July 22, 2012

Service before Self

Passage: Acts 6:1-7

Bible Text: Acts 6:1-7 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: The Solid Acts of God
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Acts 6:1-7 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, it is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
This reinforces two of our critical core values:
Service before Self
Integration and application of the Word of God!
We practice the Matthew 18 principle in handling conflict
We know that conflict is inevitable, but disunity is unacceptable
The requirements for leadership were clearly spelled out:
Believer, follower of Jesus
Possessing good reputation, character & free from scandal
Solid spirituality and understanding of God’s Word
Full of wisdom, filled with the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:14-15 We are not meant to remain as children but to
grow up in every way into Christ.
Spiritual maturity is the development and growth that comes by knowing, being, and doing spirit-filled life
Ephesians 4:13 In the unity of common faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive at real maturity, the measure of development which is meant by the fullness of Christ.
Spiritual maturity is becoming more like Jesus Christ
Maturity is the measure of development or being “complete, whole, total” as the result of having an on-going relationship with the Holy Spirit, Word and Jesus
Maturity requires DISCIPLINE
1 Timothy 4:7 Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.
Maturity is a PROCESS of growth and grace
2 Peter 3:18 Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our
savior, Jesus Christ.
We work to maximize ministry and minimize maintenance
The people of God in Acts understood the importance of structured biblical priorities
Everyone is a minister and every ministry is important!
Spiritual S.H.A.P.E.
God uses five things to shape you:
Spiritual gifts
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God
The way we serve God is by serving others
Matthew 20:28 Jesus said, Your attitude must be like My own, for I did not come to be served, but to serve
Your S.H.A.P.E. determines your ministry, but your attitude determines your maturity.
2 Timothy 2:2 You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.
Effective Life Management
Assess your problem accurately (6:1-2)
Are you attacking the right problem?
Budget your time strategically (6:2,4)
Are your priorities right?
Choose your leaders wisely (6:3)
Are you following biblically qualified leaders?
Distribute your load widely (6:3,5-6)
Are you doing your part?
Exodus 18:17-23 This is not good! his father-in-law exclaimed. You’re going to wear yourself out — and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now let me give you a word of advice…You should continue to be the people’s representative before God…You should tell them God’s decisions, teach them God’s laws and instructions, and show them how to conduct their lives. But find some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes.
Appoint them as judges over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. These men can serve the people, resolving all the ordinary cases. Anything that is too important or too complicated can be brought to you. But they can take care of the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice…you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.
Join the GO…TEAM to Okinawa
You may not get on a plane to Okinawa but you can be part of the team!
We have three critical needs:
Prayer Partners
Financial Support
Team Prep and Admin Support

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