Serving Well

“For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
— 1 Timothy 3:13

A deacon is simply one who serves in the church – teaching Sunday school, or ushering, or cleaning, or helping with the landscaping, etc. It is not some fancy position or office of great authority but a place of serving. Those who look for a position of prominence in the Church do not understand God's way of promotion. God has a way of taking those with a true servant’s heart and using them in ways they never imagined. Philip was among those deacons appointed to minister to a group of widows who were feeling neglected. After the stoning of Steven, (also a deacon) terrible persecution scattered the Church in Jerusalem. Philip went down to Samaria and began to preach: “And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.” (Acts 8:6) Miracles?! Great revival?! What’s going on? Isn’t this fellow “just” a deacon? Back when Philip was asked to wait on tables and give out the food allowance we never heard him say to the Apostles, “How come you guys get to do all the praying and preaching and I have to serve these whining widows?" He just got on with it. “Serving well,” means being faithful even in the “little things.” It is a privilege to serve the Lord in any capacity. No job is more important than another job. Being faithful in what God has set before you is what matters! Do not look for reward, or seek advancement. Just do your bit to please the Lord. You never know where God might use you!

Philip was called to leave the excitement of that revival and go speak to one lost, searching soul. He could have said, “I can't leave the work here, this is too important – I am too important.” But he was immediately obedient. Real success is being in God’s will; being obedient to Him. Serve well where God has placed you. You will be highly respected and a real credit to the Faith! It is the way to true contentment and peace.

- From Study #5154

One Mediator between God and Man

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men,
the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all...”
— 1 Timothy 2:5,6

A mediator is one who acts as a “go between.” Because the finite cannot reach the infinite nor can the sinful commune with the holy, man needs a mediator to reach God. Job knew it. He was perplexed by the hard times that had come upon him. His well-meaning friends had come and told him that to get relief from his woes he just needed to get right with God. Job longed for that very thing, but was painfully aware of the difficulty in justifying his position before such a holy and awesome God: “For He is not a man, as I am, that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together.” Job 9:32 When he considered the greatness of God, Job sensed his own insignificance. How could he have an audience with God? Who was he to say to God, “Why are You doing these things?” Job recognized the tremendous gulf separating God and man. Job realized what the religions of the world have not: it is impossible for man to ever bridge that gulf. Man is so far from reaching into Heaven yet the world’s religions still try to build their own bridge to God. Job knew that if it were to be done someone would have to do it for him - someone who could bring God and man together. Job cried for a “mediator between us, who may lay his hand on us both.” Job 9:33

Jesus is the answer to that cry. He is the only one who ever lived, who can stand in the gap and lay his hands on both God and man. He is God manifest in human flesh. True Christianity is not man attempting to reach God, but the infinite God reaching down to touch finite man. Jesus understands man’s fears, weaknesses, failures and temptations. He has laid His cross in the gulf of sin. By faith in Jesus, man has his bridge to God! There is one God and one way to God – through the “one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

- From Study #5153

The Exploitation of Man’s Fascinations

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan,
with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception...”
— 2 Thessalonians 2:9,10

Why is Man fascinated by evil and so easily drawn into sin when the consequences are so detrimental? (i.e. The adulterer who destroys his family for a moment’s pleasure or the drug addict who injects death into his veins and calls it a “fix.”) Consider a greater mystery – Why do men reject Jesus Christ? He gives life and peace, everything worthwhile and beneficial, and yet men repeatedly choose evil and death instead. Like a moth to a flame, we seem drawn to that which brings our destruction. In the last days, Satan will exploit this tendency, empowering a man to deceive the world. Men will reject God’s true Messiah, Jesus Christ, pure and righteous, and accept a false messiah, “antichrist,” who is evil personified! “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7

Another of Man’s weaknesses is a fascination for “signs and lying wonders.” The problem with a desire to see supernatural things is that not all that appears to be supernatural is from God. People are so easily taken in by everything from “aliens” to the occult? Why? “Because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) Man needs the truth, the word of God, to be able to discern the genuine from the counterfeit. Without it he is vulnerable to the exploitation of his fascinations. Satan will use these very areas of weakness to lead the world into a final great deception with false peace, a false messiah, and counterfeit miracles. Many will believe the enemy’s lie and follow after evil. Only a love of the truth can save a man from deception! Believe God’s word and take no pleasure in unrighteousness.

- From Study #5151