July 20

Acts 6:2-4 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

God granted the apostles power to perform miraculous signs and healings to attest to the validity of their message that Jesus was the Messiah. The surrounding towns would bring the sick to Jerusalem for healing. Even the shadow of Peter passing over a person would heal them (5:15). People believed and joined daily. Because of the power of God that was manifested, those who did not desire to become a part of this new group feared and respected them.

Sharing what they possessed meant that someone had to distribute the resources to those in need. A complaint arose that Hebrew widows were preferred over the Grecian widows in the distribution of food. The twelve then made a decision to have people selected to do that work, men full of the Spirit and wisdom. I seriously doubt that the apostles had any intentions of short-changing the Grecian widows. Most spats in the church come from misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Instead of defending themselves and being offended, the twelve turned the work over to whomever the people chose. In doing so they established a new office in the church, that of deacons. Deacon literally means one that serves tables. It expanded to all physical matters, but the intent is to leave the pastor/teachers free to stay in prayer and the ministry of the Word. It did not indicate that they are any less spiritual, simply that they had a different function in the body. The only two requirements were that they be full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Does your fellowship have those who take care of the physical so that your spiritual leadership can focus on the Word and prayer? If you are a spiritual leader, are you trying to do it all?

Remember: Let everyone find his calling so that the body will be healthy.