by Philip Layton
The number of believers continues to grow
- Stephen is falsely accused. The Early Church had practical and administrative problems which needed addressing (v 1). Jews accepted the gospel and some priests believed (v 7).
- How do you interpret verse 15? Was it a permanent physical feature, a temporary one as Stephen witnessed to his faith, or something else?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper from 'Words of Life'
When the number of those being saved increased greatly, it was wonderful news; but the workload of the ministry became too heavy. The apostles were zealous in their preaching of the gospel. Progress in the ministry was taking place. Yet many were being neglected, such as the widows. This caused discontentment. The apostles needed to take action; and so they wisely chose others – deacons – to carry out the administration. This enabled them to carry on preaching and teaching. People were still being saved.
There were special requirements for these newly appointed deacons. The main emphasis was that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and were both wise and faithful. These stipulations were important in light of those who needed extra love and care. They needed to have patience, and be both faithful and honest in all they did. The deacons had to have a good reputation, ready to pray for people at any time. This delegation of work was essential for the apostles; for the work of evangelism and social service was and is important for increasing the numbers of those being saved.
The key to success in ministry is that the Holy Spirit be free to work through the lives of believers. He needs to be allowed to take control of people’s lives, in order that God’s work be done. When we are humble before God, allowing God’s Holy Spirit to work in our lives, there will be staggering results. We need to be obedient to whatever God asks of us, so the Holy Spirit can work through us. For when this happens, people will be saved, and the Church will grow. The Holy Spirit is the key to the success in our ministry.
Lord, you know me. Forgive my vanity, and teach me always to be humble. Give to me your Holy Spirit, so I can work harder for the salvation of others.
That’s the Spirit!
Beverly IvanyTags: Acts