May 15: Small Starts
1 Chronicles 2:1–55; 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Psalm 75:1–76:12
In Paul’s qualifications for overseers, he mentions a necessary trait for anyone who wants to lead in a community: “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Tim 3:4–5).
Though Paul speaks to overseers, his words tell us something about our own witness. Living like Christ, showing grace, and acting with wisdom toward the people who are closest to us are often more difficult than serving on a larger scale. It’s more challenging to serve those who know our failings than it is to serve anyone else. By learning to be faithful in these relationships—by serving unselfishly and with dignity—we prove ourselves capable of serving others.
Paul understands that humility and love must be practiced at home before they can be adequately practiced in community. By extension, allowing ourselves to live an imbalanced or ungodly life will ultimately lessen our effectiveness elsewhere.
It’s easy to take the people closest to us for granted—to see them as facets of our own lives, helping us accomplish our own goals. Guiding these relationships takes maturity. And the fruits of those relationships will prove our ability to influence the lives of others.
Paul acknowledges that the desire to be a leader is a noble one. He isn’t trying to dissuade those who want to take on more responsibility; instead, he is trying to ensure that they’re adequately prepared and not prone to a major public meltdown. He is preparing them to succeed at an honorable task.
Think about two or three people who are closest to you. How can you better serve them?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- These are the sons of Israel, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. The sons of Judah, Er, and Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanite: but Er the oldest son of Judah was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him. And Tamar his daughter-in-law bare him Perez, and Zerah: so all the sight of the Lord, and he slew him. The sons of Perez, Hezron, and Hamul. The sons also of Zerah were Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara, which were five in all. And the son of Carmi, Achar that troubled Israel, transgressing in the thing excommunicate. The son also fo Ethan, Azariah. And the sons of Hezron that were born unto him, Jerahmeel, and Ram and Chelubai. And Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon prince of the children of Judah. And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz. And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Ishai, And Jesse begat his eldest son Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth. Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Whose sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah, Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel. And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa was Jether and Ishmalite. And Caleb the son of Hezron begat Jerioth of Azubah his wife, and her sons are these, Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon. And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur. And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezalel. And afterward came Hezron to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, and took her when he was threescore years old, and she bare him Segub. And Segub begat Jair, which had three and twenty cities in the land of Gilead. And Geshur with Aram took the towns of Jair from them, and Kenath and the towns thereof, even threescore cities. All these were the sons of Machir the father of Gilead. And after that Hezron was dead at Caleb Ephrathah, then Abijah Hezron’s wife bare him also Ashhur the father of Tekoa. And the sons of Jerahmeel the eldest son of Hezron were Ram the eldest, then Bunah, and Oren and Ozem and Ahijah. Also Jerahmeel had another wife named Atarah, which was the mother Onam. And the sons of Ram the eldest son of Jerahmeel were Maaz, and Jamin and Eker. And the sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. And the sons of Shammai, Nadab and Abishur. And the name of the wife of Abishur was called Abihail, and she bare him Ahban and Molid. The sons also of Nadab were Seled and Appaim: but Seled died without children. And the son of Appaim was Ishi, and the son of Ishi, Sheshan, and the son of Sheshan, Ahlai. And the sons of Jada the brother of Shammai were Jether and Jonathan: but Jether died without children. And the sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. And Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant that was an Egyptian named Jarha. And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife, and she bare him Attai. And Attai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad, And Zabad begat Ephlal, and Ephlal begat Obed, And Obed begat Jehu, and Jehu begat Azariah, And Azariah begat Helez, and Helez begat Eleasah, And Eleasah begat Sismai, and Sismai begat Shaullum, And Shallum begat Jekamiah, and Jekamiah begat Elishama. Also the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel, were Mesha his eldest son, which was the father of Ziph: and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron. And the sons of Hebron were Korah and Tappuah, and Rekem and Shema. And Shema begat Raham the father of Jorkoam: and Rekem begat Shema. And Shema begat Raham the father of Jorkoam: and Rekem begat Shammai. The son also of Shammai was Moan: and Moan was the father of Beth Zur. And Ephah a concubine of Caleb bare Haran and Moza, and Gazez: Haran also begat Gazez. The sons of Jahdai were Regem, and Jotham, and Geshan, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph. Caleb’s concubine Maachah bare Sheber and Tirhanah. She bare also Shaaph the father of Madmannah, and Sheva the father of Machbenah, and the father of Gibea. And Achsah was Caleb’s daughter. These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur the eldest son of Ephrathah, Shobal the father of Kirjath Jearim. Salma the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth Gader. And Shobal the father of Kirjath Jearim were the Ithrites, and the Puthites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites: of them came the Zorathites, and the Eshtaolites. The sons of Salma of Bethlehem, and the Netophathites, the crowns of the house of Joab, and half the Manahethites and the Zorites. And the families of the Scribes dwelling at Jabez, the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, the Suchathites, which are the Kenites, that came of Hammath the father of the house of Rechab. 1 Chronicles 2:1–55
- This is a true saying, If any man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a worthy work. A Bishop therefore must be unreprovable, the husband of one wife, watching, temperate, modest, harborous, apt to teach, Not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre, but gentle, no figher, nor covetous. One that can rule his own house honestly, having children under obedience with all honesty. For if any cannot rule his own house, how shall he care for the Church of God? He may not be a young scholar, lest he being puffed up fall into the condemnation of the devil. He must also be well reported of, even of them which are without, lest he fall into rebuke, and the snare of the devil. 1 Timothy 3:1–7
- We will praise thee, O God, we will praise thee, for thy Name is near: therefore they will declare thy wondrous works. When I shall take a convenient time, I will judge righteously. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: but I will establish the pillars of it. Selah. I said unto the foolish, Be not so foolish, and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn. Lift not up your horn on high, neither speak with a stiff neck. For to come to preferment is neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South, But God is the judge: he maketh low, and he maketh high. For in the hand of the Lord is a cup, and the wine isred: it is full mixed, and he poureth out of the same: surely all the wicked of the earth shall wring out and drink the dregs thereof. But I will declare forever, and sing praises unto the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked also will I break: but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. God is known in Judah: his Name is great in Israel. For in Salem is his Tabernacle, and his dwelling in Zion. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah. Thou art more bright and puissant, than the mountains of prey. The stouthearted are spoiled: they have slept their sleep, and all the men of strength have not found their hands. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast asleep. Thou, even thou art to be feared; and who shall stand in thy sight, when thou art angry! Thou didst cause thy judgments to be heard from heaven: therefore the earth feared, and was still, When thou, O God, arose to judgment, to help all the meek of the earth. Selah. Surely the rage of man shall turn to thy praise; the remnant of the rage shalt thou restrain. Vow and perform unto the Lord your God, all ye that be round about him; let them bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. He shall cut off the spirit of princes; he is terrible to the kings of the earth. Psalm 75:1–76:12