therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. but we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” [acts 6:3-4]
what were the qualifications for these new ‘deacons?’
a good reputation:
when many people are around to examine your life, what you talk about, how you act and who your life points to matters–if you are enslaved to a sinful lifestyle, others will see the evidence. you can only pretend for so long, you can only hide secret sin so long before it affects every aspect of your life. seek not to seem like you have a righteous lifestyle, but to live in vulnerability, transparency, confession and repentance–the person who is worthy to serve isn’t sinless, they are aware of their sin and weakness and regularly run to their savior, Jesus Christ!
full of the Spirit:
in the book of john chapter 3, nicodemus is told by Jesus that he must be born again–only believers that have been generated by and walk with the Holy Spirit can truly be obedient to what serving our neighbors demands. service demands selflessness, dying to ourselves. we must daily seek help from the Helper, the Holy Spirit to bear the burdens of others! whether is is preaching from the pulpit, taking out the trash or caring for children in the nursery, serving the body can be done joyfully and sacrificially when we are filled with the Holy Spirit!
full of wisdom:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. [proverbs 9:10]
we must fear the Lord–it is the only way that we will serve out of his own power and in his ways–our wisdom is not of man, but it comes from the very word of God.
let us be fit to serve the body–let us not forsake our calling to love our brothers and sisters well, let us continue to cultivate:
a reputation built by our insistence in pointing to Christ, confessing our own need and repenting of sin, and glorifying and enjoying God–
a life that is Spirit-filled, daily spent in the presence of God, loving the word of God, and in constant prayer, asking for guidance from the Creator of the universe–
a mind and heart filled with the words of wisdom found in the Bible, in gospel conversations with other believers, eschewing worldly wisdom for Godly wisdom–
make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
serve the Lord with gladness!
come into his presence with singing!
know that the Lord, he is God!
it is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
give thanks to him; bless his name!
for the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. [psalm 100]