Friday, July 12 2024

Bible Reading for: July 7

Acts 8:26–40

A Christian should mature spiritually to the point where God uses him to serve His purpose. When God says go, we should go – no questions asked.

Back on July 2nd we read in Acts 6 of the men selected by the congregation to be deacons. Stephen was one of those men, and we read of his martyrdom two days ago. Another of those seven men selected as the first deacons was Philip, and we began to read more about him yesterday. His story continues today. Having proclaimed the Gospel in Samaria, the Holy Spirit moved him to head south, down the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is so like God. Just as when God said to Abraham “go to a place I will show you”, God often tells his servant to get moving before telling him where and why.

Can you imagine being so obedient to, and trusting of, God that He can say to you “start heading in that direction” and you don’t ask a single question? So often our obedience to God is predicated on the notion that we must know what is being asked of us first and we must agree with what is being asked. That isn’t really obedience, is it? Imagine if you told your child “get in the car” and he said “why? Where are we going?” You might not think of this as rebellion but simply curiosity, but the fact of the matter is that child wants to determine if they will go along with your plan. If that child is comfortable where they are, or doesn’t like your planned destination, they will likely put up a fuss.

Children want to be adults. They want to have control of their life, and that means they are constantly challenging their parent’s authority. At the very least, they want to be consulted in the plan making phase, and they want to be able to influence the where, when, and how of the plan. Have you been there as a child or a parent? I know for a fact we have all been there as a child of God. That is why examples like that of Abraham and now Philip are so important. They show men who truly acknowledge the Lordship of God. They understand that it is not their right, nor is it necessary, to question God about His purpose and plan. God can be trusted to work all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Today many of us see the role of evangelist as belonging almost solely to “professional” clergy. I think we also tend to view the role of deacon as that of a minor factotum responsible for greeting people at the front door of the church, facilitating church functions, and deliberating on church matters. These are all appropriate things for deacons to do, as far as it goes, but I’m afraid it doesn’t go far enough. A deacon is supposed to be a somewhat spiritually mature Christian. Spiritually mature Christians see their number one responsibility as sharing the Gospel. Now there are many ways to be a part of that essential work, but shaking hands with strangers at the church door doesn’t really require a spiritually mature Christian.

The Bible doesn’t go into detail on the lives of all seven of the first deacons, but of those it does follow, we see men who are sold out for Christ. They weren’t Apostles, but these men saw their primary role in life as being obedient to the Lord even unto death. They didn’t ask God where He was taking them. They didn’t debate whether or not they would obey. God said go, and they went. None of us knows where God will lead us, and if we acknowledge His Lordship over our lives, then the path He chooses for us shouldn’t matter.

The role of deacon is not one we should seek, but one we should accept. It should be our goal to mature spiritually to the point that God will use us to serve a greater purpose. It should be our goal to mature to a point where God says go, and we go – no questions asked.

Victorem Vivere! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Reading Plans
Bible Order: Psalm 119:1-85
Chronological Order: 2 Kings 14, 2 Chronicles 25
Old Testament Only: 2 Chronicles 33–34


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