Before you read this post, read through Acts chapter 6 and then answer the following questions:
Is there something in your life that God wants you to delegate to others?
How are you serving the Lord and do you feel supported and heard in that?
Do you have a good report among people or are there actions or characteristics that people can have a bad report about you?
As we have been reading through the book of Acts, we have seen how the early Church was multiplying and getting big under the leadership of Peter and the other Apostles. Miracles were happening and the Gospel was being shared. People were coming to know the saving love of Jesus Christ in droves. In chapter 6 we see that the Church was getting so big, people were getting looked over. The Church has always been a place that has served the poor and needy. We read that there was a daily distribution of provisions for the needy. The Hellenists widows were getting overlooked in this distribution. The Hellenists were Jews that lived outside Palestine during the times that Israel was in captivity. During that time, the Jews learned to speak Greek and had different customs than the Hebrew. The Hebrews were native Palestine Jews and they spoke Aramaic but spoke little to no Greek. The overlook of the Hellenists widows during the daily distribution doesn’t seem to have been intentional, but just something that happened due to the language barrier.
When this issue was brought to the Apostles’ attention, they knew something had to be done but it wasn’t going to be them to do it. Peter and the Apostles were busy doing full-time preaching and teaching, they did not need to be focused on giving out food. Even though it didn’t seem like a big deal, they still found people to be in charge that were “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5 ESV)”. They appointed seven men, including Stephen. When they appointed them it says that “they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them (Acts 6:6 ESV)”. These men were appointed to serve food to the needy but they were treated the same way as someone going on a mission trip. I love that! No matter how big or small your ‘job’ is for the Kingdom, it is all important and needs to be treated that way. Stephen and the others did their job so the Hellenists felt loved so that the Apostles could preach the Word. Let that be an encouragement to you: if you are a pastor at a church or the person greeting people at the door, if you are doing it for the Kingdom of God, it is important! All ministry is important and needs to be covered in prayer!
Remember today that what you are doing for the Kingdom of God is important and you are seen and loved!
As we keep reading through chapter 6, we read more about Stephen. We see him preaching the name of Jesus to the people, most likely to the Greek-speaking Jews. He also is the first person besides the Apostles to be able to do wonders and signs by the power of the Holy Spirit. The religious leaders wanted him to stop speaking but they couldn’t find any fault in him so they had to make up a reason to get him arrested. They said, “We heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God (Acts 6:11 ESV)”. I like to look at my own life and see if I was in Stephen’s shoes would they have something bad to say about me, or would they have to make it up too? We are not called to be a people pleaser, but we are called to have a good report. When people look at us, even if they don’t like us, they should not be able to say anything bad about us. At your job, you shouldn’t have a report of being lazy or a bad employee. At your school, you shouldn’t have the report of being a cheater on tests. We should have the report that we love Jesus and that shows in all aspects of our lives.
What report do people say about you?