Friday, February 24, 2012

THE BLESSING OF BEING A HELPER 2 Timothy 4:11 March 2012


"Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry" (2 Timothy 4:11).

Faithful workers in the Kingdom of Christ. As your Pastor, I am often privileged to visit many of you in your humble homes. But my favorite day of the month, is when I get to take the church to the aged saints and feed them the heavenly manna since they are no longer able to be with us in the Divine Service.

I recall on one of those blessed visits to one of these aged saints, something special happened.  This dear sister and daughter of Christ apologized that, due to her age and infirmities, she was not able to do very much at the church. She emphatically said, "Pastor, all I can do anymore is pray." As I held her hands in mine, I smiled at her and attempted to console her saying: "There is no such thing as ‘insignificant service' in the kingdom of Christ!" Everything that we do for Him, is precious in His sight.

In the Book of Acts we read these words that will help us think more clearly about the blessing of being a helper: "And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark" (12:25) and "When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to HELP {emphasis mine} them" (13:5). By these words, Luke informs us that John, also known as John Mark, traveled with Paul and Barnabas on their mission trip as a "helper." Scripture never identifies the type of "help" Mark gave;  but he may have been along as a porter to help carry their bags or aid them in some other fashion.

Now that may not seem like much. But think about it for a moment. The less Paul and Barnabas had to concern themselves with, the more time and energy they could devote to telling lost sinners the Good News of the Gospel; more time would be devoted to teaching and preaching and equipping the saints in the service of the Lord. Years later Paul would write to his spiritual son, Timothy, that John Mark had been helpful to him in his ministry (2 Timothy 4:ll). Paul certainly didn't think John's help was insignificant.

Think about this: How can carrying bags be significant in the kingdom of God?
The same way eating and drinking can be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). It is significant when it is done in thanks and praise to the God who sent Jesus to be our Savior. That is how seemingly insignificant actions become laden with meaning. That is why Paul said to the Corinthians: "Your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

In connection to this, we often think about the words of this hymn: "If you cannot be a watch-man, standing high on Zion's wall, pointing out the path to heaven, offering life and peace to all, with your prayers and with your offerings you can do what God demands; you can be like faithful Aaron, holding up the prophet's hands" (LSB 826:3).

Aaron holding up his brother's hands, Joshua helping Moses, Elisha helping Elijah,  Gehazi helping Elisha, John Mark carrying Paul's bags, an aged saint praying in the solitude of her apartment. And You? Bringing your little one to the Font, teaching Bible class, assisting in VBS, folding bulletins, sending out the GOEL to our college students and others, shoveling the walk, watering the plants, quilting—ALL of it significant, not because of the number of people who noticed and admired the action; but because it was offered in grateful service to God by His redeemed.

Please remember this truth. There is no such thing as insignificant service in the kingdom of God. Whatever you do, whether people know it or not, whether your Pastor sees it or not, whether you get the credit for it or not; God does. After all, that is the joy and blessing of being a HELPER in His kingdom.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for despising "little things." Help me, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to find joy in serving, helping, caring and sharing Your Gospel with my neighbor, even doing the little things. For Jesus' sake. Amen.

God bless you as you continue to be a HELPER to the Lord and one another.

In Christ's love and in His service,


Rev. Nabil S. Nour Pastor and Foot Washer Phil. 1:6

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