How did they resolve the problem quickly and efficiently

Acts 6

Just like in any work of God that is done on earth, Satan always seeks to stop the same by bringing in problems that can eventually lead to strife and discord among believers, so that the blessing of the Lord can be stopped and the presence of the Lord departs! This is exactly what the first century Church believers experienced too, as seen in Acts 6.

How did they resolve the problem quickly and efficiently so that the Word of the Lord could continue to spread and people could continue to be added to the Church day after day?

This problem arose, just when the disciples were growing in number, on account of a complaint with regard to the manner in which the daily distribution of food to widows was done, vs 1. The disciples were careful to see that this problem did not divert their attention from prayer and the sharing of God’s Word, vs 2.

They also were careful not to appoint people to attend to the work of distribution of the food themselves, but instead, told the people to carefully select from among themselves, brothers, seven men who were well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, vs 3,4.

This advice was well received and seven men were chosen for the purpose, vs 5, who were prayed over by the apostles and thus commissioned for service, vs 6, and one among them was Stephen, whom the Holy Spirit singled out to be one who was full of faith and the Holy Spirit!

This brought about a complete solution to the problem, such that the Word of God continued to spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly, and a large group of priests also became obedient to the faith, vs 7! Stephen who was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, served tables wholeheartedly, and as well as, being full of grace and power, he was performing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people too, vs 8!

It was no wonder then that some men stood up and argued with Stephen, vs 9, and being unable to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke, they secretly instigated some men to accuse him falsely, vs 10,11 and eventually they approached Stephen, seized him, and brought him before the council, vs 12, together with his false accusers, vs 13,14. Nevertheless, the Lord bore witness to Stephen in such a way that all who were sitting in the council looked intently at Stephen and saw that his face was like the face of an angel, vs 15! Problems in our homes and Churches and Nation require settlements to be made in the wisdom (fear) of God, if they are to be solved effectively.

Leaving these unresolved will only aggravate matters as time goes by! However, when taken up and dealt with in humility, righteousness and the fear of God, the Word of God spreads unhindered and people are added to the Church as a result. No point adding more people into the home, Church or Nation when the same is full of contention, strife and unresolved problems!

Stephen offered his gift in order to become a solution to the problem. We also see him operating in multiple gifts in his one short life! The many number of years that we live is inconsequential, if we don’t live them to the fullest, by being filled with faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we may get into trouble for the same, but God’s presence will dwell with us and emanate from us to be a sign and wonder for the Lord’s glory to all who come in touch with us, such that in life or death we will become powerful witnesses for the Lord, drawing many to Jesus in addition to having having the Lord Himself to stand up and receive us to Himself, once our work on earth is completed, Acts 7:56,57! Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.