“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” (1Cor 12:28)
This is a call to those who desire to be a blessing to many! Join the ministry of helps! The spiritual gift of helps is found in one of the spiritual gifts lists in the Bible. The Greek word translated “helps” is ‘antilepsis’. In the New Testament the word appears only in 1 Corinthians 12:28; therefore, the exact meaning is somewhat obscure. The word ‘helps’ it means “to relieve, to support, to take hold of another (who is down) and to succor; to participate (partake) in another’s burden”; to ‘lend a hand’ in time of need”.
Historically, the Christians with the gift of helps are those who can render assistance to others in the church with humility, love, patience, wisdom, compassion and grace. This gift has a broad range of applications, from helping individuals with daily chores to assisting in the administration of the affairs of the church. The people who have this gift are born again Christians who are willing to do difficult, unpleasant tasks helping others in the church. These gifted brethren help those who truly need help (the poor, the widows, the orphans, the lonely, the sick, the prisoners…). This help is done for the sake of their Master Jesus Christ who receives all the glory for this ministry. The result of their ministry is that life becomes easier for many, resulting in thanksgiving to God! “For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God” (2Cor 9:12)
But there is perhaps a deeper meaning to the spiritual gift of helps. Since it is one of the spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, all of which are given for the building up of the body of Christ, the spiritual aspect of the gift of helps is perhaps even more important than the practical aspect. Those with the spiritual gift of helps have been given the unique ability to identify those who are struggling with doubt, fears and other spiritual battles. They move toward those in spiritual need, helping them with a kind word, an understanding and a compassionate demeanor. They are not passive. They actively look for people to help with a word or with prayers. They have the unique ability to speak scriptural truth in convicting and loving fashion. Their words are “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11) to the spiritually weak and weary. Like a doctor who gives an injection, so these brethren inject truth, love and courage in the weak Christians. They help the weak in faith to stand by helping carry their burdens. Their practical work is often done in secret and they receive little encouragement themselves. But God knows them and He rewards them.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for giving us the spiritual gifts of helps, to encourage and strengthen the weak in the Body of Christ. Help us to be wise, humble and faithful in serving You among the needy. Help us to be Your eyes, Your heart and Your hands, as we help others. We reject any evil spirit of deception, pride and laziness. Holy Spirit please come and strengthen us, as we continue to help others. To Your glory alone! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!
(in the picture, a Christian organization feeding the poor in Aleppo, Syria)