‘These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.’ ~ Colossians 4:11
Concluding his letter to the Colossians, Paul mentions the names of those who have been aiding him in his ministry. Tychicus – ‘a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.’ Onesimus – ‘our faithful and dear brother.’ Aristarchus (fellow prisoner), Mark and Justus along with Epaphras and doctor Luke. Each contributed to the kingdom of God by helping Paul. Speaking of Aristarchus, Mark and Justus, he says, ‘they have proved a comfort to me.’
The body of Christ is not only built up by the teaching and discipleship endeavors rendered by ‘servants of God.’ When the laity offers assistance and help to the clergy, in various ways as led by the Holy Spirit, edification takes place. Its quite easy to just turn up church or Bible Study and expect the ‘servant of God’ to render a grand performance, with no inkling of knowing what he or she has been through. Expectations soar high especially when it comes to delivering a sermon or a ‘full time worker’ discharging the duties of his ministry. Seldom is heard an encouraging word or of someone taking time off to pray and intercede for those in spiritual authority. We forget that they too like us, have to battle with the same temptations, sense of insecurity, the need to persevere even when feeling ‘spiritually low’, family problems, health issues, hostility and resistance to change from within the church, demands of time and much more.
Being a shepherd of God’s flock is no easy job! They too need a warm hug, a word of appreciation, a token of thanks, a special outdoor treat, a listening ear to their problems, a trustworthy friend, a gentle pat when things are getting rough and off course prayer! We can be more than just a church or Bible Study member – always in the receiving mode. We can be in the giving mode as well.
Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me this valuable truth. Help me be mindful of those you have placed over me in spiritual authority, that I can offer comfort and encouragement as they labour for your kingdom. Amen.”
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