“But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
“….. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
“In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group…. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” –Acts 6:1-7 NIV (http://bible.com/111/act.5.39-6.7.NIV)
What does this have to do with us? I’m not a Jew or of Jewish descent, so how does this work in my life and the life of the church today? This passage tells me that life within a church is messy, and it especially points out that it is not the pastor’s job to fix everything.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” –
Ephesians 4:1-7 NASB (
As a Christian, we are each called to do our part. If there is an issue that we recognize, or a thing that we know needs to be done, we don’t need to wait for the church leaders to fix it. As we are the church, we should be taking care of each other. One body, one spirit; multiple pieces. Whatever congregation or name or location, all Christians are parts of the same body. Just as our bodies have many parts and appendages, so does the church. Just as our Lord, we need to be modeling compassion and grace; not judging by appearances. Whether young or old, hipster, cowboy, millennial or baby boomer; homeless or Gaillardia, we are one in Christ Jesus.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:8-12 NIV