“It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables,” (6:2).
The Church is expanding and so is the work. But of foremost importance in the work of His kingdom is the Word of God, for it is by His Word that faith, eternal life, and His sanctifying work would be imparted.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” (John 5:24).
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth,” (John 17:17).
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans 10:17).
And while there was other work to be done in serving the new believers, the apostles were committed to that which was most important, the Ministry of His Word.
So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task, (6:2-3).
Consider the Ministry of His Word
The apostles were committed to the Ministry of His Word, for they understood that in God’s design, it was the Word of God that would draw all people to believe, be saved and then grow in His Image.
In this short chapter of just fifteen verses, the profound and noticeable manifestation of the Ministry of His Word is perfectly portrayed:
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Initiation of Increase…while the disciples were increasing in number, (6:1).
- The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem… (6:7).
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Work of Wisdom“Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task,” (6:3).
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Prompting of Prayer“But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word,” (6:4).
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Provision of PeaceThe statement found approval with the whole congregation; (6:5).
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Fullness through Faith…and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit… (6:5)
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Outcome through Obedience:The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith, (6:7).
- The Ministry of His Word manifesting His Indwelling Grace and Power…and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit… 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people…15 And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel, (6:5, 8, 15).
How do we respond to the Ministry of His Word?
Everything we need for this Life in Him is found in His Written Word as He reveals Himself in every page of the Scriptures.
Consider the following excerpt from one of my favorite and most treasured classics, The Complete Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford.
“Our authoritative Bible is the only means in the universe by which we can ever know anything rightly and personally of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit… We should remind ourselves that the written word was designed specifically by God to bring us to know the Living Word.”
Do we come to His Word in faith, expecting to see Him rightly and personally? Expecting to encounter Him, and receive the Ministry of His Living Word? Or do we neglect His Word as we tend to other pressing demands?
We can seek answers to these questions by taking time to examine ourselves and consider what impact the Ministry of His Word is having in our life.
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Initiation of Increase in my life? like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, (1 Peter 2:2).
- For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil, (Hebrews 5:12-14).
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Work of Wisdom in my life?For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding, (Proverbs 2:6).
- Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God, (Colossians 3:16).
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Prompting of Prayer in my life?“and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
- With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:18).
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Provision of Peace in my life?Those who love Your law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble, (Psalm 119:165).
- The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You, (Isaiah 26:3).
- “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful,” (John 14:27).
- The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Fullness through Faith in my life?So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans 10:17).
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:1, 6).
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Outcome through Obedience in my life?“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22).
- And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it, (2 John 1:6).
- Is the Ministry of His Word Manifesting His Indwelling Grace and Power in my life?“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” (John 14:25-26).
- And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Oh Lord, how grateful we are for the Ministry of Your Word. Please empower us by Your Holy Spirit, that we would never allow the distractions of life to result in neglecting Your Word.
…and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her,” (Luke 10:38-42).
Oh Lord, may we come each day with expectation to hear from You, to see You, the Living Word, rightly and personally. Grant to us the privilege You have so graciously provided, and grow us in our desire to daily choose the good part that will never be taken away from us. Lord, have Your perfect way in us through the Ministry of Your Word.
…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3).