White: Unselfish Ministry

In chapter 34, “A Consecrated Ministry,” of Acts of the Apostles, Ellen White says a lot about Jesus and service as ministry. Excerpts:

In His life and lessons Christ has given a perfect exemplification of the unselfish ministry which has its origin in God. God does not live for Himself. By creating the world, and by upholding all things, He is constantly ministering to others. “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45. This ideal of ministry the Father committed to His Son. Jesus was given to stand at the head of humanity, by His example to teach what it means to minister. His whole life was under a law of service. He served all, ministered to all.

Again and again Jesus tried to establish his principle among His disciples. When James and John made their request for pre-eminence, He said, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28.

Since His ascension Christ has carried forward His work on the earth by chosen ambassadors, through whom He speaks to the children of men and ministers to their needs. The great Head of the church superintends His work through the instrumentality of men ordained by God to act as His representatives. (pp. 359-360)

The Saviour went from house to house, healing the sick, comforting the mourners, soothing the afflicted, speaking peace to the disconsolate. He took the little children in His arms and blessed them, and spoke words of hope and comfort to the weary mothers. With unfailing tenderness and gentleness He met every form of human woe and affliction. Not for Himself but for others did He labor. He was the servant of all. It was His meat and drink to bring hope and strength to all with whom He came in contact. (p. 364)

The blessings he [Paul] received he prized as so many advantages to be used in blessing others. He lost no opportunity of speaking of the Saviour or of helping those in trouble. (p. 367)

Reflection Questions

  1. Do I respect leaders who “lower” themselves to serve, or do I think they should act more “respectably”? What influences my reaction, one way or the other?
  2. Do I tend to think Jesus’ teachings or Jesus’ actions are more important? Which do I personally tend to favor, information/ideas or actions? How does a balance of thought and action influence the Christian “experience”? How does it affect ministry?
  3. What blessings have I received? How have I used these blessings to bless others?
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