Daily Devotional

July 8th 2020

WEDNESDAY

So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.”—Acts 6:2-4 (MSG)

Read Acts 6:1-7. The infant Church—still resigned to only Jerusalem—consisted of two major groups. The Hebrew-speaking Jews were born and raised in Israel, a fact they took great pride in. They spoke Aramaic and, perhaps, some Greek. The Hellenist Jews were those whose ancestors had been dispersed from the land in Israel’s captivities, primarily Babylon. These Jews were drawn back to Israel by their religious practice and their expectation of the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom. They would likely not have spoken Aramaic but would have spoken as their native tongue the language of the nation from which they had come. Both groups were present at Pentecost (Acts 2). While these two groups shared a common Jewish lineage and faith background, they had many cultural differences that kept them apart. They probably attended different synagogues and had separate teaching services. There is strong evidence that the “native Hebrews” felt they were culturally superior and even closer to God. The bigoted way their widows were being treated was the last straw. The result of this mistreatment is in-fighting, within the Church.
The apostles showed divine leadership by involving the whole Church in solving the problem. Disciples were called together, apprised of the problem, and given a significant role to play in the solution. The apostles gave clear instructions as to what they required (the choosing of seven men who met certain specific qualifications), but they also gave them freedom in other areas, such as who was to be chosen and how the choice was to be made.
It’s important to note that the apostles did not abdicate responsibility in their decision, but exercised it. They recognized that the leaders of the Church are ultimately responsible for what the Church does or doesn’t do. Thus, they assumed responsibility and took charge of the matter in order to rectify this wrong.
As a result of how this dispute was resolved, the Church continued to grow. The proximity of this “progress report” to the matter of the feeding of the widows suggests that growth continued because the problem was properly handled.
This is how God includes us in His work. He gives clear instruction as to what He expects of us—worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship and ministry—but He leaves it up to us to determine the specifics of how we accomplish these important ends.

PRAYER: Lord, as we go, we know that there are going to be struggles related to our humanity. But we ask that You would help us to rely on Divine aid in resolving our differences. Let us remember that we are all in this struggle together and that the best that we can do is look to You for direction, and then follow where You lead. We thank You for Your presence, power and provision. In the name of Jesus, our Christ, we pray. AMEN!

(We invite your comments. Feel free to share this devotion with your friends and invite them to subscribe by forwarding their email address to the Pastor at: fredjeffsmith@cox.net.)

Want to get more involved at Shiloh?

Browse our Ministries