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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Be An Addict!

The family of Stephanas were addicts. They didn’t do drugs or alcohol. They didn’t gamble. They were addicted to service!

This family was one of the first families to believe in Jesus Christ in their region of southern Greece, where Athens and Corinth are located. (Notice that Paul is writing to the Corinthian church when he mentions them.) Stephanas' family had accepted Christ and had started to grow in their faith. What’s more, they were beginning to demonstrate Christ in them, and they were serving others!

Let’s read what the Apostle Paul says to the Corinthian church about this family:
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such. (1 Corinthians 16:15-18)

They had addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. What a statement! They were compelled to serve. They wanted to serve their Christian brothers! This family served more than those in the Corinthian church. (Paul says the Stephanas family did what the other Corinthian church members didn’t do.) And, the coolest thing of all is that they had served the Apostle Paul. They had actually refreshed his spirit! And, Paul asked the Corinthian church to recognize them and submit themselves to these servants’ ministry. (verse 18)

Many times, the mentality in our churches is to enjoy being served. It’s so fun to go to the banquet, and everything is pretty and the food is ready. That goes for spiritual banquets as well. The pastor has prepared his message, made practical applications, and has prayed for his flock. He serves them the Word of God. Many church members are more than content to sit and listen, maybe even take notes. But, do they appreciate the service he does for them? Are they submissive to the Word of God that they hear?

In Scripture, God shows us it’s cool to serve. It isn’t cool to be a leader who’s not a servant.

About Jesus, we read, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8) Jesus demonstrated His servanthood throughout His life. He was born in a stable, cradled in a manger. The King of kings!!!! One of His last acts was washing his disciples’ dirty feet. And, the most humble act of all was taking our sins in His body on the cross.

It’s actually great to be a servant. What an addiction! May we all be serving others. May we all be more like our Lord.

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