Read This Week: Acts 6

So 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 to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, 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 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. – Acts 6:2-5 NIV

The ministry of the Gospel, serving and loving people is a joy and privilege, but it is not without its difficulties and challenges. Because it is worthy work that can be hard, followers of Jesus need more than intelligence, skill, talent, and the resources available to us in the modern age. Ministering to others, being efficient in meeting their needs, and sharing the good news of Christ in a hostile world, requires the power of the Holy Spirit and supernatural wisdom that comes from God. 

Acts chapter 6 shines a light on the foundational necessities to be effective in ministry. As the church grew and the needs and demands increased among the people, the disciples realized that things were being neglected, folks were not growing spiritually, and the spread of the gospel was impeded. They concluded that their busyness caused them to neglect prayer and the ministry of the word. They were trying to do too much in their own power and overlooked the sources that propelled their work in the first place – prayer and God’s word. 

Seeking God and reading His word is what gives us the power and wisdom to do the hard and necessary things of ministry. The disciples realize this and in verses 3-5 say:

“It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, 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 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

Intimacy with God through prayer and His word informs our service and allows it to be free of selfish ambition, religious strategy, and shallow conceit. When we become more attentive to God’s heart and His perfect will for us, we grow in our insight and spiritual awareness. This growth fuels our practical ministry and empowers us to love people more, meet their needs with compassion, and reach out to those who are far from God.

As we grow closer to God in spirit and wisdom vertically, we inevitably grow closer to other people horizontally. Fellowship and community are solidified when we pray for one another and study the Bible together. There is also a passion for the Gospel and its power to save, heal, and transform. Friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers are impacted by our desire to see the message of Christ communicated and lived out.

This return to the vital life sources of ministry for greater impact is exactly what we see in this chapter. As the disciples sought the Spirit and God’s wisdom through prayer and minister of the word, the results spoke for themselves. The blessings of God continued and increased, the people united, the church multiplied, and Jesus was glorified in their work. Verse 7 sums it up:

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

8 Comments

  1. Kathy on November 20, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    In reading Acts 6 this week, this is what God was saying to me: “In life, I have and will raise you and others up to serve in different ways. It takes everything for you to be in constant prayer and the ministry of the word. You are all one body, and your gifts are important. Delegating brings more people into doing ministry. I will use your gifts to help meet unmet needs and it will help bring more people into ministry. Be willing to follow My direction.

    You are to be spiritually minded and practically minded. In working together with others doing My purpose and My will, there is a less chance of division. To live n faith is to walk in My grace. With all that is going on today, trust Me. Remember your life is in My hands and that Jesus never forsakes His people.”

    What this said to me is that we always have gifts to further the kingdom for God. We need to work together in different ways as one body, as we can get more done when we do it together for Him. Don’t be the lone ranger.

    • Jason on November 24, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Good stuff, Kathy. You seem to be just as intrigued as I am how the church can be focused on the gifts, abilities, talents, and charisma of one or just a few people when the Scriptures are explicit in so many places that we are a Body made up of many parts. And it is God’s desire and design to work through His Body to advance His kingdom, carry his message, and do His work on earth.

      I loved what you said here that summarized this thought: What this said to me is that we always have gifts to further the kingdom for God. We need to work together in different ways as one body, as we can get more done when we do it together for Him. Don’t be the lone ranger.

      Thank you for your insight and for pointing to the power we have when we share the work and to avoid looking to one singular person to carry the banner of Christ.

      • Kathy on November 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm

        Thank you so much Jason for all the awesome comments you always write on all of our comments. God uses you to bless us!

        • Jason on November 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm

          Thank you for the same, Kathy! You guys are such a blessing to me and I’m honored to know and interact with you all.

  2. Heidi on November 21, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    In Acts 6, God was sharing with me that it’s important to put Him first, to stay connected to Him because He is our source of power to get done what we need to in order to help others. It’s important to always be asking Father God to help us to be the best servant, helper, spreader of the good news, and the list goes on. Be like Jesus, He is the best example of doing what He can and then asking others to work with Him.

    We can’t do everything, so don’t forget to ask Him and do it with Him because His power is what you need to do everything! He gives you the ability to do what He has called you to do with Him.

    God is saying, “We’re all a family, so work together to bless others and get people to reach out. Helping others and getting others to reach out is a good thing. It makes you stronger, your faith grows and you learn about others more and you learn how to grow more too. In whatever you, touch lives for Me and the kingdom!” I am thankful to God for His wisdom.

    • Jason on November 24, 2020 at 10:34 am

      I appreciate how you are always pointing us to personal devotion to and worship of God, Heidi. I especially like how you pointed out that staying connected to God not only helps us spiritually and personally, but it empowers us to help others:

      In Acts 6, God was sharing with me that it’s important to put Him first, to stay connected to Him because He is our source of power to get done what we need to in order to help others.

      I know I can forget that the connection to God vertically is not just for my own purposes, but it is to also tap into His power to serve people and be a part of the Body as we serve together. Thank you for highlighting this truth!

  3. almaschmidt on November 23, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I got a song from Acts 6 and Pastor Ken’s beautiful message called, “Our Lord”:

    We are children of the Lord, children of the Lord
    We are children of the Lord spreading the good news

    He is hope, faith, and love
    Who fills our Spirit with all good things

    Our Father will always show us a way, show us the right way
    Just wait and He will show us in his timing

    Stay focused on all the great things of the Lord
    He will give us peace, understanding, and love

    We are children of the Lord, children of the Lord
    We are His wonderful children. Amen.

    God will always make a way. Stay focused and He will guide us to victory.

    • Jason on November 24, 2020 at 10:45 am

      There is such a timely and profound message in your song, Alma. It is one that every believer needs to hear and absorb now in these times and going forward. This part really ministered to me:

      Our Father will always show us a way, show us the right way
      Just wait and He will show us in his timing

      Stay focused on all the great things of the Lord
      He will give us peace, understanding, and love

      God will always show and make a way for us and it will always be right. Your song reminded me of Proverbs 3:5-6:

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

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