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 is listed 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 ACTS ONCE A YEAR to remind myself 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 O 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 Bible occasion shows that before there can be effective communication of the Gospel, there must be time spent in the Word of God and in prayer.
WHEN I WAS SAVED IN OCTOBER 1943, I WAS NINE YEARS OLD and began working on my school buddies the next day. We don’t need a Bible school diploma to be a witness. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
I PROBABLY DIDN'T GO ABOUT I THE RIGHT WAY because after 2-3 days of my asking them to go to the meeting, they put me on the ground at morning recess and demanded that I pray. So, I asked the Lord to “get these s.o.b.’s off of me.” Not good. I was surprised that they didn’t want to hear about God and were not glad that I had gotten saved. Everybody will not be glad you are a Christian. Everybody will not want to listen to your appeal to them to know the Lord. Just keep at it.
DECIDING TO COMMIT ONESELF TO PRAYER AND THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD can be quick and decisive. It’s a 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. 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. There is such a thing as deciding to give ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. The Apostles were already engaged in that but were hindered in having to carry groceries to some of the neediest people in the church. It was a large congregation and many people needed help. Having appointed church deacons would lift that burden from them. But what the apostles were doing in a concentrated manner, individuals were doing as they encountered individuals during the day.
As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:3-4) What would God have you do? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
June 27, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. Job 10-12 P.M. Acts 8:1-25
(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.