1 Corinthians 12:27-28 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, Helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
We might easily skip this little word "HELPS" in the list of gifts in the assembly. To us, apostles, prophets, miraculous powers, and tongues loom large, and overshadow such a vague, undefined term as "helps." We are equally liable to pass over as insignificant the persons whom God is using as "helps'' in the local assembly.
The truth is we are not always clear what constitutes "helps." We know the teacher because he teaches, the shepherd because he feeds the flock, the overseer because he cares for the assembly affairs. But the work of "helps" is not so easily defined. This person is ready and willing to do anything needful and anything helpful. Like hired "help" on a farm, or a day laborer, or hired help in a large home, this person lends a hand to any job of work that comes alone. He/She may seem to be a feeble member of the body of Christ but she is "necessary." (1 Cor. 12:22).
This "helps" is a kind a gracious person, and may be quite incompetent to take part in public ministery, but by her active sympathy and loving concern for others she often exercises a more powerful influence upon the spiritual well-being of the assembly than those who occupy a more prominent part.
Let us keep in mind at this juncture also, that the gift of "helps" is a spiritual gift, and is not a mere character trait of a kind yet unregenerate person, it is a gifting of God for certain saved individuals that they may function for the good of the body of Christ..in the body of Christ.
Mostly the helper is no preacher nor lecturer. He may not be able to expound the scriptures at a Bible study. He may blush at the thought of standing at the podium or publicly proclaim the gospel. But it does your heart good to see the way in which she opens the door for you, leads you to a seat, or hands you a hymn book. Or talks to you about the things of daily life, and is that person that seems to be able to grab hold of visitors and bring them a welcoming that others cannot.
What a man or woman the true help is! Their heart is in the work. They are ready to to anything and everything to further the good cause. They may have a genial brightness or gentle kindness or care that makes their company among the most delightful element in the activities of the assembly. He is never at a loss for a good word, and is ready for a good work. No matter what you want done this person is your man, and often does the task before someone asks...and sometimes before the need is even publicly known.
The helper is always busy but not "cumbered with much serving" in the sense that makes some of us fretful and unpleasant. Difficulties are overcome by this person, who will go many a mile to read a chapter to a sick saint. They are not hindered by other people's quirks or odd ideas about scripture and may not be troubled by particular views and points of emphasis. They may pit the poor person that "beats a drum" but lends that person a helping hand in the same of the Master, whenever possible.
The life and love of Christ is flowing through the heart of the true "helper" in the assembly. She is full of the joy of being Christ's that she cannot help loving others who belong to Him. Her heart is free from selfishness and worldliness, and her spirit is fresh and bright in the presence of the Lord. She may also be a cheer and comfort to the saints...without....even....knowing...it. Many a time it may be said of her, as was of Moses, the she "knew not that her face shone."
The love of Christ and all His fellow-members in the body, is the simple secret of the effective "helps." The Spirit of God makes him, by his unobtrusive activity, a health giving link in promoting the unity of that same Spirit in the bond of peace.
We have little idea how much the blessing of God's saints and the progress of the gospel depend upon these persons-brothers and sisters- who are included in this comprehensive term "helps." God has set them in His assembly specially to undertake simple, lowly, and often unrecognized duties in service to those HE loves.
The labors of "helps" is often most missed, when just that takes place...such a person of gift is lacking. We may not notice it until they are themselves in need of "help."
But if the labor of these helpers are so often unnoticed now, they will be fully displayed and amply rewarded in the day of Christ's glory. He will remember the cup of cool water given in His name. A few "helps" are mentioned in scripture. Paul refers to brother Urbane, and brother Clement with some women (Rom 16:9, Phil 4:3) and others too, but not by name. This record is given to encourage other "helps" to go on their quiet way.
Another word for this class of workers is "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have showed toward His name in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." (Heb 6:10)
Let us, therefore, pray that though we come behind in the foremost gifts, God may maintain the supply of "helps" in our midst. Let each helper be diligent in his task of living, not for self, but for others. And let those who believe they are called to labor "in word and doctrine" remember that they are also called to support the weak, and to comfort the feeble minded, not with an unctuous word so much as with a Christ-life deed.
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