CHOOSING OF THE SEVEN
The number of disciples continued to increase as the apostles preached Jesus and performed healing in the community despite the persecution. Many Jews from Jerusalem, Jews from the different parts of the Roman empire, called the Hellenistic Jews, and Gentiles, who weren't Jews, were growing in numbers. The church during this time was very diverse, with more than 5,000 people, not including the children. While the church was growing, there was a complaint from the Hellenistic Jews that their widows were being neglected during the daily serving of food. The church had gotten so big that food distribution was not organized properly. So the apostles decided to choose seven men who would take care of the food distribution while the apostles continued to teach the Word of God.
These were the seven chosen men: Stephen, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas. They were all known to be full of the Spirit of God, meaning they were filled with the influence of the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the influence of the Holy Spirit is to surrender our lives to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one that convicts us when we sin and encourages us to repent. He is the one that encourages us in our hearts to do what is right before God and others. He is the one who reminds us to read our Bible and pray. The Holy Spirit is always active in our lives. When we are being prompted in our hearts to do something pleasing to God, such as praying, reading God's Word, doing something good, serving God and others, or not giving in to sin, the Holy Spirit is guiding us.
Let us be sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let us continue to listen and obey. The Holy Spirit will never lead us to sin or do something bad. Because the seven chosen men allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them, they were chosen in leadership in helping the church to organize the food distribution. If we want God to bless us, let us surrender our lives to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can guide us to make the right decision and lead us in the right direction. He also helps us grow in our relationship with God and gives us the power to do the will of God in our lives.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Am I willing to be filled with the influence of the Holy Spirit? What should I do to be filled with the influence of the Holy Spirit? What is the benefit of being filled with the influence of the Holy Spirit?
Father in Heaven, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and encourage me to live for you. Please help me to discern the Holy Spirit's voice in my heart and mind. Please help me to listen and obey so that I may know the right direction and make the right decision. May you give me the power to live for you so that I may overcome the temptations that come my way. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.