Scripture Passage for Daily ReflectionActs 6:1-10 (New International Version)
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
Monday – A Commissioned Church
Missionary God, before Jesus ascended, he commissioned his church to go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything he had commanded. We confess that we have often left that calling unheeded. Where we have sought to build our own empires rather than serving your kingdom, forgive us. Where we have sought to find the minimum requirements for attaining salvation, rather than living full, adventurous lives on mission with you, forgive us. Wherever and however we have refused to answer your call, forgive us. We pray for the strength, as your church, to follow not only your commands, but to also follow YOU into the dark places all around us. Missionary God, we pray that Intentional People will serve as a resource to your church as it seeks to live more fully into your commissioning.
As a church we desire to live intentionally as a commissioned community of disciples. Will you pray for the Wells, the Stogsdills, the Myers and Rachel Elder as we seek to not only live this way but also teach our children, friends, neighbors and coworkers to live this way? Will you pray for the Perrys and Wells as we seek to cultivate Intentional People into a resource for assisting Christians and churches all over to live in this way? Finally will you also take a minute to pray for your own congregation and other churches in your community to continue moving deeper into this kind of life? (If you want, send me an email or leave a comment here with the names of churches you’re praying for and I’ll pray for them too.)