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The Scriptorium

Minister While You Can

2 Peter 1.13, 14
13Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14knowing that shortly I mustput off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

The Story:Moses prayed that God would teach him to number his days, so that he might have the wisdom of God for the work he’d been given to do (Ps. 90.12, 16, 17). Paul urged us to make the most of all the time God entrusts to us (Eph. 5.15-17). This is what we see Peter doing here. By some means he has come to know that his death is imminent. The Lord, he says, has made that clear.

But this is no time for a pity party, or for sitting around waiting for others to come and minister to him. Peter knew his time was short, and he determined to reach outto the people he knew and loved, to encourage and edify them in their time of need, and, in the process, leave a letter that Christians for 2,000 years have found to be a source of counsel, instruction, and encouragement.

Are we making the most of our days for ministry to others? Or do we consume our time on ourselves only, or wait for others to reach out to us? Peter’s example is instructive: While we have strength, let us live for God and reach out to others in his name.

The Structure:God calls His people to become equipped for ministry, so that by their good works they may be used to build the Church in unity and maturity (Eph. 4.11-16). In too many churches, most people simply wait around for someone to minister to them. Such people may complain when they don’t get the kind of ministry they think they need. But it seems hardly ever to occur to them to give themselvesto others like Jesus did for us.

Every moment of every day of our lives, we are not our own! We have been bought with the price of Jesus’ precious blood, and He has sent us, like He Himself was sent (Jn. 20.21), to serve and minister to others, and not simply to be ministered to by them (Mk. 10.42-45). The Church might actually make more impact in our culture if more of her members would follow Peter’s example of ministering to others as long as you have time and breath to do so.

Think ahead to the day to come: What opportunities for ministry will present to you? How will you prepare for these so that you make the most of the time of your life?

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “The Word More Sure: 2 Peter 1.12-21,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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