Monday 9th January 2017 - Daily Reading:
Acts 6 - The First Deacons by Karen Cowling

Here we see what is generally spoken of as the selecting of the first deacons of the early church. At this point the church was growing rapidly, with thousands being added daily to the number of the congregation. As the church grows and functions as the body should, there comes a point where Satan tries to bring division. Within the early-church there are two view points, the Hebraic Jews who follow the Jewish culture and the Hellenistic Jews that follow Greek culture.

Satan uses this already differing of opinion to try to divide the church. It is said that the widows on the Hellenistic Jew side are being overlooked in the daily provisions, and they want something to be done about it. Here we see how they went about it rightly. They brought their issue before the apostles rather than moaning and complaining about it to each other. They also trusted that the apostles answer would be a right one.

The apostles asked the congregation to nominate people who were spirit filled and wise, and then they choose out of the nominees. Sound familiar?

The names then given are all Greek names, which may suggest that it was all Hellenistic Jews chosen to be the overseers of provisions. However one man is highlighted more than the others. This man is Stephen. He is said to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and full of God's grace and power. He boldly speaks the gospel in the synagogue of the Freedmen. This includes Jews from Cilicia, possibly including Saul. Stephen does not shy away from showing God in both a practical and verbal way. He not only speaks of his faith, he demonstrates it. So much so that the people have to find false witnesses to discredit him as they can find no real wrong in him.

How do you share your faith? Here we see an example of a life of faith shared well. We are to tell people the gospel and we are to love people and practically help to meet a need if we can. We need to remember that anyone can do this; you don't need to be a deacon to share your faith or to serve the church.

Stephen got made a deacon because he was already doing these things.

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NEWBOLD BAPTIST CHURCH