So, God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.
– Acts 6:7 NLT
The last year and a half have been very difficult for most of us, for many reasons. It would be so easy to let concerns about the state of our world discourage and distract us. So easy to lose our focus on Stonecroft’s vision of sharing Jesus’ love with the people in our lives.
The early church was in danger of being distracted by worldly concerns. (See Acts 6:1-6) Some people accused others of showing partiality in the daily food distribution. There was grumbling and complaining. I imagine that people were expecting the apostles to take sides in the disagreement. This could have led to division in the church, with one group or the other dissatisfied with the outcome.
Wisely, the Apostles refused to be distracted from their primary responsibilities of teaching and praying. Instead, they asked for the people to suggest men who could take charge of seeing the church’s physical needs. The people liked this idea, and seven men shouldered this responsibility after the Apostles had prayed for them.
That brings us to the powerful little word that begins Acts 6:7: “So.”
When there was unity in the church, God’s message continued to spread. When people cared for each other, God’s message continued to spread. And when people shared responsibility for the work, God’s message continued to spread.
And look at the result: the number of believers greatly increased. We’re told there were many priests among these new believers. This is an important detail since these priests represent those who were very resistant to the Gospel. When those in the church love each other, as our Father desires, the world can see the difference that Jesus makes in our lives. Through this, the Spirit can draw anyone, even those we might feel tempted to give up on.
All this growth happened because the Apostles refused to be distracted by worldly cares. Instead, they stayed focused on the main thing, sharing God’s message of Jesus.
Read more: Acts 6:1-6, John 8:42, Colossians 3:12-16, 1 John 3:18
- How have you been distracted by worldly concerns recently?
- What are some practical ways to refocus on sharing Jesus’ love with others?