Have you ever met people who authentically care and show their love for each other by meeting people’s needs? I have seen snap shot pictures of this in my life. People in the church making meals for those who have been in the hospital, a teacher who actually cares about how a child learns and gives extra time and attention to see the child succeed, a phone call of encouragement, unexpected gifts for those who are in need, people just showing support by sitting with you as you go through tough times in your life and people using their giftings to help you accomplish a need in your home or life. This could be as basic as household maintenance to using your area of expertise to help a person reach their desired goal – there are endless possibilities.
The family that scripture marks as a giving family is the household of Stephanas. We see that from his conversation that “their families heart was devoted to the service of the saints.” We don’t know the extent of their service, but we do know that it was noble service. Paul encourages other believers to join the work that this family was doing and not passively stand and watch on the sidelines.
You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition. 1 Corinthians 16:15-18
(Read more: Paul baptized this family.) 1 Corinthians 1:13-17
We see that they had such a large impact upon the church that Paul also encouraged other believers to submit to the leadership of those like the Stephanas family. This family must have had a heart of love that extended to those they came in contact with. They would have been encourager’s in word and in their deeds. I know many of our Christian communities have individuals like this, but there is a great need for each of us to be part of helping build up the body of Christ.
I know during the holiday season we are encouraged to help those in need, but it is my hope that the love of Christ will motivate each us to carry the gift of giving throughout the year.