257 of 365 - Conflict
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. Acts 6:1
The church is growing like crazy. So fast it can’t keep up with the needs of all the people. Add to it a mix of cultures, backgrounds, languages, and baggage among believers. The Hellenists (Greek converts) believed their widows were being neglected and not treated as equitably as the Hebrew (Jewish) widows. They are feeling divided on racial and cultural lines.
Satan is pulling out all the weapons to stop this new movement he knows will be the end of him. Externally, he is stirring up opposition, intimidation, and outright persecution. But he is working on the inside too, planting seeds of dissent and corruption, and working to pit internal groups against one another. Same old tried and true tactics he uses today.
The twelve apostles – the witnesses and primary teachers – can’t do it all. They are spread too thin, and balls are being dropped. The devil would love nothing more than to distract them from their primary calling to share and teach what they have SEEN and been imparted with. It might be tempting to think it would be noble of them to humble themselves to serve the Hellenistic widows, but that is not their calling in this season.
A plan is devised to select seven men to serve in this new role. It isn’t an afterthought, and it isn’t a lesser part. It is so valued and vital to the health of the church at this critical juncture. The requirements for service: good reputation, integrity, honesty, full of the Spirit, and wisdom. Yes, it essential that the Gospel is taught well by the apostles, but this work of serving, loving, caring, providing for the church is beautiful and holy to God.
In everyone doing their part, the Word spreads, and the church grows exponentially. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
Questions: When things are really happening and on fire for God, how have you seen Satan at work to stir things up? Does it cause more tension or turn into an opportunity to strengthen the work at hand?
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