Summary: Others, Ministry, Priorities, Widows, Servants
GROWN UP CHRISTIANS – How Do We Care for a Big Family
Acts 6:1-7 (p. 762) June 7, 2015
Have you ever thought... “Man, my life is crazy with all these kids!”
I know last week when I had just Peyton, my 7 year old grandson, Papaw was pretty busy with work, getting him to school, homework, meals...I look back and wonder why Kari didn’t kill me when we had 3 children under the age of 6...and then 5 years later added a 4th.
I was doing some research for this message called “How Do We Care for a Big Family” in this series called Grown Up Christians, so I typed in my search engine, “Largest Families Ever.” Here’s some of what I got:
1. THE VASSILYEV FAMILY (SHOW PIC)
The Vassilyev family holds the record for the most children a couple has parented. Mrs. Vassilyev has given birth to a total of 69 children, including 16 pairs of twins and 7 sets of triplets. 67 of the 69 children survived infancy.
2. THE CHANA FAMILY (SHOW PIC)
Ziona Chana lives in a 4 storey, 100 room house in Baktawng, India. He has the world’s biggest family with 30 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren. He admits to marrying 10 women in 1 year and is the head of a sect which permits polygamy.
3. THE DUGGAR FAMILY (SHOW PIC)
The world’s largest immediate family, and probably the most famous...Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have been married almost 30 years...and have been on a TV series since 2008...in 17 kids and counting, then 18 kids and counting, now 19 kids and counting. In 2011 Michelle suffered a tragic miscarraiage while carrying their 20th child. Michelle is 47, Jim Bob is 48...their children range from age 4 to 25...there are 9 girls and 10 boys...I like Jim Bob’s quote: “We are by far outnumbered!”
I was watching the news the other day and the Schwandt family from Michigan had just welcomed their 13th boy...the newscaster asked if they wanted another one (she’d just had her 13th!) and if they’d like it to be a girl...Jay, the dad said, “Well every father wants a princess...but Kateri, the mom said, “No, I’ve got this boy thing down pat!” (lol)
When asked how they dealt with the requirements of a big family...all of them gave the same answer...everyone has to pull their weight...The older kids help with the younger. They do a lot of the driving and homework.”
And I thought...no wonder God made His church a family...No wonder we call Him “our Father who art in heaven.” No wonder scripture continually addresses its words to “Brothers and Sisters in Christ.”
If we are going to be Grown Up Christians then we’d better start thinking as the family of God instead of people who “Go to Church.”
And ministry takes place when “everyone starts pulling their weight.”
God never designed His church for “clergy” to care for the needs of “lay” people. He created a family so each member cares for the body.
Paul writes the Galatians for just this reason, to instruct them on how the family of God takes care of struggling people and hurting people.
GALATIANS 6:2-5 (p. 813)
Burdens are lighter if others help tote the load, humility is essential because pride has to be killed to accept help and give it...all of us are different...not better or worse, different. And if you don’t do your part...no one else can do it for you.
In Acts 6 the Church is in its infancy and so are many of its individual members. But Jesus, His resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s influence are the motivation to transform each believer...but there is a clear truth.
I. AS FAMILIES GROW SO DO THEIR NEEDS
If you look at the verses that precede our text Peter and John have just been beaten for speaking in the name of Jesus...but they leave rejoicing. (WOW) REJOICING! That they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name (Jesus’ name). And it spurred them on. Day after day, in the temple courts and from neighbor to neighbor they never stopped teaching or preaching the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
And instead of this putting a stop to people coming to Christ... “Verse 1 in chapter 6 says, “the number of disciples was increasing.” Scripture tells us in another place “Daily.” (Acts 2:4)
The reason: “This body of believers...these disciples were convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, the Holy Spirit was powerfully moving...and they were focused on others...even when they were flogged, beaten for sharing the truth.
But as families increase in number so do their needs.
The Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews...that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.