Immediately She Arose and Ministered

Devotional thoughts for the month of June 2019

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And [Jesus] arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. (Luke 4:38–39, KJV)

Hurrah for Simon Peter’s mother-in-law! She ministered!

Don’t get me wrong… I am all for jumping and leaping and praising the Lord… but Peter’s mother-in-law showed her gratitude as she ministered unto Jesus and company. How many people were healed by Jesus’ touch? Many. But how many does the Bible show responding with the thanksgiving of useful service? Few… and if you are new to Christianity, get used to that word… few.

Who tithes anymore? Who does the soul-winning? Who visits the sick? Who teaches the Sunday schools? Who sacrifices of their time to perform the sundry necessities for God’s people? I won’t take up space with the statistics of who-does-what in American churches, but few sums it up. Just a small percentage of those who overtly benefit from God’s works work for God.

So, what is reasonable service to God? We should give our lives … every minute, every dollar and every ounce of strength! What… you don’t do that? Me neither! But the fact that no one actually does that does not get us off the hook. Everything we have is from the hand of God, so what should we not give back?

In fact, our very lives are a gift from God. Yet we grow fat with our food and kill one another while chasing after advantages… and in America, we trip over the excess of our accumulations. Our country is proof that giving people every advantage does not produce a proportionate increase in Christian endeavor — even among the true believers!

Why do I get so excited about a walk-on biblical character like Peter’s mother-in-law? Because everything I know about her is good! She showed up in a mere two verses, but look at the three lessons she taught us.

First, she got going immediately. Jesus healed her of a great fever — and people died of less in those days! Now, have you ever recovered from a fever… and if so, were you ready to spring into service immediately? That’s not very likely. Peter’s mother-in-law was under no command to serve immediately, but she responded to the gift that Jesus gave her: Jesus healed her in a way where she became immediately capable, so she became immediately busy in his service.

Second, she arose. We have guests! … and one of them is Jesus! Get out of my way! There are things to do! Some tasks require more contemplation than others, but serving the needs of guests must be accomplished without delay. She got up, got going… and advanced the kingdom in the process.

Third, she ministered. The Greek word for ministered, Diakoneo, was the very word which was borrowed to name some of our church officers — Deacons. The word means to wait upon, and as such, it is often a menial type of service. Humility is a badge of Christ… and such service in his name is never lost.

So, I say again, hurrah for Simon Peter’s mother-in-law! She ministered!

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