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Archive for August, 2015

Verse 5: “And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Phillip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,”

One became the first Christian martyr. One embarked on several missions, especially one concerning an Ethiopian eunuch. Some are only mentioned in history as later having positions in the church. Others are never mentioned again. And one unfortunately became associated with hedonistic followers that Paul himself congratulated other early churches in opposing.

Names are interesting labels, and the names of the first deacons are intriguing. Like other Christians then and now, some stayed faithful to God, and some did not. Of those that were faithful, some had more known of them, and some did not. Regardless of how history records what you do in the service of the Lord, remember that in God’s eyes, it will never be forgotten.

Something to think about.

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Verse 3: “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;”

There’s an older gentleman in our church who ought to have his name in the dictionary, next to the definition of the word “servant”. He is retired and is a widower, but yet faithfully takes care of our church grounds and buildings daily. I’ve never heard him complain, never heard him get angry, and he is always glad to see you and ask how you are doing, how your family is, and ask about life in general; a man of quiet humility. When his wife died, the church made sure he had time to take care of family duties, bereavement, and obligations; there was a signup sheet to pitch in and to volunteer to do one or more of his duties. Let me tell you, the pastor said it best when he welcomed this man back during morning service when he returned from leave: he told him that it “took a whole church to do your job, brother!”

This man faithfully did a task that was important, but one that not necessarily the pastoral staff could have taken care of, in addition to the other duties they attended to as pastoral staff. Now, yes, there are small churches where the pastor is a one-man show, sometimes doing all the jobs. But the point is, although the disciples could’ve seen to the care of the widows who were being overlooked in daily care, they needed help, so that they could stay focused on evangelism and preaching. They ordained the first deacons to take care of this. Though “deacon” has been seen as an office of leadership in the church, we all should remember that it is a position of “servant” leadership…where the serving comes first.

Something to think about.

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