Christian Ministry

Sitting in our Sunday school class, I listened as my husband Jim taught a series on the “one anothers” in the New Testament. He taught about the ministries each Christian is to have to “one another” in Christ’s church. This particular Sunday Jim spoke on edifying one another— encouraging them, building them up, contributing positively to their lives, and benefiting them in some way.

After summarizing the lesson, Jim chal­lenged our class. He exhorted, “With every encounter, make it your aim that people are better off for having been in your pres­ence. Try in every encounter to give something to the other person.” I have never forgotten these words. What a great and simple way to positively influence the lives of other people. Everyone needs edification and encouragement, and we are free to offer that when we have hearts filled by God.

Sometimes we can feel immobilized in our service toward God by an over-emphasis on spiritual gifts or a fear of not being the right person for the job. You might think, “If I am not a natural encourager, maybe I should serve on the parking team instead.” Or, “I’m not wealthy. How can my contributions make a difference?” We are all unique in our giftedness and the hurdles toward serving God and others. I found it a relief to learn that are three ministries that you, I, and all Christians can have.

When I read Balancing the Christian Life by theologian Charles Caldwell Ryrie, I discovered three ways of serving others in the faith that are not only listed as specific spiritual gifts, but they are commanded of all Christians. They are serving, giving, and showing mercy (Romans 12:7-8). Hear how Dr. Ryries defined them:

Serving is sometimes called help or ministering. “It is the basic ability to help other people, and there is no reason why every Christian cannot have and use this gift.”

Giving is another ministry you and I should be involved in. “Giving is the ability to distribute one’s own money to others, and it is to be done with simplicity which means with no thought of return or gain for oneself in any way.”

Mercy is next. “Showing mercy is akin to the gift of ministering and involves succoring those who are sick or afflicted. ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction’ (James 1:27).”

Serving, mercy, and giving: each is a specific spiritual gift, but each is also commanded of us as Christians. And each was carried out and modeled for us by our Savior, in whose steps we are to follow. So commit now to kindle your efforts to serve, show mercy, and give, and thus fulfill the law of God and encourage His people.

RESPOND:

Thank You, Lord, for Your gifts of service, giving, and mercy. Help me to follow in Your steps by ministering to others. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES: 

In “Following God with All Your Heart”, Elizabeth encourages women to embrace radical faith as they serve God by helping people and accomplishing His projects.

REFLECT:

How can you serve, show mercy, and give in your local congregation?

REMEMBER:

All Christians are called to serve, show mercy, and give to others in the faith.


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Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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