Faith on Fire – Week 8
Well, Mummy Meditators, it would appear this weekend got away from me! It is now officially the summer holidays for us, and with that comes the days that merge into one another. Anyway, we are here reflecting on this weeks verse (better late than never!), and some of our amazing contributors have sent in their thoughts.
Our verse was:
“Brothers and sister, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4
Reflecting on this weeks highlighted verse has reminded me that we are in a fellowship, we are a body and we are all one. Being online has been so hard but church online is not fake in comparison to meeting in a building. I’ve seen more people stepping in and taking on more roles within the church than I have when we’ve been in the building! This has definitely been a season of hardship but also a season of tiny green shoots pushing through the soil of discouragement, despondency and feeling forgotten. It’s almost as if something is clicking within us that the church is a body of people full of different gifts and others are realising that they can contribute to the service and the every day tasks in some small or big way.
Being a body of believers means that when we are gifted in some area, we are to help others and show and grow them in what we are gifted with. God never intended us to bare all the work but to share it and lead, encourage and help each other and when entrusting someone to lead in an area, we should always choose character over gifts. Gifts are important but character is so telling for how something will be managed or lead and especially if it will be for mans glory or Gods glory. The apostles here were not wrong to choose those who were wise and full of the spirit. Don’t be disheartened if you know you are called to lead but haven’t yet stepped in that place. God is refining you in his fire and your time will come.
A Beautiful Blueprint
The scripture this week reminded me that God always gives us clear instruction and I for one am very thankful that he does.
It has three main threads woven throughout; kingdom culture, the character of God and a culture clash.
It gives us a glimpse of Kingdom culture; that of family and responsibility. The church blueprint where no one is forgotten because we are all each others responsibility. That our first ministry or mission field is family whether its church family or our own family.
The verse draws our attention to the clash between the Helenistic (Greek) and the Hebraic (Aramaic) Jews and gives us a solution. When discernment and wisdom are applied as gifted by the Holy Spirit, we can find a way forward through fundamental differences we don’t even have to speak the same language to be heard. It’s the transcendent nature of the Holy Spirits outworking in us. Its less of us and more of God.
The revelation of Gods heart towards us, his children to protect and provide not matter what circumstances we face. We may feel forgotten by our churches or left out because of the season, perhaps even outside our Christian culture on occasion especially when we are new to church life. Ultimately God has his eye on you.
His character as a redemptive God JEHOVAH- JIREH, JEHOVAH-NISSI, JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU, JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, JEHOVAH-SABOATH and JEHOVAH-RAAH.
I wonder where you are at today reading this, are you ok feeling including or are you one of the churches many tasked with including the flock who are spread far and wide due to C-19.
Not matter where you could simply follow Gods beautiful blueprint.
Pray come HOLY SPIRIT increase my giftings of Wisdom and Discernment, you could pray that over your church and church leadership.
Be obedient to the instructions given to you by the HOLY SPIRIT
Keep your eyes focused on God encourage yourself in the word for our God transcends the world. Psalm 121, 139, 23 and John 16:33.
It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables: The apostles explained that they should remain faithful to their central calling, which was prayer and to the ministry of the word. It was wrong for them to spend their time administrating the practical needs of the widows. Some believe that this is evidence of a superior attitude among the twelve; that they considered themselves above such work. This was probably not so, and they were wise in delegating these responsibilities. God did not call these apostles to be everything for the church. God has and will raise up others to serve in other ways. A pastor should not have his time consumed in tasks that are essentially serving tables. Yet there is something wrong with a pastor who considers such work beneath him. This didn’t concern the actual serving of food and cleaning of dining tables for these widows. This speaks of handling the practical administration of the financial and practical details relevant to caring for the widows. “A ‘table’ at that time meant a place where a money changer did his collecting or exchanging of money. The deacons were elected to oversee the distribution of monies and provisions to the needy among the fellowship.”
We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word: The fact that the apostles busied themselves with prayer and the ministry of the word shows how energetically they did those things and how consuming it is to preach and pray rightly. The ministry is a lot of work, even apart from administrative headaches. A young man said to Donald Grey Barnhouse, “I’d give the world to be able to teach the Bible like you.” Looking him straight in the eye, Dr. Barnhouse replied: “Good, because that’s exactly what it will cost you.” We will give ourselves continually to prayer: They gave themselves to more than the ministry of the word. “Therefore, pastors must not think that they have so done their duty that they need to do no more when they have daily spent some time in teaching.”
Seek out from among you: The apostles (the twelve) spoke to the general group of believers (the multitude of the disciples) and pursued the solution with a lot of communication and input from among the people. They even asked those – probably especially those who felt wronged – to suggest men of good character to do this work. This was a wonderful way to solve the problem. They didn’t throw the complainers out. They didn’t divide into two congregations. They didn’t shun the unhappy people. They didn’t form a committee and discuss the problem to death. No doubt, someone suggested that the apostles themselves give more direct attention to the distribution of help to the widows. Instead, they delegated and brought more people into doing work of ministry. Meeting unmet needs is a great way to bring more people into ministry.
Of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom: The qualifications described by the apostles focused the character of the men to be chosen. The apostles were far more concerned with the internal quality of the men than their outward appearance or image. The idea behind full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom is that these men were to be both spiritually minded and practically minded. This can be a hard combination to find. Seven men: Possibly they chose seven so that one could oversee the needs of the widows a different day of the week. Whom we may appoint: The final decision rested with the apostles. They asked the congregation to nominate the men (seek out from among you), but the decision really rested with the apostles. This was not an exercise of congregational government, though the apostles wisely wanted and valued the input from the congregation.
Whom we may appoint over this business: Seven men were to be chosen to serve tables. It was simple, practical service that they are appointed to; yet they must be well qualified in a spiritual sense, especially because of the danger of division. Therefore, the men need to be of good reputation. They had to be men the church family felt confident in.“The apostles were not trying to protect their own rights. They were not even protecting their own point of view. They simply wanted to solve the problem.”
We are a day behind, but we’ve still plenty of time to mull over this week’s verse below:
“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this he fell asleep. And Saul approved of their killing him” Acts 7:59-60