This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. ~1 Timothy 3:1
God uses many recurring words and phrases to strongly emphasize a precept, principle, priority, or practice for the Christian life. These recurring words and phrases make for encouraging and enlightening Bible study that strengthens us in our convictions and walk with God. One of these phrases is “a good work.” This phrase emphasizes a practice that is highly-esteemed in the eyes of God. It is a “best practice” approach to living for and serving our Lord. This morning, let us briefly look at three good works.
There is the work of pastoring.
Paul said that if a man desires the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. The word for bishop means to oversee or provide strong leadership. The work of a pastor provides direction, spiritual feeding, counsel, caution, instruction, exhortation, rebuke, and reproof through preaching and leading. It is a good work because of the requirements. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 lists many stringent life requirements. As a servant of the Lord, he must be set apart in his inner life, family life, and practices. It is a good work because of the responsibility. As a steward of God, he is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the flock of God. It is a good work because of the risks. In pastoring, a man faces disappointment, hurt, rejection, and adversity. In spite of this, it is a good work. It is a good work because of the reward. God promises a crown of glory to the faithful pastor. Paul was telling Timothy that the office of a pastor should be his entire devotion, and not once should it be despised.
There is the work of pouring.
“And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me” (Mark 14:6). Mary of Bethany came to the house of Simon the leper and poured out expensive ointment on the head of Jesus that covered Him from head to toe. Her pouring out beautifully pictured the pouring out of the drink offering, which symbolizes giving our heart’s devotion entirely to the Lord. It was a good work because of her acceptance. Her act demonstrated faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was a good work because of her attention. No one else at that gathering gave attention to the preeminence of Jesus. Most, if not all, were celebrating Lazarus’ resurrection. Mary realized that Jesus was the One Who needed to have everyone’s attention. It was a good work because of her affection. The ointment was valued at a year’s wages. Some criticized her and said that it was a waste of money. Jesus said that it was a good work. You can never give too much in showing your love for Jesus.
There is the work of perfecting.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Jesus is doing a good work in each of us until the day we are called home to Heaven. This is the work of sanctification. He is molding us more into His image. The good work of perfecting is developed through a daily walk in the Spirit, a crucifying of the flesh, the work of the gospel, service in the local church, ministering to the local body of Christ we are members of, and mentoring the lives of younger believers. His perfecting is the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly in all wisdom, resulting in the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual psalms. It is when, through much wrestling in prayer, we stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. It is when others see Christ in us, the hope of glory! Let us be a people zealous of these good works.
Have a zealous God Morning!
Bible Reading: Luke 14-16