Proverbs 25:28 28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. By contrast, a man with self-control is safe and protected and chooses who he lets in and what he lets out.
Proverbs 25:16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. The things of this earth that lead to satisfaction quickly lead to suffering when consumed in excess: food, sleep, sex, alcohol, etc... The infinite is the only thing on which the finite can gorge without regurgitation.
Proverbs 25:6-7 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, 7 for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. Honor is by others bestowed, not from others beleaguered.
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. The greatness of God is beyond comprehension while the greatness of man is his ability to grasp that beyond his reach.
There are many
lessons buried just beneath the surface of daily life if we have eyes to see
them. When we see and consider, we look and receive instruction merely by
watching what happens and considering how it happened. Keep your eyes
open and your mind mulling. Stay intellectually thirsty my friends.
Not fully baked out, but these are my initial thoughts.
Our biggest difficulty in addressing this topic is our tendency to turn it into an anachronism. What I mean by that is this: we can't read our modern understanding about who deacons are and what they do back into texts like 1 Timothy 3. I'll give you an example. We have all seen churches in the Baptist model that employ a deacon board. Granted, we know this model is unbiblical as a church should be led by a plurality of Elders, but nevertheless, this is the most common context we even have for who and what deacons are and do. Consider the following dialogue
PERSON: "Does Scripture allow a woman to serve in that capacity?"
PERSON: "But doesn't the Bible say Phoebe was a deaconess and the verses in 1 Tim 3 point out that women were called to serve in that capacity!"
ME: "You are correct, it does appear Paul mentions women serving as deacons in 1 Tim 3 and in Romans 16 when he refers to Phoebe."
PERSON: "So why do you say that women can't be deacons you hypocrite, chauvinist jerkwad!"
ME: "Because deacons should not be the leadership of a church, but if they are serving in that capacity, then the clear principles from 1 Tim 2 (mentioned just prior to the qualifications of who can actually lead and be employed in serving the church in 1 Tim 3) would apply. Women are not to have authority over men. So if your definition and job description of a deacon is an individual in a position that has authority over men, then No, women are not Scripturally permitted to occupy the office you are describing. The conflict is between what deacons originally were and what we now presume them to be. So, yes, women can serve the church by carrying out any instructions and general service prescribed by the Elders of the church, but no, they cannot be the ones issuing instructions."
A woman's primary service and focus should be on her own household which is why it makes no mention of her being a one-husband woman and specifically states that the men must be one-woman men. So this would make your pool reduced to single women with the spiritual gift of celibacy who are committed to a life of chastity or an older widow who no longer has a husband to serve due to his death or children to serve due to them being adults.
We do a disservice to the office of deacon both by elevating it to a place of leadership it was never intended and by reducing it to a cute way for people to serve the church by giving them an official title. This is why it is Biblically both non-authoritative and yet so highly restrictive. Not just anyone can be a deacon, they are vetted as seriously as Elders, not because they rule the church as Elders do, but because they are committed to serve the church extensively. They are more akin to church staff than mobilized lay people in some regards. You vet your church staff more exhaustively than you do your bass player in the band, while understanding both require some level of examination. But Elders are examined and tested most stringently because they occupy the highest role of the church, leading it, shepherding it, teaching it, protecting it, serving it, etc… Deacons help the Elders serve the church by doing what the Elders need them to do, not a separate authoritative body operating independently.
4 “Thus says the Lord
of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from
Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat
their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your
sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and
daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the
city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for
in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Christians are dual
citizens seeking the welfare of their city and the hope of their homeland.
13 These all died in
faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and
greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and
exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are
seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they
had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they
desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed
to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
Precious treasure and
oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
The fool consumes
what they want when they want it; thus never have what they need when they need
it, whereas the wise store up what they need when they don't need it so that
they never want for anything needed.
The Bible interprets
itself. The more you read all of it, the more you understand all of it. Too
many complain that they don't get how it all fits together, but in fairness
they consume the Bible as a finicky child in a buffet line, catering each bite
to their specific taste, instead of ordering the house special and trusting the
house to have considered what goes best together.
I delighted to make
these connections this morning after I read:
Haughty eyes and a
the lamp of the
wicked, are sin.
The lamp of the
wicked's feet, the way they see the world and make decisions and interpret
events, are selfish eyes and a prideful heart. Because they consider themselves
first in all things and because their hearts lead their heads, they are
constantly led into, enjoying, regretting, enslaved to, pursuing, being pursued
Your word is a lamp
to my feet
and a light to my
The lamp of the
righteous' feet and the light that illuminates their path is God's Word. The
Bible is the guide and they see the world and interpret it through what they
have learned and believed and are struggling to believe in the Bible.
22 “The eye is the
lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of
light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If
then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
How you see the world
affects everything! If you see the world rightly as God has instructed us to
see it, you find light and deeper, more insightful instruction on how to
navigate the narrow path that leads to the Celestial City. If you see the world
wrongly as your crooked heart paints crooked lines, you find darkness and
stumbling and groping about on a wide path where no rails guide you in any
particular direction. You find only room to wander blindly and what could be
more desperate than being blind, in the dark, with no walls or rails to direct
you anywhere ever?!?!
Is it not lawful for
me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am
God is free to do
what He wants. That is one of the perks of being God in addition to being one
of the foundational character qualities of His very essence. The only God who
is, the only real, true God is a generous God who desires to give people what
they do not deserve in order to reward them for things He has done. This makes
the self-made man envious because God's generosity doesn't compensate his
accomplishments in proportion to what he believes he deserves.He sees the world as his oyster and Heaven as
his wages. He sees the present world wrongly and it has devastating, eternal