have the flu, food is not my favorite ministry.
And as nice as it is to have someone visit you when you’re new
in the neighborhood, visitation doesn’t really rank as number one with me either.
And while I love being ministered to in someone else’s home – a meal
prepared in my honor, a home freshly scrubbed in anticipation of my
visit, and a hostess making me feel warm and welcomed – even hospitality isn’t my favorite way to be ministered to.
The right word at the right time—beautiful!
15:23 reminds us that a well chosen word of hope, blessing,
encouragement or truth, given at just the right moment, is a beautiful
thing indeed. And when the conversation freely volleys with such
spiritually uplifting words…well, there’s just nothing better.
have a few friends I can count on for “just the right word” on a pretty
consistent basis. That’s what makes those ladies my friends!
Conversation with them is like laying your head on a soft pillow and
putting your feet up for a few minutes before you have to get out there
and tackle the situation again. Indeed, “what a pleasure!”
Like when my 18-year-old daughter tells me after church how
extremely cute I look. Talk about a timely word! She made my spirit
soar. (Probably caused me to stand up a little straighter and sway my
hips a little more, too!) But I also love hearing a word of instruction,
a bit of wisdom, or even a gentle reproof – when I know it’s an “apt
answer” or “a timely word,” as the New American Standard Version words
someone else? You would think that would make you feel cocky and proud,
but it has just the opposite effect. It is extremely humbling when you
really manage to deliver a word of truth or hope or encouragement or
even rebuke, that is wrapped in the soft and appealing packaging of God’s love.
And, boy, you can tell the difference, too, can’t you? When you speak a
word that is truly Spirit inspired as opposed to one that comes from
your flesh? You can speak truth in the flesh, but, like Paul said in 1
Corinthians 13, it is more likely to come out of your mouth sounding
like a clanging symbol or the creaking of a rusty gate. That’s no
ministry. That’s just misery!
today, on Ministry Monday, I’m contemplating how I can more
consistently be used to deliver a timely word, a soothing conversation, a
well-chosen message of hope to those around me.
I have a feeling that
my usefulness in this ministry of words is directly correlated to the
amount of time I spend reading God’s Word and conversing with Him. All
of His words are timely and well-chosen. Every conversation I have with
Him leaves me rested and refreshed and re-energized. It only stands to
reason that His gift for words would rub off on me the more I spend time in His presence.
a word well-spoken amazingly refreshing and powerful? I pray that you
and I can be ministers of well-chosen, timely, and well-placed words of
hope, faith, love, encouragement, and truth today.