Wednesday, August 15, 2012

God's Godly servants: A Living Godly Family

Numbers 4:24 “This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in carrying"

1 Timothy 3:12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

Quick Review
Yesterday we considered how God's Godly servants love the things of God.  This marks the essential starting point of Deacon ministry, since the chief qualification of becoming a Godly servant is a godly life rooted in sound doctrine. (1 Timothy 3:8-9).
Why is it so essential to have a particular group in the body of Christ whose purpose is to be an example of service to the Lord? Because the principles of God's Word, proclaimed by the Pastor serving the flock by his example through preaching and teaching are to be reinforced by the Deacons who example it by their conduct and living.  Thus we will consider a second observation of God's Godly servants: "A Living Godly Family" 

God sets the pattern of Godly servants being made up of families
As we saw yesterday, three clans were defined as constituting God's Godly servants to aid in the tabernacle or God's House - The Gershonites, Merarites and Kohathites.  The Gershonites will be our focus today, as we aim to understand the principle of God's use of families in His pattern of Godly service.  The word for "family" in the Hebrew text of Numbers can be used to describe everything from Parents and their children to extended families to a whole lineage of relatives.  The point of Numbers was to show that every man in the Gershonite tribe was needed, since they represented their families and the whole nation in their service to the Lord.  They were to "serve and carry" the coverings of the tabernacle. 

God's pattern of families as Godly servants in the New Testament
Though the form be different, the principle is remarkably similar.  In 1 Timothy 3:11-12 we see instructions given concerning the Deacon and his wife.  In fact, the wife herself is to be a woman of godly character, much like her husband.  Though he will be the one carrying and serving, yet he will need a Godly wife who both supports his efforts and provides an example to the wives in the church.  The Deacon and his wife serve to be ean example in their home-lives, their lives and spiritual lives.  In a sense, they function as spiritual Gershonites - carrying the behind the scenes burdens and serving faithfully the people of God who are the house of God. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

The Benefits of God's Godly servants as a family
In seeing how this principle threads its way from the Old Covenant types and shadows of the priestly nation of Israel, what benefits can we see in God's New Testament Godly servants, the Deacons, yielding as a family-oriented ministry?

1. Deacons are God's Godly servants who place before the church the necessity of Godly marriage (1 Timothy 3:12)

2. Deacons and their wives also place before the Church families the premium of raising up children in a Godly home (1 Timothy 3:12)

3. Deacons and their wives demonstrate the value of building up one another as fellow Christians and families

4. Deacons and their wives, as God's Godly servants, set before the world the pattern of what a Christian family should look like

5. Deacons and their wives can be used of God to offer counsel and encouragement in an age where marriages and families are struggling

6. Deacons and their wives can demonstrate that Godly families are not just an idea, but a practical reality that is needed in out world

7. The office of Deacon is designated by the Lord to remind every generation of the need to raise up Godly offspring and permeate the culture with the Gospel (Deuteronomy 6; Malachi 2:15; Acts 7-8; Ephesians 6:3-4)