Lord, today may I hear Your voice over the clatter of daily distractions and the din of many attractions.
Read Acts 6:1-7
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“You can’t be reconciled to God without being recruited” (Stuart Briscoe). Have you heard God’s call and responded to it?
The problems of life are different and preferable to the problems of death, but they can be just as demanding. Growth in numbers and in ministries brought a need to reorganize without quenching the Spirit’s work. As Moses discovered in the wilderness, delegation of both authority and responsibility are needed to cope with changing needs (Exod. 18:17-26). Failure to do this can lead to visionaries unwittingly becoming bottlenecks. It is easy to use a vulnerable group to mask a deeper agenda. A seeming imbalance of distribution in favor of widows from the Hebraic Jews was the source of complaint by the Hellenistic Jews. Whether or not this complaint was justified, the apostles responded without any resort to self-pity or justification. They accepted that the situation needed to be addressed and not defended. They took their hands off and trusted the people to make the right appointments. They then rewrote their job descriptions and surrendered what had been their preserve. How different from the way many church leaders respond to a challenge from their members!
What is fascinating is that those chosen were identified, first, by their spiritual character, even though their task was primarily practical and organizational. Moreover, those chosen all seem, by their names, to have come from among the Hellenistic Jews, ensuring that all possible grounds for future grumbling were removed. What becomes clear was that, fitted though they all were for this task, Stephen and Philip were also gifted communicators. Meanwhile, the apostles used this situation not to focus on what they had given up, but on their calling. They experienced a renewed sense of their primary call to preaching and prayer. As every church leader knows only too well, these are the very things that get squeezed out through being too busy. It was a genuine win-win situation.
“Anyone can be great because anyone can serve” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). What service do you undertake that can only be explained by your faith?
Heavenly Father, I know I am called to serve. As opportunities open up, give me a heart to serve.
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