Acts 6 – By the Spirit We Are Entrusting
What did you learn about the Holy Spirit?
- His wisdom and words can be cause for leadership (6:3) or cause significant offense (6:10).
What did you learn about the Spirit-filled community?
- There is a new organizational structure that includes deacons, people selected by the church, of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, and placed in charge of tasks (6:3-6).
Notes from Pastor Mark
You will recall that one of the ways Jesus made disciples was by entrusting ministry to them before they felt ready for it! In Luke 10, Jesus sent out 72 of his followers to preach and heal cast out demons. He coached them before they left and then debriefed them upon their return. (Re-read the story.)
One of the most effective ways to make disciples is to entrust those who are still young in the Lord with opportunities to serve… and to lead! Often, we assume that disciple-making is about the impartation of knowledge. Just keep teaching people stuff, and sooner or later, they are going to become a mature believer. But that was not Jesus’ way. He taught them stuff, and then He had them put that teaching to use in actual ministry.
In Acts we see that the disciples learned this lesson well. As the church has now grown to 5,000 in number, the twelve realize that they cannot keep up with the demands of the ministry. So they launch the first deacon board! Notice that one of the qualifications of these servant-leaders was that they be “full of the Spirit” and wisdom (6:3). That phrase, “full of the Spirit” or “filled by the Spirit” appears throughout Acts, a reminder that this book really IS a diary about how the Spirit of Jesus went to work through His followers after He bodily ascended back to heaven.
One of those Spirit-filled leaders to whom was entrusted the important work of caring for the widows was Stephen. Notice that God took a Spirit-filled man who was willing to wait tables for Jesus and did “great wonders and miraculous signs” through him (6:8). This is often the case! When we offer what we have in the humble service of Jesus, He takes us up on that offer and does something much more than we had ever imagined!
Are you filled with the Spirit of Jesus? (If you aren’t sure, ASK Jesus to fill you to overflowing with His Spirit. He wants to give that greatest of gifts.) Are you serving Jesus in any way at all? If not- if you continue to sit back and allow others to do the work of the Kingdom while you ride on their coattails- I wonder what it will take for you to understand that Jesus wants YOU… with YOUR particular gifts and passions… to serve Him. It might start simply and humbly. But if you are willing, hold on! You might be surprised at what that simple offer of waiting tables turns into!