Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mar 22: Acts 6

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 6. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Now the group of believers is getting large. To take care of logistics, the leadership decides to appoint leaders other than the twelve.
  • Stephen is one of the seven chosen to take care of people. And even though he wasn’t an apostle he still preached about Jesus and healed by God’s power. Preaching and healing weren’t just for the apostles.
  • God chose for Stephen to be seized by the religious leaders and to be questioned by the Sanhedrin. (Remember: the Sanhedrin is kind of like the Jewish Supreme Court of the time, except they were kind of mean.)

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • The only qualification possessed by these outspoken leaders of the church was trust in Jesus. If we are willing to trust Jesus by doing what he tells us, we will turn the world upside down... just like Peter and Stephen.
  • Stephen was a man full of the Spirit and wisdom and was not one of the twelve disciples we heard about in Mark and Luke. Even though he wasn’t an apostle, he still taught about Jesus, performed wonders and miraculous signs, and defended the faith. He chose to follow Jesus in this radical way even though he wasn’t one of “the twelve.”

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you think that preaching, teaching, and apologetics (defending the Christian faith) are only for people who went to a special school or have the "right" qualifications? Before following Jesus, Peter was a fisherman. In this chapter, Stephen is chosen to be a waiter.