[A note from Dr. Maslin’s daughter:
I chose this devotional by my father for February 2018. I thought something on “helps” would be good for Valentine’s Day. So much emphasis is put on romance and couples during this month. But there are so many people around us who have no one or nothing, who are hurting, alone or lonely. This is a wonderful time to reach out to someone to let them know you care. My father continues to do that for me with his writing. I had not previous read this devotion and was touched by his comments about my helping him and my mother. Caring for someone at home is not for everyone, but for me it was an honor and privilege to do so for them. They gave me far more than I could ever do for them. One way I continue to help is to keep his website going. Some of you reading this have helped make this possible with your gifts, and we thank you for those gifts. God bless you all as you serve the Lord daily in whatever way He calls you to do His will.]
There is a difference between the Fruit of the Spirit and spiritual gifts. The Fruit of the Spirit has to deal with the Christian graces produced by the Spirit filled life. Spiritual gifts are those qualities having to do with service, ministering and worship. There are three passages of scripture which list the different spiritual gifts evident in the life of the believer. Only the list in I Corinthians 12:28 mentions helps. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Not every Christian possesses all of these gifts. It seems to me every believer could exercise this gift of “helps” in some way. It is not showy, is content to stay in the background, but exercises a need in the church family as well as the many Christian families who make up the church. The Corinthian church had to deal with the temptation to seek the spectacular gifts. The gift of helps was not of that kind, and presented no special problem. It is so practical that I feel that it needs to be emphasized more.
There is always a need for help in the church family and the Christian family. The early church faced a need for helping the Grecian widows in the church. Evidently no one stepped forward to help, so the church appointed deacons to assist in that ministry. This was one way for the church to discover and assist people with a gift to help.
“Help” is a universal cry from people in need. It may be to save from some great tragedy or to appeal assistance in a task where personal resources or energy have been exhausted. I happen to be a member in a local church where those needs are recognized in the human family and an attempt is made to do something about them. It may be extended help in areas where disaster teams are sent. It is a desire just to help where help is needed. Many opportunities to help the home-bound exist. Loving help to a lost neighbor may open the opportunity for evangelism. You cannot show you care without it having some meaningful effect.
My family lives in a gated community where neighbors care. Some may not be born again Christians but, along with Christian friends from our church, they see to it we get to keep doctor, dentist and hospital appointments. My wife and I are both handicapped and are in our sunset years. When we are the recipients of help we rejoice and thank God for the gift of “helps” as well as the person helping. We often need help even with the smallest maintenance problem. Help can save the cost of some service call.
Our greatest human help comes from our daughter. She has given up gainful employment to care for us 24/7. She is not a nurse, just a family member who has a love that cares and seems to have many different gifts of help. We will never be able to fully repay her for service rendered. We have both had our experience in a rehabilitation facility and do not want to go near one again. There is nothing so welcome as home care. For me, “helps” is a vital spiritual gifts.
I still look for ways in which I can help someone in some way. It is a joy to help someone preserve their music, especially if it is Christian music. I have been able to do that by saving the music from old cassettes and phonograph records to CD’s. I mention this only to encourage others to treasure the gift of “helps” and to exercise it in your own creative ways.
I would very much encourage the reader of this “doctrinal devotion” to examine your life to see if this is one of the spiritual gifts with which the Holy Spirit has endowed you. If so, seek ways to exercise it. When you do, you will find it brings glory to God and great joy for you.