good in Math." It's not because you're lacking intelligence. You have to put those things in there. The same as you spiritually. God has given us the capacity to grow spiritually but we have to put those things in there. Faith comes by hearing. Hearing by the word of Christ. We have to put it in.
C. Win people, not arguments
Lastly, He combines a couple of things so that we understand having to deal with disagreements and conflicts and problems in relationships. He's giving us a principle that we should win people, not arguments. We're talking about disagreements, conflicts and people are more important. These are qualities of character that are so important. He says in Verse 3, "Don't be pugnacious." What is that mean? Some translate it literally as, don't be a brawler. Well, if got a leader who's a brawler, you got a real problem. But, I think the more accurate translation maybe the word bully. Bullying people is never god's way. The idea of a bully is someone who's kind of an alpha dog growling person and it get their way but kind of intimidating others with their alpha dog presence. But, bullying people is never God's way. In study says, don't be pugnacious, in study says, be gentle. See, treat other people with respect, with kindness, with gentleness and in fact that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that moves so that we have a kindness. It is the result of the Lord. Gentleness is the fruit of the Spirit and it continues them to say that the Man of God also is not contentious. That's an interesting word.
In other words, don't be argumentative. Have you ever meet somebody who's just plain old, straight up argumentative and contentious? I often wondered why, why is it that some people are just argumentative and contentious. I've come to the conclusion, they do it because it works. You can actually get people to do what you want if you can put on the old alpha dog growling thing. Ggrrrr! People fall for that. Some do and you can get your way. Here's the problem. That's the worldly principle. It's not a Godly one. God's ways are different. God is called us out of the kingdom of darkness and brought us into the kingdom light and his principles are powerful. His principles are effective. Notice this phrase. 2 Timothy 2:24-25, “The Lord's bound servant", wait a minute, The Lord's bound servant. The idea of the bound servant and an alpha dog growling person, they don't compute. They don't compute because the bound servant is someone who says, Lord, you're the King. I want to be a servant. I want you to be the King. I'm a servant here Lord. I see it. I recognize it. See, what God would say to us? He would say, listen, we can't both be king. We can't both be king if you'd like, either. You can be king if you like or I want to be king if you like. It doesn't work for both of us to be king. And there's a point by which a mature believer says, Lord, I want to let go of the world's things and world's ways and the world's approach to this and I'm going to say, God, I'm going to be your servant. Your ways. So, he describes it. The Lord's bound servant must not be quarrelsome but is kind to all. It's the fruit of Holy Spirit. Able to teach right and patient when wronged with gentleness correcting those in the opposition. It's a whole different thing. How about Proverbs 26:21, like charcoal the hot embers of like wood or fire, so is a contentious man, thus kindles strife. See, I found when it comes to resolving conflicts, resolving disagreements, turbulence in relationships, there is nothing more powerful. You want something that's effective and powerful? There is nothing so powerful as grace. You know why? Because God empowers it. God uses it. Now leaders are going to need it to lead but it's much more effective to use those things that God blesses. God doesn't bless contentiousness and pugnaciousness. He blesses grace.
Let me give you a great word. 2 Corinthians Chapter 10 Verses 3 to 4. Though we walk in the flesh we don't war. According to the flesh the weapons of our warfare are another flesh. God called us out of the kingdom of darkness but the weapons of our warfare are divinely powerful. Which means they are empowered by God Himself. For the destruction of fortresses, which means they are effective. Now, lastly, in Verse 3 adds His qualities.
Another quality of God in character is that a man or woman of God is not addicted to wine and is free from the love of money. In other words, these things do not master him. Nothing masters him because God is his master. This is a great key to us and of course, it speaks to this in another verse, Hebrews 13:5, make sure your character is free from the love of money. After all, in another places, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. But it goes on from being content with what you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you." In other words, our inheritance. You want to talk about wealth. He said your inheritance is spiritual. The value of what you have is found in Christ. See, in other words we should not be prideful because we have a better cabin on the Titanic. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good of a cabin you have on the Titanic because it's all going to go down. He's telling us that what we should be is humbled and thankful, that we have a place prepared for us in heaven and that our sins are paid for by the cross of Jesus Christ and that He has adopted us as a son or a daughter by the Almighty. That is what we should be thankful for. And so He has given us a great word here. Seek after, desire these things. This is the real definition of the maturity of Christ He wants. Let's pray.