MEANS: a member of the clergy, head of a government department, attend to the needs, act as a minister of religion.
FROM: from Old French minister (noun), minister (verb), from Latin minister ‘servant,’ from minus ‘less.’
BIBLE VERSE: As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10 KJV)
THOUGHTS: Interestingly there were many more uses of the word ‘minister’ in the King James Version than in other translations of the Bible. In fact, this verse in the RSV (Revised Standard Version), is translated “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” I wonder if that is because we don’t think of being ministers to each other as regularly as in times past. Or have we relegated the word ‘minister’ to an occupation rather than an action? You’ll notice that the word derives from servant and from ‘less’. To minister to someone, either as an occupation or action, is to serve. In serving another we make ourselves vulnerable and become, in sense, less than the one we are serving.
There were many times when Jesus reminded his disciples that they were supposed to serve, including Matthew 23:11 where he says, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” This could also be translated “the greatest among you will minister.” Maybe we need to rediscover what it means to minister to each other. Peter notes that everyone has ‘received a gift [to] minister…as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.’ When we minister, we are offering God’s love to one another!
PRAYER: Lord let me minister to those I come in contact with each day, so that they may receive your grace and love through me.
MEANS: provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition, enhance the fertility of (soil), keep (a feeling or belief) in one's mind
FROM: Middle English: from Old French noriss-, lengthened stem of norir, from Latin nutrire ‘feed, cherish.’
BIBLE VERSE: The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense. (Proverbs 10: 21)
THOUGHTS: It is easy to think of things like foods that nourish our bodies. It is not as simple to consider how words nourish others. The citation from Proverbs notes that the ‘righteous nourish many’. We don’t have to look far to see that words that don’t nourish can have detrimental effects. Bullies use words to tease and harass. Politicians, and others, spout anger, hatred, and prejudice. The media focuses, it often seems, on the negative things. Even social media, like Facebook, can become a forum for spewing, and sharing, un-nourishing words.
As the Hawk Nelson song says "Words can build you up, words can tear you down".
It might seem easier to go along with the crowd and say mean things. Consider the difference it could make if we each consciously tried to nourish others with our words and actions. "Let my words be Life. Let my words be Truth. I don't want to say a word unless it points the world back to you." (Hawk Nelson)
PRAYER: Loving Father, help me to look for things that nourish my relationship with You each day.
Can I consciously think of ways to minister in my day to day life?
Is there a way I can combat negativity and offer nourishment in my contact with others-in person and via social media?
If an image comes to mind about either word, draw it or find a picture somewhere that shows it.