Monday, May 19, 2014

Sermon for 5/18/14 Acts 6

Be careful! Don’t worry!
How do we balance these elements in our lives?
How do we balance them in the Church?
Acts 6 -
 church growing as God’s Word works sovereignly
 grace and mercy being shown all around
 some being overlooked, neglected - sad state of affairs
Who is going to make sure the poor are fed?
Who will care for those who can’t care for themselves?
 pastors and teachers?
All these people, who are God’s gifts to the body of Christ (Ephesians 4) are appointed for specific tasks.
 yes, do the same jobs as others, still part of the body of Christ
 no, do not spend the mass of time on certain tasks which can be done by others
Acts 6 - need to concentrate on Word of God and on prayer - this is what the apostles are specially called to

Who then? The poor and hungry are important!
 Various other servants within the Church

1) known by their godly character - people who are spiritual, who are immersed in the Word, who are able to care for the saints
2) identified by the church congregation as a whole
3) selected by the elders/apostles - the leadership
4) enabled for specific tasks
5) sometimes tasks branch over into teaching the Word, which may well be why all those selected are men, in consonance with Jesus’ call of only men to the apostolic task

What do they do?
 visit the saints in need
 care for those needs
 bring God’s cheer and comfort
 provide the relief needed by the saints

What isn’t it?
 social time
 gossip or other evil speech
 opportunity to bring man’s opinion

What is it?
 a visitation of God’s grace
 plan to read Scripture and pray
 chance to multiply the ability of called leaders by bringing important needs back to the leaders
 opportunity to guard the needs and the dignity of our brothers and sisters in Christ

Challenge - when the leadership of the church asks for help visiting the saints, those who are immersed in Scripture and ready to bring God’s grace to others will accept the call and minister Christ crucified to those in need. Pray and study to that end. Seek opportunities to bring distinctively Christian witness and ministry to our community.

It may change your life. Like Stephen, who laid down his life as a testimony of faith. There are countless others who laid down their lives in a similar way. More importantly, there are countless others who have laid down their lives for others, lived on to serve others for many years, and have been God’s instruments of change and growth in Christ for those they serve.

May the Lord bless us to be his instruments.

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