Prayer and Ministry of the Word
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.
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. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:2-4)
THE BOOK OF ACTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT as “The Acts of the Apostles.” But a good number of Bible students prefer to call it: “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” In 1895 A. T. Pierson wrote a book by that title. When I wrote my friend, Dr. Bill Compton, last year, about an issue in the Book of Acts, he immediately referred me to A.T. Pierson’s book as the best book on the Book of Acts.
IT WAS HIS LAST BOOK RECOMMENDATION TO ME before the Lord called him home. I found the book on Amazon Books and worked my way through it, marking it in many places. I commend the book to anyone interested in enriching your mind with the Book of Acts, alongside reading the book of Acts from your Bible.
THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD FROM GENESIS 1:1 THROUGH REVELATION 22:21. But all of it is not equally enjoyable to read nor equally useful to us average folks. I have noticed that for some Christians there seems to be a “hands-off” stigma hanging over the book of Acts as though it is somehow a dangerous book or an impractical book. But, we need to remind ourselves that God put all the books into the Bible for His own reason: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Timothy 3:16)
I LIKE TO READ THROUGH THE BOOK OF ACTS ONCE A YEAR so that I’m reminded of the real framework of the first Christians. The Day of Pentecost occurred only one time, but the pattern of witnessing for Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit is timeless. If we would obey the Lord in service to Him, we must do it in His power and at His direction. We can do nothing for God in the weak power of human flesh. We get to help the Lord a bit, but salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9). Salvation is not of God’s helper-servants.
OUR TEXT TODAY IS ABOUT THE APPOINTING OF DEACONS in the church at Jerusalem. This would give better service to those who needed food from sharing Christians and it would enable the twelve apostles to carry out their main ministry: prayer and the ministry of the Word.
ALL CHRISTIANS ARE APPOINTED TO ENGAGE IN PRAYER and the ministry of the Word, but not in the sense that the Apostles were commissioned, and not to the degree that the Apostles were involved. But this picture shows what is involved in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Before there can be effective communication of the Gospel, there must be time spent in the Word of God and in prayer.
DECIDING TO COMMIT ONESELF TO PRAYER AND THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD definite point in time and a definite act of one’s heart and mind. Otherwise, it probably is not going to happen. Oh, nobody in the church is against it. It’s just that we are not really for it unless someone else is going to do it. We need to provoke one another in this most important work of prayer and the ministry of the Word. It can be as simple as giving out good, well-written Gospel tracts. Or, it can be more involved as in opening the Bible and showing someone how to be saved. It can be listening to someone unburden their heart and praying with them.
IT CAN BE SOWING THE SEED, or watering the seed, or harvesting the seed when it has borne fruit. In this article, my point is to call attention to the fact that there is such a thing as one deciding to give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. What would God have you to do? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
AUGUST 30, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. Psalms 142-144 P.M. 1Corinthians 10:14-33
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:31-32) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
Showers of Blessing (2:27) (Gaither Group)
Give it a little time – You may need to adjust the sound.