Chosen to Serve
Day: 7 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 6
Acts 6:8-10 (NIV) “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.”
The new church was growing rapidly. People were being saved and baptized by the thousands. New believers sold their possessions and generously shared with each other as God continued to increase their numbers daily.
Sounds like the perfect church, right? In many ways it was a beautiful community of Jesus followers, blooming day after day. But someone still needed to manage all that growth. Without an organizational structure, some people were unintentionally being overlooked and complaints began to surface. (Acts 6:1)
The apostles suggested seven men be chosen to oversee the distribution of food and care for the needy. That allowed the apostles to continue preaching and praying for this fast-growing church.
Not just any man was considered for this important serving role. Each one chosen had to be known for his wisdom and fullness of Spirit. (Acts 6:3) God recorded their names in Scripture, but chose to highlight one: Stephen.
Scripture tells us Stephen was “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit … full of God’s grace and power, performed great miracles and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:5, Acts 6:8) Wait … wasn’t he chosen to distribute food?
To some, waiting on tables would seem like a menial task. To God, it was the perfect assignment. God knew Stephen’s heart for service and love for people. More importantly He knew Stephen’s passion for the gospel. And what better way of sharing the good news than during a delicious meal with new friends?
Through God’s design, Stephen was a good administrator, a great speaker, and excellent at presenting the truth. In fact, when members of the synagogue tried to debate Stephen, they couldn’t stand up against his Spirit-infused wisdom. (Acts 6:10)
Stephen could have said no to the food distribution assignment. Instead, he chose to serve God wholeheartedly by caring for others physically.
Stephen’s first assignment for the church was not his only assignment. It was a significant steppingstone that God laid before him. And as Stephen humbly moved forward to serve, God fully equipped him for greater works.
Prayer: Lord, help me to embrace every assignment You give me, never considering it too menial or unimportant. Soften my heart and teach me to serve others in love and humility. I want to be faithful in the small things so that You can trust me with even greater assignments. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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The second half of Acts 6 tells of the opposition that quickly arose against Stephen. Some... Read More
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