Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lord, You sneaked up on us.

Monday 1-30-17, Modesto, California
Today we read Exod 25 – 27 and Acts 6
S = Scripture  O = Observation  A = Application  P = Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S. Acts 6:1-2 But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. Those who spoke Greek complained against those who spoke Hebrew, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. NLT

O. There were about 120 disciples when the Holy Spirit descended upon them on the day of Pentecost and (Acts 2) about 3,000 were converted to Christ. Then, shortly thereafter, Peter and John healed a lame man and preached to the crowd and now there were about 5,000 that believed (Acts 3 and 4). Until then, all their problems came from persecution from outside the Church. Then came internal problems, (Acts 5) the case of Ananias and Sapphira. Now (Acts 6) we have a group of Jewish Christian widows claiming discrimination. All these people were Jews. The Gospel had not yet been preached to the Gentiles, but some, like Nicolas, was a Gentile who had become a Jew, before becoming a Christian Jew.  He, no doubt was not bilingual or trilingual like many of the Jews. Now little isolated language groups were being formed among Christian Jews.

A. The only problem-free church is an empty church. So the apostles handled it wisely by electing 7 deacons to handle the problem.  Why Nicolas? He would understand their situation best. Why seven? You can’t have a deadlock vote with seven. So, the Apostles laid hands on them and sent them off to take care of the feeding program. But within a short time, these deacons were doing more than “deaconing”.  They were out there preaching, healing the sick and… yes… getting into glorious trouble.

P. Lord Jesus, it seems You love to push faithful deacons, Sunday School teachers, and church janitors into places of ministry. At 18 years old You chose me to drive the Sunday School bus to pick up all the wild little kids. And you chose two SS teachers, Frances and me (young lovers), to use our weekday evenings visiting the addresses of all the kids that had missed attendance on Sunday, and thus become acquainted with their parents. So You looked down from heaven and called two bashful teenagers and set us on a path toward full-time ministry… and we didn’t have a clue. You are so clever, Lord. You sneaked up on us and thrust us out into Your world to seek and save the lost. You are wonderful, Lord Jesus!  Amen.


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