“Earlier this morning,” Stan commented,” I again finished going through the apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians. At the end of that letter I was reminded about a friend and how what Paul wrote had a significant impact on his faith walk and his work for the kingdom.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Paul wrote about a guy with kind of a funny name,” Stan replied. “His name was Archippus, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his friends called him ‘Arch’ or “Archie.’ He lived in Colossae and was part of the church. I don’t know what kind of ministry he had, but Paul wrote to the church to tell Arch to be sure to do whatever that ministry was.”
“Kind of like encouraging him to do what the Lord had for him to do?” I said. “Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And that’s exactly what I was reminded about with a friend I had in our old town church.”
“Did he have a ministry?” I asked.
“He did,” Stan said. “He had a strong sense that God wanted him to start a ministry that would help provide food to people who needed help. As part of that help, my friend sensed it would open doors to be able to witness about his faith and bring people into the kingdom.”
“So,” I replied, “did he do that? Did he start a ministry?”
“He started,” Stan said, “but soon became discouraged because there wasn’t much of a response.”
“By the people he was trying to help?” I asked.
“More with the people in the church,” Stan replied. “My friend had trouble getting people to donate and to help distribute the food to people who came to the church to get the food. It was like a one-man show and he became discouraged.”
“He was ready to quit,” Stan said, “but he told me that one morning he was reading the exact verse about Arch in Paul’s letter and the Holy Spirit made it clear to him who was discouraging him and who wanted him to continue.”
“Satan, the great discourager,” I said, “versus the One who had called him to the ministry. Is that it?”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “And Satan lost again! Not only did my friend take heed from what Paul wrote about Arch, he gave everything about the food ministry to the Lord for His direction. My friend figured that if God called him to this ministry, God was more than capable of bringing it to fruition exactly as He wanted.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“The ministry flourished,” Stan said. “Countless hungry people have been fed with physical food through a ministry that has involved many people in the church. As well, there are lots of people who have become part of the church and are feasting on the spiritual food God has for them.”
“All,” I replied, “because your friend read about Paul encouraging the man called ‘Arch’.”
“No big surprise there,” Stan said. “The Bible is full of encouragement if we will just read and apply it!”
Bible verses to consider:
And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” Colossians 4:17.
But you be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you have ministry for me and each one of your people to be involved with. I confess that too often I do not pursue the ministry you have for me to do, the ministry to which you have called me. Please forgive that disobedience. And please help me, along with all of the others, to follow every step of your lead in pursuing the ministry you have so your church and your kingdom increases just as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What is your view of “ministry”? Do you see it as only something for other people to do? Are you involved in ministry? If no, why? How many different ways can you think of to be involved in ministry? A bare-bone minimum would be to pray for and encourage people who are involved in ministry. Start there and follow God’s lead!
The book by S. Tory Teller (Foreword by Josh McDowell), Waiting for the Train—Biblical Food for Growing Before Going, is available from http://www.Amazon.com, http://www.Barnesandnoble.com, and http://www.S-toryteller.com.