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To Be Continued #17: When Success Starts A Problem That Stalls The Growth



Things were going well, and the number of disciples was growing. But a problem arose. The Greek-speaking believers became frustrated with the Hebrew-speaking believers. The Greeks complained that the Greek-speaking widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. The twelve convened the entire community of disciples. We could solve this problem ourselves, but that wouldn’t be right. We need to focus on proclaiming God’s message, not on distributing food. So, friends, find seven respected men from the community of faith. These men should be full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom. Whomever you select we will commission to resolve this matter so we can maintain our focus on praying and serving—not meals—but the message. The whole community—Greek-speaking and Hebrew-speaking—was very pleased with this plan, so they chose seven men: Stephen (a man full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a Greek-speaking convert from Antioch). These men were presented to the apostles, who then prayed for them and commissioned them by laying their hands on them. The message of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples continued to increase significantly there in Jerusalem. Even priests in large numbers became obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:1-7 (VOICE)


TO SUSTAIN SUCCESS WHEN FACING PROBLEMS, WE MUST…


1. Acquire the information quickly.


… But a problem arose. The Greek-speaking believers became frustrated with the Hebrew-speaking believers. The Greeks complained that the Greek-speaking widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

Acts 6:1 (VOICE)


NOTE: How you find out is not as important as that you find out.


Be angry, but don’t sin, don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary.

Ephesians 4:26, 27 (CJB)


What is the problem?


Who does the problem involve?


Where there is no word from God, people are uncontrolled. But those who obey what they have been taught are happy.

Proverbs 29:18 (ICB)


2. Acknowledge the problem openly.


The twelve convened the entire community of disciples. We could solve this problem ourselves…

Acts 6:2a (VOICE)


A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.

Proverbs 28:13 (TLB)


3. Assert the purpose relentlessly.


…but that wouldn’t be right. We need to focus on proclaiming God’s message, not on distributing food.

Acts 6:2b (VOICE)


● The solution must always support the purpose.


So instead of going, I sent messengers back to them.  “I am in the middle of a great work and cannot be interrupted. I am not coming down to meet with you. What is so important that I should suspend this great work we are doing to travel to see you?”

Nehemiah 6:3 (VOICE)


No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead...

Philippians 3:13 (TLB)


4. Address the problem wisely.


 So, find seven respected men from the community of faith. These men should be full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom. …we can maintain our focus on praying and serving—not meals—but the message.

Acts 6:3 (VOICE)


…so they chose seven men: Stephen (a man full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a Greek-speaking convert from Antioch). These men were presented to the apostles, who then prayed for them and commissioned them by laying their hands on them.

Acts 6:5b (VOICE)


5. Applaud the solution collectively.


The whole community—Greek-speaking and Hebrew-speaking—was very pleased with this plan…

Acts 6:5a (VOICE)


Oh, how wonderful, how pleasing it is when God’s people all come together as one!

Psalm 133:1 (ERV)


6. Anticipate God blessing abundantly.

 

The message of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples continued to increase significantly there in Jerusalem. Even priests in large numbers became obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:7 (VOICE)


The whole group of believers was united in their thinking and in what they wanted. None of them said that the things they had were their own. Instead, they shared everything. … And God blessed all the believers very much.

Acts 4:32, 33 (ERV)

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