TEXT: Acts 6:1-4
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
——- PRAYER ——-
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 207 messages in this series.
This is message #208 titled, Help for the Stressed-Out Preacher, Part 1
According to the Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development, 70% of pastors admit to experiencing high levels of stress and exhaustion in the ministry. 40% of those pastors end up quitting the ministry, many of them after just 5 years of service. Another study by the Clergy Health Initiative found that pastors are at a higher risk for depression and anxiety due to stress than people in other occupations. And, as we have seen, shockingly over the past five years or so, some pastors have even committed suicide.
Why do so many pastors feel as though they are stressed out? I believe that we will see from our passage tonight that one major cause is that pastors are simply doing trying to do to much. Any productivity specialist will tell you that one way to reduce anxiety is to simply stop trying to do too much. Well, the apostles of Christ, found that out two thousand years ago.
The story begins with Luke informing us that it happened “in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied.” The church was growing. There was more that needed to be done. More new Christians who needed to be discipled. More poor people and sick people who needed to be visited and cared for. The disciples were busier than they had ever been before — feeding people, comforting people, clothing people, teaching people. The job was becoming too big for them to do alone.
Soon enough, the devil used this opportunity to try to cause division in the early church. “There arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.” As you know, there was still tension between Jews and Gentiles even in the church during that time. Apparently, some of the disciples responsible for caring for the widows of the church neglected the Gentile widows. For example, If they had been out preaching the Gospel all day, and only had time to visit five widows that evening, they would always visit the Jewish widows first. Soon, the Gentiles noticed and they felt slighted.
This could have turned into a big disaster in the church. But, the disciples decided to addresses the situation head on. However, they did not compromise on fulfilling the Great Commission, which Jesus had specifically commanded them to do. They called together the church body and said, “It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.”
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.