In remembering the style of our Fathers the Apostles in their service, we learn practical and ideal lessons in the spirit of service, of which we mention the following:
1. The Warmth of the Service:
How nice is the saying of the Apostle Paul in this respect “who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation.” (2 Cor. 11:29). Also, his saying, “I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more. To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Cor. 9:19-22). His zeal, in flaming love, encompassed all.
2. Visits of Service:
Our Fathers, the Apostles, did not neglect the service they began but used all means to follow it up: by sending epistles, or disciples–as Paul used to send Titus or Timothy. Frequently, they used to make special visits, as expressed by St. Paul in his saying, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are going.. ” (Acts 15:36).
3. Service Filled with Spirit and Power:
The Apostles did not serve except after they received th Holy Spirit, as the Lord said to them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me. ” (Acts 1:8). How beautiful are the words of the Bible in this respect “And with great power the Apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus And great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33). Beautiful also is that which was said about St. Stephen that he was, “Full of faith and power. ” (Acts 6:8). He stood against synagogues, “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.” (Acts 6:10). The nature of the spiritual service is powerful as it is from the Spirit, “for the word of God is living and powerful.” (Heb. 4:12).
4. Service filled with Love:
The Lord Jesus “Loved His own… to the end.” (John 13:1), and with the same love He served the Apostles. It was not a mere official service.
Remember your weakness, then you will be more cautious and you will not submit to the thoughts of pride and false glory which may attack you. Remember the loving kindness of the Lord bestowed on you, and you will always lead a life of thanksgiving. Faith will grow in your heart as well as the trust in God’s love and work. Your past experiences with God would encourage you in the life of faith. Remember people’s love and their good past with you. Should you doubt their sincerity or find out they have done something wrong to you, their old love will make intercession for them and your anger will fade away. Remember death, So all worldly temptations will disappear and you feel that, “all is vanity and grasping for the wind. ” (Eccl. 1:14). Remember that you are standing before God and He is looking at you, then you cannot sin because you see Him. Remember God’s promises, and you will be comforted in all your troubles. But, if you forget them, say with David the Prophet, “Remember Your word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction. For Your word has given me life.” (Ps. 119:49-50). Remember the Blood of Jesus which was shed for your sake and you will definitely know the value of your life; it becomes dear in your eyes, so you will not waste it with prodigal living, “for you were bought at a price.” (1 Cor. 6:20). Remember the vows you made to God at the Baptistery which your parents undertook on your behalf: to renounce the devil, all his evil deeds, all his thoughts and wiles, al his forces and power. Remember always that you are a stranger on the earth and that you will return to your heavenly home: then you will not put all your hopes in this world and its comforts. Remember that the narrow gate leads to the kingdom of heaven. If you see the wide gate open before you, escape and keep away from it, as all those who went in by it, they all perished. Remember your eternity and work for it at all times. Remember that you are a child of God, and ought to have His image. You walk as fits the Children of God, for they are apparent. Remember that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God in you. Be always a holy temple. Remember all that I said to you on this page and if you have already forgotten, please read it over again.