In Acts, chapter 6, we learn more about the early church and how it began to increase in number daily. At the same time, we learn from the Grecian people that many of their widows were uncared for. This they brought to the attention of the apostles and informed them that these widows have been overlooked and not cared for by the Hebrew followers of Jesus. This was a big problem and not something that the twelve apostles could take care of by themselves. They were already very busy doing their duties and following what the Word of God says. Their calling was to pray always, not just for themselves but for the church at large and to minister to the people through the Bible. Therefore, it was God that helped the apostles understand that they needed seven more men to help administer the church and it’s duties. This would help supply the needs of the widows and whatever else the Lord would have them do. So it was that Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas were called. These men were set apart by the apostles, as they prayed over them, while laying their hands on their heads. It was through the apostles and these men that the word of God was increased in the land. Even the number of disciples were multiplied in Jerusalem. What is most interesting is that a great number of priests came unto faith as well. All of this can be read in Acts 6:1-7. Those verses are below…
Acts 6:1-7 (KJV)
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 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.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
As we continue reading in Acts, chapter 6, starting with verse 8, we learn more about Stephen. Of the seven men that were chosen, he stood out not only among those of the church, but of the people of Jerusalem also. This is because Stephen was full of the Holy Ghost and because of this, he was doing great wonders and miracles, much like Jesus did. His faith was powerful indeed, so God worked through Him in a mighty way. In the meantime, there were high ranking men of the Jewish synagogues that were not happy with him. To them, he was speaking blasphemy against Moses and God and they were not happy at all. This they thought, even though they could tell he was full of the spirit and wisdom. So these people of the synogogues began to stir up people against him, including the elders and scribes. It got so bad that Stephen was captured and brought before the counsel. At this point, they setup false witnesses, so that what they were saying about Stephen could be found true. They then called him out on blasphemy, speaking out against the temple and the law. Since they overheard him saying that Jesus would destroy the temple and change the laws of Moses, they were riled up. In the meantime, Stephen kept quiet during this interrogation. And those that saw him, could tell he was different, since his face appeared to be like an angel. All of this can be read in Acts 6:8-15. Those verses are below…
Acts 6:8-15 (KJV)
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.
12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,
13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.
15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
Now, in Chapter 7, you will get to hear what Stephen had to say about these charges against him. So I highly recommend you keep reading in Acts 7, to see what took place next. Now, in regards to this chapter, I want to bring up a few things that is pertinent to us now, as believers in Christ. Much like Stephen and the other six disciples were called by God, God is calling many people now to serve Him in a similar way. As we read, once these seven men started going out into God’s harvest and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, many other people followed and started living for Christ as well. This is the same way that people come to faith now. As with these seven, it often takes people of faith to startup or attend bible studies, volunteer in churches and be a part of evangelism efforts that other people come to faith or their faith is strengthened. God uses us much like he did in the early church. We all have gifts of the spirit that are ready to be given to us, as we are all part of the body of Christ. It simply up to each believer if they will seek the Lord and then do what the Lord has for their lives. We are all important in God’s kingdom, however, many people ignore their calling from God. This leads to people falling into worldly pleasures that God hates. Therefore, if you say that you believe in Christ, then “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” – James 1:22 (KJV). Live a life for Jesus and you will also do great things for the church of God.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I am so grateful to know You and to be a part of Your church. As Your disciple, You have called me to be an evangelist and I am honored to serve You. To go out in Your harvest and bring lost souls into Your kingdom is the greatest thing I could ever do. What a blessed calling this is for my life. Thank You for also helping me understand Your Words in the Bible, that I might properly write messages on them and teach others. This gift can only be from You and for this, I give You all the glory. Thank You for using me for Your greater good. I was so lost before I found You and these gifts have given meaning and strength to my life. Every time I am able to pray over somebody, it lifts up spirits. When other people’s walk with You is elevated, my faith is increased as well. Declaring You as my witness of salvation brings me so much joy and I can’t help but tell everyone about Your great love. Surely, Your calling for my life has changed everything about me and those people I affect. And one thing I know for sure is that everyone has a different calling from You. All they have to do is seek You, and their gifts will also be made known to them. I pray that everyone that says that they are a Christian or believe in You, will desire to obtain these spiritual gifts and be used for Your greater good. Then, will many more lost souls be saved. This I pray, in Your holy name, Jesus, Amen.