|This beautiful graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings|
This was from Wednesday, March 5, in the middle of week 7 of the study, which focused on our ministries. The following verse describes a few ministries that may surprise you!
S [Scripture]= "Well reported of for good works, if she hath brought up children, if she hath lodged strangers, if she hath washed the saints' feet, if she hath relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work." (1 Timothy 5:10)
O [Observation]= This verse is speaking of the qualifications that must be present in the life of a widow who would be cared for by the early church. She needed to be a "widow indeed" -- not divorced -- and one who had no family of her own to care for her (verses 3-8). Then verse 10 sums up the other things that must be true of such a widow. These things are great ministry goals for every Christian woman:
1) well reported of for good works;
2) having brought up children (and, from what I understand, they need not be her own children);
3) having lodged strangers;
4) having washed the saints' feet;
5) having relieved the afflicted;
6) having diligently followed every good work.
Much of this involves ministry to others. And, incidentally, these six goals would seem to me to be fine goals for men also. It's just that the context here is speaking of women.
A [Application]= I'm thankful for a faithful pastor and good biblical teaching through which I've been encouraged to minister in these areas. I've "brought up" my own children and have had a part in pointing many others (including my grandchildren) in the right direction. I've had the opportunity to "lodge strangers", showing hospitality to countless missionary families and ministry teams. (Some of these folks have become lifetime personal friends!) I've had opportunities to serve my fellow believers and have sought to do so quietly, believing that cleaning a toilet or scrubbing a sink can be a ministry just as much as teaching, music, etc. I've been able to "relieve the afflicted" through giving to missions, the local food pantry, charitable organizations, and through helping my own elderly, ailing parents. I say all this not to "blow my own horn" in any way at all, but simply to look at the variety of ways in which women can and frequently do minister. We just don't always realize that these activities are ministry!
I have found, though, that over time it's very easy to become weary in well doing. I need to look to God for strength to keep on keeping on.
P [Prayer]= "Lord, I do thank You for how well taught we have been in the Christian life. I thank You for our pastor's faithful ministry of Your Word and for how I've come to see that all of life may be a ministry if we do our tasks as unto You and for Your glory. I thank You for the countless opportunities to minister and for the strength You have given for each one. I pray that You will help me not to be weary in well doing but to keep on keeping on because, as one college mission statement says, "life is for service." Many times I do become weary, so I pray for Your strength to made perfect in my weakness, and that Your joy will be my strength. I thank You for all You will do and the strength You will give, in Jesus' name, Amen."
Just a few more Bible study posts, I promise...