ESOCS Devotional 27 December 2022
TEXT: ACTS 21:15-38
MEMORY VERSE: “Also some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us and brought with them a certain Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to lodge.” Acts 21:16
0 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted lace ”
Hospitality is one of the key attributes of the Christian faith. Christians are always encouraged to take care of strangers and people who are in transit. Mnason was an early convert, probably during the time of Christ or as early as the time of the Pentecost. He was resident in Jerusalem but was at Caesarea when Paul and his companions arrived from Tyre, on their way to Jerusalem. Paul was travelling alongside other ministers of the gospel. His companions took Mnason along with them for the purpose of providing them with accommodation at Jerusalem. This is an indication that Mnason was very well known for being easily hospitable, and that he marked for it. What Christian piety do people know you for? He was a great help in the gospel ministry by making his home available for travelling ministers. In what ways do you help in the gospel ministry? Do support it financially or materially or morally? How would you be remembered in the time to come in issues concerning the spread of the gospel? Would heaven remember you for being part of that ministry? Paul made a good remark concerning Mark when he said, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Tim. 4:11). How useful are you to the ministry of the gospel?
Mnason was dedicated and faithful in the work of the ministry to the end. He was quite different from Demas. Demas was a disciple who abandoned Paul after a while. Paul lamented to Timothy about him because the pleasures of the world had caught his heart and soul. He wrote, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica–” (2 Timothy 4:10). Alexander the coppersmith was very treacherous. Paul said he “did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works” (v 14); and he advised Timothy, “You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words” (v 15). He was alone in all his travails. All the people who should be his support abandoned him. He said, “At my first defence no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.” (v 16).
The Scripture has explained that taking part in the work of the ministry brings blessings from God in different ways. Taking care of strangers is also very rewarding too. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Abraham entertained strangers who later turned out to angels of God and he received the promise of a son through his wife Sarah (Gen. 18:3). In Hebrews 6:10 the word of God says, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hospitality and helping to enhance or advance the growth and spread of the gospel of the kingdom of God has eternal blessings attached to them. People everywhere are enlisting themselves into the services. Let us not be left out.
- What department or unit do you belong in the church? If not, why?
- If you belong to any, what are your contributions to the growth of the church?
- Pray the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how best you could be useful in the service of God.
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ESOCS Devotional 27 December 2022