7 men. Chosen to minister to the least of these. The need was so great, too much, for those called to share the gospel. They needed help. So 7 men were chosen to do the work, to meet the need.
"Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom." Acts 6:3
I'm sure they wanted to help, I'm sure they saw the need and were confident, I can do this.
I've been there. I've always wanted to serve God, help in anyway I could.
Combine a new Christian with a people pleaser like me, you soon become the person who is doing a whole lot to "help". Greeting ministry, help hold a child so a momma can go to church or take food to someone just out of the hospital. It's doesn't seem like much, but it something....I just wanted to serve God.
Notice in verse 3 they were full of the Spirit.
This was my downfall, I was so busy serving, so busy doing that I was no where near being full in the Spirit.
When we are filled with the Spirit we have energy, we are satisfied, we are overflowing with abundance. It's from this "overflowing" our ministry comes.
So how are we to have an abundant life?
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)
The simple answer is God gives us that abundant life through His grace. The truth is we can't know that abundant life if we aren't following God every single day. If you are too busy doing, then you'll be too busy to follow.
The best, simplest way to follow God is to be in His word every single day. It is through His word we gain wisdom, it is through His word we gain our identity.
I've learned more about myself these past few years reading God's word. Why I the way I am, what my purpose in life is and why I need God's grace every single day.
Reading God's word, praying, journaling and being with God's family are all ways I am filled up. Without this, I am but an empty vessel.
But if we know Him we have fullness of life. We are a filled vessel, overflowing with abundance.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps 16:11 ESV
This full life won't be free of troubles, my service to God will not look perfect. In fact, it will probably look pretty imperfect to me. But in Him, my service will bring me joy, not overwhelm me, not break me nor will it be a burden. I will serve with joy, overflowing from Him.
There are huge needs out there. People need God. People need hope. God gives that hope. If we are a followers of Christ we are called to share that hope.
How do you "fill" up in order to serve others? What ways do you share the hope of Christ?