MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number,
a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews
because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
Acts 6:1 (ESV)
GOSPEL UNITY: THE ROADBLOCK
When a certain Dallas church decided to split, each faction filed a lawsuit to claim the church property. A judge finally referred the matter to the higher authorities in the particular denomination. A church court assembled to hear both sides of the case and awarded the church property to one of the two factions. The losers withdrew and formed another church in the area. During the hearing, the church courts learned that the conflict had all begun at a church dinner when a certain elder received a smaller slice of ham than a child seated next to him. Sadly, this was reported in the newspapers for everyone to read. Just imagine how the people of Dallas laughed about that situation! This brought great discredit not only to the church but to Jesus Christ! (Kent Hughes)
Where there is church growth there tend to be problems. In Acts 6 the church was growing and the Greek Christians were having a difficult time getting along with the Jewish Christians. They felt like the Greek widows were being neglected in having their physical needs met. This led to complaining or murmuring in the church. “Complaint” is an onomatopoeic word (words that “sound” out their meaning) in the Greek, which means to speak privately in a low tone, usually expressing dissatisfaction or discontent. It’s grumbling, murmuring, or complaining. A.T Robertson says this describes “secret grumblings that buzz away till they are heard.” Complaining is always a roadblock to the unity of the church.
Did you know that the Bible ranks murmuring in the same category as idolatry, fornication and tempting God? Read Paul’s words in 1 Cor 10:7-10. Note what God did to murmurers in the Old Testament! Have you grumbled, murmured or complained this past week? About your church? About your spouse, etc? If so, confess and repent.
Thank God for the gift of unity. Ask God to protect the unity of our church as we grow and reach others with the gospel.