Summary: This sermon is part of a series examining the qualifications of an elder.
Title: The Measure of a Maturing Christian Man” Part 2 Scripture: I Tim. 3:1-7
Type: Expository Where: GNBC 6-28-20
Intro: There is a proverb that says that the best way to judge a man is not by the way he treats his equals, but by the way he treats his inferiors. If you treat your servants or employees badly, it is a poor reflection on you; that the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Indeed we cannot truly assess the size and measure of man, until we are faced by the yawning hole in society which he leaves when he departs. (Mail and Guardian, 7-9-2008). Last week we began examining the various qualities the Apostle Paul wrote that were required of a man wanting to become and elder. Today, we continue to examine those.
Prop: Today we’ll examine 4 more qualities that mark the lives of maturing Christian men.
BG: 1 Again, the passage primarily relates to the qualifications of elders in a church.
2. Applying the passage to cover all growing and maturing Christian men.
Prop: Follow w/me in I Tim. 3:1-7 as examine 4 more characteristics of a maturing Christian man.
I. A maturing Christian Man is Marked By Generosity: “Hospitable”.
A. We need to develop a “Mindset of Ministry Center ” in an Culture that Extolls “Man Cave”.
1. How do you use the Resources God has given you?
a. Do you simply use your resources on yourself or do you also use them on others? Illust: now, I tongue in check refer to the term “man cave” that has become so popular today. If you watch HGTV any home improvement or house hunting program, see a lot of younger men today, saying that just as important as the wife’s kitchen of the kids’ BR or the bathrooms, is the husband’s “man cave”. According to Wikipedia: A man cave is a male retreat or sanctuary in a home or garage. The term "man cave" is a metaphor describing a room where male family members are supposed to be able to do as they please, without fear of upsetting any female sensibility about house decor or design. Now I get it, it’s funny, but can I also say it’s a little selfish. We want our own where we can do what we want w/o anyone telling us any different... hours of sports or video games or movies. Really? Need to check motives.
b. “hospitable” literally means: “to love strangers”/ “a lover of strangers”. A maturing Christian man sees his home as a vital “ministry center” through which he can show hospitality to friends and strangers alike.
2. Bottom line answer for the Maturing Christian man to answer: “Who owns my stuff?” Anyone who practices hospitality realizes that they are simply stewards of the “stuff” God has given them. The concept of stewardship begins with creation. Creation is celebrated not only in Genesis but throughout Scripture, especially in the Psalms, where God’s ownership of the universe is declared: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). God is the author of all things, the Creator of all things, and the owner of all things. Whatever God makes, He owns. What we own, we own as stewards who have been given gifts from God Himself. God has the ultimate ownership of all of our “possessions.”
B. Hospitality is a Characteristic we are to Pursue as we mature in the Christian life.
1. Maturing Christian men are to be hospitable.
a. Again, did you notice the context of this passage? It is specifically addressing the qualifications for being an elder in the church. Paul did not say: “Now we are making a subgroup…elder’s wives. No! He is still addressing elders. We tend to think in Western Culture of “hospitality” being a woman’s thing. However, the command went to men who were wanting to become leaders in the church! Why should this be a qualification for a man pursuing spiritual maturity? I think it is because a hospitable man realizes God’s blessing and is not stingy. When you realize you have been given more than you deserve you are generous in meeting needs.
b. Illust: I want us all to recognize the valuable contribution of our church elders. When I think of hospitality, I think of Jim and Jill S. They regularly host fellowship opportunities for the church. They also specifically built their home with an apartment so as to let visiting missionaries, etc. use it. That is being intentionally hospitable.
2. Before I leave this topic, let’s just clear about something. Men, if all of a sudden you are convicted and want to become more hospitable…let your wife know ahead of time! Work with your wife. Help her prepare the food or set the table or do the dishes or…. Being Biblically mature is NOT saying: “Hello Dear. The Lord spoke to me about our need to be more hospitable. I have invited the O’Shaunnessys and their 8 kids for lunch today!