June 23

Acts 6

In the early church, disciples were multiplying. With growth comes change. Change often takes place because of necessity, and necessities sometimes show up when someone complains, or points out the need. In Acts 6, Hellenists (Greek speaking Jews) pointed out the need that widows needed care.

This is a time when there is a tremendous move of the Holy Spirit in power, but look – there were still difficulties and differences that needed discussion, system processes, leadership development, conflict resolution, and problem solving. Every local church and ministry must have administration gifts at work. Without valuing natural principles of working with people, churches and ministries can fail. They can hurt and offend people, misrepresent God to the community, and cause confusion. They can seem unreachable, untouchable, and uncaring. Growing churches/ministries must work hard to handle the natural side of administration.

While public ministry often gets the attention, every part of the ministry is valuable, even the parts that people often don’t see (1 Corinthians 12). They should be honored. How do we honor these hardworking people? If people are returning God’s tithe to the church, the church can pay the people who are responsible for the work and putting in the hours. They have personal bills that need to be paid just like anyone else.

The twelve disciples understood that they could not do both. They could not do their responsibility to teach and to take care of the widows. If the disciples were to stop their work to take care of widows, then the cause for Christ would be hindered. As Christians, if we don’t do our part to serve and give, then some work will not get done, or we could cause more work for our leaders so they can’t do their responsibility. Let’s all do our part.

In verse 6, the disciples laid their hands on the seven men chosen to care for the widows. Why is this important? The disciples were in spiritual authority, meaning they had the power to delegate. They were delegating authority, as well as imparting an anointing to the men for leadership in the church.

In verse 7, it says, “then” the word of God spread. In other words, as the church took care of an administrative issue, or a “helps ministry” issue, the church multiplied. In fact, these “helps ministry” leaders, as Christians, also prayed for the sick, shared the Gospel, and worked miracles. Stephen was one of them. Some of the Jews got into a debate with Stephen and could not win, so they stirred up the people, elders, and scribes, taking Stephen by force to the Council. They also set up lying witnesses, saying that they said Jesus would take down the temple order. The Council stared at Stephen because his face was illuminated, radiating with light. The glory of God was on Stephen in this moment.

When we stand up for Christ, more than likely, at some point, someone will come against us. Not everyone will be required to die for their faith; however, it is important that we rise up for the sake of Christ!

Esther 7-10

Haman is hanged instead of Mordecai in chapter 7. Esther saves the Jews in chapter 8. The Jews kill those who came against them in chapter 9. The Feast of Purim is instituted. In chapter 10, Mordecai is made second in command, which was once Haman’s position, one similar to prime minister.

The Feast of Purim
The enemy cast Pur (or lots) to decide the month and day to attack the Jews. The fourteenth of Adar was chosen (around March). Instead of killing the Jews, the Jews attacked their enemy on the 13th and finished in the capital on the 15th. The feast lasted 3 days, starting on the 13th and going until the 15th. They rested on the third day. The Jews celebrated their deliverance, but also the continuation of what was happening in Jerusalem and the recently finished temple.

In the last days, there will be an enemy that will turn on the Jews and stop temple worship. It’s called the abomination of Desolation. After that event, there will be 3 ½ years before Christ returns. The casting of Pur or lots was setting the time. This end-time event is also going to happen at an appointed time, or a set time. It’s already on God’s calendar!

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