Word 4U Today

Stephen and the Seven

Stephen and the Seven

Growth often brings problems. I know, right.

What today’s passage shows is that as a church grows, it should expect the demands on it to grow too, and especially as they relate to serving the poor.

It wasn’t long ago that there wasn’t a needy person among them (Acts 4:34) but slowly the Acts church had started to take its eyes off the poor. There were now widows going hungry, and worse, it was starting to look like favoritism towards certain racial groups (6:1).

What to do, what to do? Make no mistake, this was a significant issue: remember what Jesus had to say about both serving the poor and preserving unity among believers (e.g. Matthew 25:35-40, John 17:21). In other words, it’s a big deal that the apostles decide to delegate this one out. It means they need to choose carefully from the men before them.

In the end, they let the community pick seven men, but they give them a bunch of criteria to follow: the men need to be ‘of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom’ (6:3 NAS).

We’ll look at each in turn over the next few days. First of all, what does it mean to be ‘of good reputation’? And why does it matter?

What Now?

Proverbs 22:1 says, ‘Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold’ (NLT). Can you think of an example from someone in public life who has sacrificed a ‘good reputation’ for ‘gold’? Get some friends to pray with you for them today.

‘…And they chose Stephen…’  Acts 6:5 NKJV

Joy Ferdiz

July 14th, 2014

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