Monday, September 26, 2011
Acts 6:1 "But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent..."
These Greek-speaking Christians began to complain, but they didn't complain to those in authority, those responsible, they simply complained among themselves. The Strong's Concordance tells us that the "rumblings of discontent, complaints, murmuring were done in secret." It was "a secret debate, a secret displeasure not openly avowed." Why? Why were their complaints done in secret? If there is legitimate problem...and we see that there was...why not go before the apostles and have it dealt with.
I wonder if the believers "winter of their discontentment" began with a root of bitterness...someone begins to think that they aren't appreciated...and a spirit of complaining begins and what is actually an innocent oversight...is turned into intentional neglect. Regardless of the cause of their murmuring...it's always wrong.
We too can have our "winters of discontentment", can't we. When we begin to question the motives of others...we can know that winter is here...don't look around with this happens...the first place we need to look is within our own hearts and bring it to the LORD. If left unchecked...a work of the spirit can be destroyed.
How wise the Apostles were...when they heard of the problem they didn't ignore it and say, "nonsense!" They didn't take it personal, "I dare you even suggest that we are showing favoritism." They dealt with it: Acts 6:3 "...select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom." Every problem that arises in the church gives us the opportunity to do three things. (1) Examine our hearts. (2) Exercise faith in the Lord. (3) Express Love in the way that we work out the problem.
All this causes me to wonder about God's providence.
Genesis 50:20 comes to mind "But as for you, ye
thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass,
as [it is] this day, to save
Could it be, that the LORD allowed the widows toreceive less...so the hearts of His people could be tested and revealed so their sin could be dealt with. Often, the problem we have in loving others is really a symptom of
a deeper problem...not knowing who God is and trusting Him...our flesh, sin
is the real issue.
The problem was handled with wisdom, with discernment, with love and grace. Acts 6:5 "This idea pleased the whole group." As a result of the godly leadership...true unity began and the Holy Spirit
moved and did a greater work...
Acts 6:7 "God's message was preached in ever-widening circles. The number
greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted too."