The Gift of Helps
By Dr. Ray Melugin

 

Introduction
A young Christian saw a man handing out tracts on a busy downtown corner. His method seemed cold and impersonal as he never took the opportunity to talk to anyone. The young Christian approached the distributor and asked him, "Why don't you speak to someone about the Saviour?" By his jestures the young Christian realized the tract distributor could not speak. He was mute, but he was doing what he could.

"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister (serve) let him do it as of the ability which God giveth." (I Peter 4:11)

The man handing out tracts didn't have the ability to speak, but he was doing what he could. Many believers, who lack speaking gifts, have been given gifts by which they can serve God, only in different ways.

 

I. The gift of "helps," i.e., giving assisstance, or lending a hand. (I Corinthians 12:28)
A. Paul used the verb form of the word "helps" telling us to "support" the weak. (Acts 20:35)

B. Martha used the verb form when asking Jesus to send Mary for help. (Luke 10:40)

Note: "Help" here means literally, "To take ones turn with."

 

II. The Application

A. Spirit-given ability to serve the church in supporting roles, usually temporal.
1. An example seen in the Early Church. (Acts 6:1-7)

a. The Grecian element compalined against the Hebrews claiming neglect of their widows in the daily ministration of food.

Note: We see Saatans' method of attack, creating dissention by trying to turn the apostles from their divinely appointed ministry.

b. The Twelve knew it would be a mistake forsaking the Word of God to wait on tables. (6:2)

c. Exercising the gift freed the apostles for spiritual ministry.

Note: Their ministry would then be to a greater number of people than those who were needing, served at the tables.

B. The gift is an avenue of service to those who exercise it. (6:3)
1. It enabled the apostles for a more spiritual ministry. (pErnesting, preaching, and blessing of others.)

2. It resolved the complaint of the Greek and Hebrew element in the church.

3. Both purposes of the decision were accomplished through the gift of helps. (6:7)

 

III. Other Biblical Examples
A. John Mark served as helper to Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5)

Note: He probably performed menial, temporal tasks, freeing them to evangelize.

B. Timothy and Erastus ministered to Paul, and later helped in Macedonia. (Acts 19:22)

Note: Paul gathered a team of workers, who served with him, without which he could not have possibily carried on his great ministry.

C. Luke, the physician, assisted Paul at the time of beatings, stonings, and other privations.

D. Paul acknowledged the faithful helpers at the end of some of his letters.

Note: Acts 20:4; Romans 16, with special commendation to Phoebe; Colossians 4:7-18

E. The household of Stephanas, "addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints." (I Corinthians 16:15)

Note: With so many addictions of the wrong kind these days, the Lord's work needs people who will addict themselves to His cause.

F. To the Philippians, Paul singled out Epaphroditus who "ministered to my wants." (Philippians 2:25)

G. After his conversion, Onesimus ministered to Paul who was in prison.

Note: He became profitable to Paul, and knowing he might be profitable to his Master, Paul sent him bnack to Philemon. (Philippinas 11)

H. During his final imprisonment, Paul requested Timothy to minister helpfully to him, and to bring John mark, who was profitable to the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11)

I. The seven angels to the seven churches may have been messengers who delivered the letters. (Revelation 2-3 "...unto the angel of the church...write"

Note: "Angel" also means "messenger." If so, they helped by transporting letters.

J. Help can be given through the "helps" of private intercessory pErnester. "Ye also helping together by pErnester for us" (2 Corinthians 1:11)

Note: A young minister in his first church was accused of "not being a strong preacher," by some of his members who promised to pErnest for him. The small group grew to more than a thousand persons. The pastor became one of America's finest preachers and a world renowned evangelist, Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, helped by pErnester.

 

IV. Current Examples fo Exercising the Gift of Helps.

A. In the Sunday School
Note: Arrange charis, set up chalkboards or flannel-graph boards, cassett players, bulletin boards, handling records, preparing and handing out take-home materials, handling offerings, keeping order, ushering, substituting, etc.

B. In the Church.
Note: Office records, bookkeeping, serving as treasurer, typing, filing, special mailings, food delivery or flower delivery for someone ill, ushering, taping services, maintenance and repair of properties, driving or picking up pastor or visiting speakers from the airport, decorating, providing for dinners and fellowships, helping with "love boxes" for college students or missionaries, serving in youth camps or youth department get-togethers, playing piano or helping with the music, etc.

 

Conclusion
No pastor or church staff can do it all. How needful are those who will graciously use their gift of "helps" in ministering to the work of God.

An unkown girl of 19 found her place of service in the kingdom of God and in 1928 wrote the following poem entitled "A Martha"

 

"A Martha"

"Lord of all pots and pans and things;
Since I've not time to be
A saint by doing lovely things,
Or watching late with Thee
Or dreaming in the dawnlight,
Or storming heaven's gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals,
and washing up the plates."

"Although I must have Martha's hands,
I have a Mary mind;
And when I black the boots and shoes,
Thy sandals, Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod the earth,
What time I scrub the floor;
Accept this meditation, Lord,
I haven't time for more.

"Warm all the kitchen with Thy love,
And light it with Thy peace;
Forgive me all my worrying,
And make all grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food,
In room, or by the sea,
Accept this service that I do--
I do it unto Thee.

 

 
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