THE HONEYMOON IS OVER: Unfortunately, becoming a member of the church does not free a person from being a sinner. Yesterday we read the sad tale of Ananias & Sapphira, and now today the chapter opens with issues between the two main ethnic groups in the church. The church has always had, and always will have problems, (until Jesus returns, at least). But in both cases the Elders took swift action to address the problem and they kept proclaiming the Word their key focus.
THE POWER OF GOD'S WORD: Look closely at the three times the Word of God is referred to in this opening passage: v2, v4 & v7. As you go about your work today, think about the effect the Word of God has in your life, and how you can help spread it in order to grow the Church.
NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: The apostles gave two criteria for deacons (Paul would give some others later on): they needed to be men full of the Spirit and wisdom. But really, that's only one criteria. A person who is fully relying on the Spirit will have wisdom. You can see this principle at work in v10.
THE FIRST DEACON = THE FIRST MARTYR: A deacon is a man called to serve the physical needs of church members, but not just physical needs. Stephen, the first to be called as a deacon, will go on to publicly defend his faith in a way that results in him also being the first to be martyred for his faith.
Sunday we learned to pray constantly following the AAA pattern given by Jesus. We will be practicing that pattern by using what we read each day to guide us in prayer.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God of grace & power (v8)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: The Spirit gave Stephen wisdom as he spoke (v10). Ask God to align your life with His will so that you can speak and act in His wisdom as Stephen did.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED.