“In these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. The twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them…
“Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some… rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.’ And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council… And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” Acts 6:1-6,8-12,15
Growth led to increased need led to complaint led to solution led to action. The godly Stephen, available as his Lord’s servant for any necessary role, stepped up in the Spirit for what many would deem menial, unimportant, and subservient. And mightily he was used. Full of grace and power, this waiter took seriously the distribution of food to widows and offered spiritual nourishment as well. His spirit was recognized, and precipitated his giving one of the most all-encompassing, profound speeches recorded in scripture that was heard by Saul (Paul), and set in motion persecution that scattered the church and spread the gospel. We may never know the effects of our work done for Jesus. (Acts 6:15-8:4)
Life is full of similar issues, and in God’s economy, He appoints people to fill different roles at different times to fulfill His plans. Organization, integrity, willingness, and humility are all tucked under His anointing of His children for varied work within His purpose. Every individual is valued, every honest job is sacred and can be performed for His honor. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Where do I contribute? How alert am I to needs around me, and how willing to serve in areas that, in the world’s eyes, are demeaning or insignificant? Do I regard any task as beneath me? Where am I thinking too highly of myself, and instead need to look for humble ways to spread Christ? (Romans 12:3-8)
If He is Lord, nothing is too great or small to do for Him. How can I glorify my God through service today? How can I sprinkle Christ’s love and truth into the conversations and duties at work, home, or ministry?
Lord my Master, I come as Your servant. Please anoint my character, willingness, and service for the benefit of Your people, and the glory of Your name.