“You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion. I am very glad that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus have come here. They have been providing the help you weren’t here to give me. They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well.” 1 Corinthians 16:15-18 NLT
Along the journey of ministry there are those whose loving, devoted, and sacrificial service brings tremendous encouragement amidst the striving. Stephanas was a charter member of the church in the country of Greece. In fact, he and all who dwelt in his household were the first to trust in, and follow, Jesus Christ. Since coming to know the Lord, he had not ceased in his undying devotion to Jesus and His church. Without question, this man was a true follower of Jesus, so much so that Paul felt moved of the Holy Spirit to recognize his faithful service. I can personally vouch for this encouragement. There have been those who, to this day, bring great encouragement to my spirit when I just think of them. This must have been the way Paul felt about Stephanas and his household. Thank God for those who serve so well. These church members are so vital in the work of the kingdom. Would to God the church was full of them.
Stephanas, Fortunatas, and Achaicus are the kind of people that churches are built with. We need a whole lot more men like them. Are you an encourager to the ministry or are you just an associate of the church? There is a distinct difference between those who expect the church to serve them and those who faithfully, unselfishly, and unwaveringly serve the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Which one are you?
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, please help me to serve You through Your Church. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Help me find where I'm supposed to serve and how. I want to be an asset to the ministry, not a liability.
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Rev. Curtis Norris