May 15, 2023 · Bob Gass
“Their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.” Acts 6:1 NIV
Since the government didn’t care for widows and orphans back in New Testament times, the church took on that responsibility. Unfortunately, bias raised its ugly head and Jewish widows and orphans were given preferential treatment over Gentile widows and orphans. How did the church leaders respond? They could easily have dismissed it, like we so often do. They could have said, “We’re called to feed souls, not stomachs. We deal in matters of sin and salvation, not sandals and soup.” Instead, here is what they did. First, they called a meeting to resolve the problem (see Acts 6:2). They let every member know that their church took poverty seriously and they were each personally responsible before God to do something about it. The scripture doesn’t endorse forced communism, but it clearly teaches Spirit-led volunteerism. Second, they assigned the problem to their brightest and best. They selected seven men – well respected, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom – and gave them this responsibility (see Acts 6:3 NLT). Instead of grooming our children for “important” fields like medicine, law, politics, or government, let’s teach them that caring for the needy is one of God’s highest callings. Why do a billion people go to bed hungry each night? Or thirty thousand-plus children die every single day (one every three seconds) from malnutrition and preventable diseases when we can do something about it? No one can do everything, but God has called each of us to do something! “Pure and genuine religion…means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let world [systems] corrupt you [into believing that it’s not your responsibility]” (James 1:27 NLT).
Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 13-15