July 17th

"Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arouse against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.  And the twelve (apostles) summed 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.  Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word...  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."  Acts 6: 1-4, 7

The Early Church was growing and reaching more people, and we see here the need for discipleship and the ministry of serving in the Church.  The Church was growing, and there were needs that were not being met. Some of the widows were not getting food, and the disciples realized that they needed to do something to help take care of them.  So they brought the church together and they discussed it, and delegated the ministry to others. They apostles said we need to do what God has called us to, and we need help to serve food.

We need to pick out seven men who will be responsible for this ministry.  What was the ministry?  To feed those who need food!

They were servers!  In the Church, every ministry is vital and is just as important as any other ministry.  God is looking for our availability more than our abilities!  We are all called to be servants!

Look at the qualifications that they said was needed to serve tables, and to feed people.

First, they had to be of a good reputation.  What is our reputation?  Is our reputation important?  What do people think about us?  Ministry flows out of the way that we live and serve.  Jesus said - "The greatest among you must be the servant of all."

How many of us feel that we are to be served instead of serving others?

Second, they had to be full of the Spirit!  We need the Holy Spirit not just for "BIG" ministries, but for all ministry.  We need the anointing and the Holy Spirit for preaching, teaching, evangelism, but we also need to be full of the Spirit to serve others, street ministry, ministry in the nursery, worship, greeters, ushers and any other ministry.  "We can do nothing without Him."  We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit in our marriages, families, work places, because ministry does not just happen in the church, but wherever we go. The Early Church realized that they needed men filled with the Holy Spirit to serve food!  We need to be servants who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, they had to have Godly Wisdom!  Wisdom is the application of knowledge.  If we are going to serve others, then we need the wisdom of God, and not just the wisdom of this world.  We need to be able to hear and listen to the Holy Spirit to make the right decisions in difficult times.

The church is not just about the pastor, but the people!  We are all called to serve the Lord and to serve others!  If you want God to use you in ministry, then we need to start serving and leave the rest up to God.

What happened when the apostles selected these men for serving and leading this ministry?  The Word of God continued to increase and the church grew and many others became involved in ministry.

This is still the answer for today!  Lord, send us people that want the Spirit, and want to serve!  Start with me, Lord!  "Come Holy Spirit, I need You.  Come Sweet Spirit, I pray."

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