Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Short devotion : Minimum Requirements - Genesis 18:32

Genesis 18:32                         Finally, Abraham said, "Lord, please don't be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?"
And the Lord replied, "Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten."

It’s called a ‘minyan’ in Judaism and it means ‘ten righteous men.’ In any nation or community across the world where Jews live together, a synagogue can be established when ten God-fearing faithful men are resident in the locality. It’s the minimum requirement and it traces its roots back to this moment in Abraham’s life when he pleads to God on behalf of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. If ten righteous men are found in those communities, then they will be spared and not suffer the wrath of God.

In the Christian community, we call them ‘charter members’ or elders or deacons. A certain number of men and women are required to be the spiritual leaders of the local church. Their faithful prayers and Christ-centered focus keeps the congregation that they represent alive, relevant, and vital. Their decisions and commitment, loyalty to God and humility before Christ become the driving force of the church that they lead. Without their leadership, the people can perish and congregations will fail. They are the backbone of the church and their ‘righteousness’ in Christ, even though they are human and imperfect, blesses both the local congregation and community.

So let’s take time today to give thanks to God for those leaders, elders, and deacons who uphold God’s Word in their churches by their example, dedication, and devotion to Christ in worship, in prayer, in meetings, and in their daily lives.

Questions for personal reflection

Who are the local Christian leaders in my life who continue to spiritually encourage me? How can I support them?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, Your ministry continues throughout the world and Your people continually praise Your Name. You have called and chosen ordinary people to take on the roles of leadership in every church and congregation on Earth. Bless them with vision and commitment, reliability and encouragement, so that they may attract others to spiritually grow closer to You. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is one of John’s art nouveau type drawings to celebrate ‘Corpus Christi.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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