Something I Have Been Thinking ABout

In the end of chapter 2 of the book of Acts we are told about how people were devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and prayer and how everyone was giving of their resources for the good of the whole group and daily people were being brought to the faith. We see the same sort of report of the early church being given at the end of chapter four as well.

We don’t have a lot of information like how much time passed but by the time we get into chapter six they are starting to suffer growing pains. Word gets out that some of the widows were being neglected and not being properly taken care of. We aren’t given much more than the bare bones description of the dispute and when Rob referenced the passage Sunday in his sermon my mind, as it is wont to do these days, began to ponder the passage.

I wondered how those widows handled their lack. Did they whine and fuss? Did the grumble and gripe to all and sunder? I’d like to think that they didn’t do those things. That maybe they were already practicing what Paul would write down later about learning to be content no matter their state. Maybe they noticed they weren’t getting as much as others in the daily distribution and just shrugged it off the first few times before going in humbleness to the people that needed to know for the situation to be addressed later on.

We don’t know though because the Bible doesn’t tell us. But it does tell us something important that hit me in a new way.

Out of the widows need came the framework for a system of church government that is still in practice today. The primacy of preaching the Scriptures and a division of labor to handle the physical needs of the church was birthed by way of their lack.

And it made me wonder how I handle my own lack and my own needs when I have to wait for them to be met. Am I patient or am I so blind to everything except what I am going without? Am I able to see past myself to see what God might be doing for someone else through my own deficit? What good work might He be doing, not just in my life but within my community? Surely our emptiness and need has a place at the table otherwise what would be the use of our talents and gifts?

If I am being honest I must admit that I really don’t want for much or go without often. But I must also honestly pray that God lets me respond rightly when it happens. Maybe that situation will bear out in much the way as it did in those early days of the Church and the word of God will continue to increase and faith will abound among the people of God.

Think On These Things ~ 1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,

but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 

or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 

but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Think On These Things ~ Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 

complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 

but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Think On These Things ~ Colossians 1:9-17

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 

so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 

being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

Think On These Things ~ I Peter 2:1-5

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—

if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God 
chosen and precious, 

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a 

holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus 
Christ.
I Peter 2:1-5

Think On These Things ~ Colossians 3: 1-17

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.