Monday, April 24, 2023
“Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables” (Acts 6:2 KJV).
What are the two chief elements of a Christ-honoring ministry?
Verse 4 replies: “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Although the 12 Apostles refused to be preoccupied with superintending petty matters such as feeding hungry widows, they were nevertheless sympathetic to the point of allowing seven men to oversee that food distribution. The 12 Apostles had a clear understanding of what was foremost in ministry.
Prayer is us speaking to God according to what He has already told us in His Bible. The Word, of course, is the Bible, God talking to us. Let us be careful not to let even the most innocent-looking situations distract us from God’s ministry. Down through the years, countless church leaders have been drawn away from their primary duties (Word of God and prayer) in order to engage in frivolous or trivial pursuits. Wise counsel can be found here in Acts chapter 6 if we are interested in doing God’s will regarding ministry! “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13). “I will [wish, desire] therefore that men pray every where…” (1 Timothy 2:8).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2). Observe the progression—the “good” will of God, the “acceptable” will of God, and the “perfect” will of God. Each level is greater spiritual maturity. As believers in Christ, we go beyond choosing good over evil, and we go beyond acceptable over unacceptable, to identify what is “perfect” (the best choice out of all good choices, the superior decision of all possible acceptable decisions). Pertaining to the work of the ministry and its finest courses for this the Dispensation of Grace, we access Paul’s “Pastoral Epistles”—1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.