Ministering to the Saints

Every one of us has received help from other people.  You have received help from your parents, your instructors, your friends and perhaps many other people.  You have even received help from God and Christ.   Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Without the gift of God’s grace we would have no salvation because we could not save ourselves.

You should realize that it is better to give help than to receive help.  The Apostle Paul worked hard to be able to help himself and those with him.  Act 20:34-35 “Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” You are blessed in giving.  How are you in helping others?  The Apostle Paul gave the following encouragement in Romans 12:13a “Distributing to the needs of the saints.” Who are the saints?  A saint is one who is holy; that means one who is set apart for God’s service.  All of us as Christians are saints.  The writer of Hebrews stated in Hebrews 6:10-11  “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.” Just like the Hebrews, you are to minister to the saints.

The word minister simply means to be one who serves.  Some churches designate leading individuals as ministers.  But in reality, we should all be ministers; we should all serve each other.  Our ministry can be financial or with material goods or with our time and our talents.  It was the night of Jesus’ betrayal.  John 13:3-5; 12-17 “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”  “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?   You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.   If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.  Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”  Jesus, our Lord and Teacher, ministered or served His disciples.  He gave us the example that we should willingly serve each other.

Aside from Jesus’ example for us to serve, what should motivate you to serve others?  Love for others should motivate you.  You should have love and compassion for the ones you serve.  Service shouldn’t be given grudgingly or of necessity.  Jesus is our great example in this area.  Many times He served people because He had compassion on them.  One example is in Mark 1:40-42 “Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’”  When you see needs, your love and compassion for others should motivate you to serve them.

Another motivation for ministering to others should be your appreciation for the grace you have received from God. Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” God’s grace teaches you.  What does it teach you?  It teaches you to live righteously.  It also teaches you to be zealous for good works, works of service.  As He had mercy for you, you have mercy to others.  As He loved you, you love others.  As He had compassion for you, you have compassion for others.  As He has served you, you serve others.  Freely as you have received, you should be willing to freely give.  Jesus sent out the twelve with this admonition in Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”  God has served you freely in many ways; you should want to freely serve others.

Consider 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”  You should give or serve as you purpose in your heart; there is no fixed amount, required percentage or list of required acts of service.  God loves you to give and serve from your heart; He wants you to have a happy, willing heart in your service to others.  He also says that you will reap little or much based upon how much you give and serve.  How much are you giving and serving others?

I encourage you to be a minister or server.  Don’t grow weary in doing good.  Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Be eager to minister to others, especially to minister to the saints.

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