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Monday Aug, 31

Monday Aug, 31

Waiting on Tables

Read Acts 2:44-47; 4:34-37. What kind of picture of the early church is presented here?

No question, thins were for a time gong quite well among the early believers. Of course, everyone is fallen, and before long some tensions started to rise.

Read Acts 6:1-7. What problems arose, and how did the church deal with those problems?

Rapid growth of the Jerusalem church brought with it social tension. Philip was appointed to a team to deal with it. Converts included underprivileged and economically challenged person whose participation in the daily common meals placed increasing demands on church leaders. A murmuring about unfair distribution of food to Greek-speaking widows emerged. This was especially sensitive because of reminders by the Hebrew prophets not to neglect widows and orphans.

To resolve this serious issue, all 12 apostles gathered the believers and proposed the appointment of seven men, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, who would literally “deaconize [Greek for “serve”] tables” so the 12 could “deaconize the Word” (see Acts 6:3, 4). All seven had Greek names, perhaps indicating a balancing of welfare service for the neglected Greek-speaking widows. Among them was Philip, the first time that this Philip is mentioned in the Bible.

The apostles argued that additional leadership was needed so that they should not be overworked by the administration of the resources necessary for communal life. They emphasized that their call was to devote themselves to the Word of God and to prayer.

What are some of the potentially divisive issues in your own local church, and how can you allow God to use you to help ease them?

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