Daily Devotional Thursday 6th October 2022by William Moody
Seven Chosen to Serve
6:1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists1 arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers,2 pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen Is Seized
8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
We have seen Satan attack the church with sin (Ananias and Sapphira), persecution (Jews) and now with division over helping the poor. Tension arose due to the Greek speaking believers feeling that their widows were being neglected (v1). The church was made up of both Hebraic and Greek speakers and this added to the tension.
While understanding that this was very important, the apostles would not allow themselves to be distracted from the ministry of the Word (v2). As a church we need to make sure those who minister in the Word are given the support they need so that they are not distracted from such a vital role.
Seven men are to be chosen for this task so that the apostles are not distracted (v3-4). The men that are needed must be full of the Spirit and wisdom (v3).
In the church we need more and more people who are full of the Spirit and of wisdom. How do you measure up this? Pray about this.
Seven are chosen (v5), and they are prayed for by the apostles (v6). The result of this practical support and the apostles being kept free to look after the ministry of the word and prayer, was increased growth in the church (v7). Let’s earnestly pray for this in our church.
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