Multiplying workers to multiply disciples
Scripture reading for April 21st: 1st Samuel 4-5, Psalm 23, Acts 6
Acts 6: 2-5 “And the twelve summoned 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 what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the Word of God continued to increase and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem—.”
God places each person in the church as He desires and gifts them with talent, abilities and spiritual gifts to fulfill their function in His Body. In the early church, daily chores of feeding and caring for widows were taking time away from the Word of God. The apostles gathered the disciples and explained what needed to be done. From their midst, they were to select men (and women later) who were full of the Spirit and wisdom to do this simple task. This pleased them all and they chose seven men. Some of these also became ministers and evangelists. Qualifications were laid out for these ‘deacons’ who served in Christ’s Body. This addition of Spirit filled workers multiplied the disciples and aided healthy church growth.
Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for placing gift-people in Your Church to work with You. Fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit and wisdom as I serve You and Your people in ministering the Word and prayer. By Your Spirit, let the Word of God increase in me and elders who teach and preach that the church might be built up and disciples multiplied and the Gospel preached to the entire world before You return.
1st Samuel 4:17-18 “He who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great defeat among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead the the ark of God has been captured. As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years.”