What Does It Mean To Minister To the Saints?
Study No. 30
Ministering to the Saints Is Giving Physical Needs
Do you minister to the saints? II Corinthians 9:1-15, especially verses 1, 12, 13, describes what ministering to the saints is all about: " . . . ministering to the saints, . . . For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men."
The Macedonian churches, though poor, gave liberally: "Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints . . . . but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God . . . . the proof of your love . . . [is to do things such as this]" II Corinthians 8:1-24.
NOTE: The word for "ministering, ministration," is diakonia, the same word for "ministry."
Romans 15:25-31, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem . . . . For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things."
Ministering to the Saints An All-Consuming Task
I Corinthians 16:15, " . . . they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints."
Ministering to Saints Shows Respect Toward Godís Name
Hebrews 6:10, "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." Compare Revelation 3:8, "and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name."
Matthew 25:40, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Romans 12:6-8, 13, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, . . . or ministry, let us wait on our ministering, . . . he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity, . . . Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality."
Ministering Can Be Serving the "Ministers"!
II Timothy 1:16-18, " . . . Onesiphorus . . . oft refreshed me . . . he ministered unto me [Paul] at Ephesus."
The Purpose of the Diakonos Is to Minister
I Timothy 3:13, "For they that have used [margin: ministered] the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree . . . ."
Individual Responsibility For Giving
I Corinthians 16:1-3, "Now concerning the collection for the saints . . . . Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come . . . . to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem." On another occasion, Paul brought alms and offerings, Acts 24:17.
When the prophet Agabus prophesied of a great famine, " . . . the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul" Acts 11:27-30. Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem "when they had fulfilled their ministry" Acts 12:25.
So we have seen that "ministering unto the saints" is a responsibility for all the brethren. We ought to be responsive to one anotherís needs and help others any time assistance is needed. W
Just a Nurseís Aide
Someone asked what I did for a living. I said, "Iím a nurseís aide in a nursing home." The person made a sour face and sighed, "Oh L____!"
A lot of people think itís an awful job. "Not for all the money in the world" is what one of my friends said. Well, believe it or not, there is something special about this job. People really depend on me. I not only care for them, I care about them as well.
Being a nurseís aide is not glamorous. There are many aspects of the daily routine that are demanding and physically difficult. But I take pride in my work. There is so much to learn. I try to improve my skills every day. Things do get hectic. Sometimes all the call bells seem to go off at once. Family members ask me to do extra things that take time. I do my best to accommodate them but sometimes it just isnít possible.
My work is the kind that many sons and daughters canít do or wonít do, but somebody must take care of the sick and the old. So I bathe and shower my patients. I want them to be fresh and clean. I comb and brush their hair, I want them to look nice. Their hands sometimes shake so I have to cut their food and help them to eat. I want them to get the proper nourishment.
Now do you understand why my job is important even though some folks look down on a nurseís aide? These elderly people really depend on me. Being there for them makes me feel very special. Just sign me ó Feeling Good About Myself in Quincy (Taken from an Ann Landerís newspaper column).
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