The Apostles were presented with a dilemma. There was a need in the church that was important. It could have consumed much of the Apostle's time and attention. Our Scripture reading shows that they delegated other qualified people to handle this need and other needs like it. Meanwhile, they maintained that the highest priority is to be given to prayer and the ministry of the Word. It is not that they alone were going to pray, preach and teach. As leaders and church planters, they were going to develop the focus of the church, and all other churches, on intimacy with God, power with God, and glory for God. Please carefully consider Ephesians 3:14-21 (cp. Ephesians 6:10-20; Colossians 2:6-10).
If the Apostles had not dealt with practical problems, it would have weakened and distracted the church and her testimony. If the Apostles had stopped what they were doing to handle it themselves, the church would have also been weakened and distracted. How important are all the support ministries of the church! It is like keeping the train from being derailed. How important is prayer and the ministry of the Word! It is like the power that keeps the train moving and the cargo / passengers that makes the whole trip worth it! It is not our main purpose to survive - to go for a ride. It is our purpose to advance the kingdom of Christ!
Here are some things that we've learned about Jesus Christ that should be in the forefront of our minds as we pray and minister the Word in His name:
- He is ever-present with us because He gave us His Spirit.
See Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:18-20; Romans 8:8-10.
- He is ever-present as our faithful high priest to receive our petitions and to minister grace - to help us personally and also as a church.
See Hebrews 2:16-18; 3:1; 4:14-16; 10:19-23.
- He is ever-present as the Living Word of God. His presence is able to powerfully speak to us every time the Word of God is read, heard, remembered, or taught.
He can even override a false teacher (Philippians 1:15-18 cp. Isaiah 55:10-11). See John 1:1-5,14,16-17; 5:21-27; 6:63; Ephesians 4:20-21 (KJV, NKJV, NASB, WYC - and many other translations); Colossians 3:16; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 2:8-9; Hebrews 4:12-13; I Peter 1:18-25; Revelation 19:11-13.