Summary: Leaders are appointed to the church.
Additions and Accusations
Jeff Hughes – April 27, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Exponential church growth is a problem that the early church at Jerusalem had, and a problem that many churches today seek to have. The early church had grown to the point that all of the people could not be ministered to, and the apostles needed to find a solution to this fast.
b. The apostles needed to spend time in prayer and in the study of the scriptures, in preparation of teaching the people daily. If they spent more time ministering to people’s physical needs, then they could not meet their needs spiritually, as their own personal study and prayer time would suffer. Their ultimate decision was that they should continue to meet the people’s spiritual needs, and choose others to meet physical needs.
c. Today, we are going to look at servants in the body of Christ, and how they are chosen and appointed to serve the body of Christ. Service in the kingdom of God is defined by the three T’s, as my pastor likes to say. The three T’s are – Time, Talent, and Treasure. If we can say that these three things are under the guidance of God, then we can say that we are truly serving God.
d. Something that comes along with wholehearted service to God is persecution. We have looked at this some before, and here, we get to see this topic addressed again today. One of the marks of a successful ministry, how you know if you’re really serving the Lord, is that you meet persecution along the way.
e. Jesus told us that this would happen, in John chapter 16, verse 33, we find this quote from Jesus - 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
f. These are the two main ideas we are going to look at today, as we continue through the Book of Acts, but first, let’s ask the Lord to bless the study of His Word this morning.
a. Philip Yancey once made a fascinating observation about finding fulfillment. In his career as a writer and journalist he has interviewed a wide range of people. He divides these people into two groups: stars and servants. For the stars -- super star athletes, famous authors, TV personalities -- he has only sympathy. These "idols," he says, "are as miserable a group of people as I have ever met." According to the standards of this age these people have it made. They are famous, they have their pictures in magazines, they live in big, expensive homes. Some of us wish we were just like them. We don’t see the troubled marriages, the tormented psyches, the incurable self-doubts.
b. Yancey contrasts the life-styles of these stars with a group he calls servants. Servants include such folks as relief workers in Bangladesh and language experts scattered through the jungles of South America translating the Bible into obscure languages. "I was prepared to honor and admire these servants," Yancey writes, "to uphold them as inspiring examples. I was not prepared to envy them." But envy them he did. As he reflected on the two groups, stars and servants, he declares that "the servants clearly emerge as the favored ones, the graced ones. They work for low pay, long hours, and no applause, ’wasting’ their talents among the poor and uneducated. But somehow in the process of losing their lives, they have found them."
c. It may be fascinating to you that the people that have the least amount of fame and fortune are the ones who are better off. But, these people have found the true secret to finding peace. That answer is serving God.
d. Jesus said “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. “ We find this in Luke chapter 17.
e. Today we are going to look at a group of men who had done just that. They had given up their lives, their money, their profession, to pursue a life of serving God. We will take a close look at these men, as well as the persecution they faced.
f. Our study comes from Acts chapter 6, and we will look at verses 1 through 14, as we continue to study through Acts. There’s a place for you to take notes in your bulletin if you would like, and if you need a Bible, just raise your hand. Acts is right past John in the New Testament, and just before Romans.
g. Follow along with me as we read.