Listening to Abba: April 2016

Where is Your Time Best Spent? What Scripture Says . . .

So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word. Acts 6: 2-4 NIV


The early church was growing in leaps and bounds.  New believers were selling their properties, pooling their money, taking care of the poor, feeding the widows and more.  It was waaay too much for the twelve apostles to keep up with.  So they called a church meeting and said, “Look, we don’t need to be spending our time running a food program, we need to be focusing our energies on prayer and teaching of the word. Let’s choose some Godly men to take over this ministry to the widows.” 


Everyone liked the idea so they selected seven men, laid hands on them, and commissioned them to run the food ministry to the widows.  The apostles were then free to use their primary giftings of prayer and teaching the word.


Was the food program beneath the apostles?


Absolutely not.  I imagine a little old lady cupping the face of Peter and in a quivering voice say, “Thank you. thank you.. I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from.”  Then a playful Peter kisses her on the cheek and calls out, “Hey Matthais, give this woman an extra slice of babka!” *  

The apostles were overjoyed to let God’s love flow from them to the widows.  But as the food distribution grew larger and larger it began to eat away at their time; time that was better spent in prayer and teaching.  Better spent, not because it was more important, but because it was where their strengths and giftings lay.  They could best serve God’s purposes using their unique gifts. 

Was the ministry to the widows secondary?


Absolutely not.  Consider how carefully and prayerfully seven men were selected.  They had to be well respected, full of the Holy Spirit, and wise.  Sounds like a tall order just to serve food, right?  But it was more than serving up food, it was serving up God’s love to the poor and needy.   “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Gal. 5:14 NIV 

Both ministries were important; both required God’s Spirit, wisdom, and integrity.  The issue for the apostles is where they could best serve the church, and the conclusion was to serve in the area where they were most gifted.  That’s where they should spend their primary time and energies.  The whole church agreed on this and it freed the apostles to do what they did best.

As I reflected on this passage this morning, I asked God, “What are my giftings?  Where is my time best spent.?” To which He replied, “Relating, teaching, coaching, writing, praying, and leading.”  I wrote these words on my blackboard.  They will serve as a guide for how I order my days, how I make decisions, and how I spend my time.

What about you?  
  • What are your gifts?  
  • Where is your time best spent?  
  • How does your life live in concert with your unique giftings?  
  • What keeps you from operating in your gifts?


Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your response. Kinsey@listeningtoabba.com

Use this post as a devotional in your small group.  



*Babka is a a loaf-shaped coffee cake made with sweet yeast dough to which raisins, chocolate, or nuts may be added. Yum.  Okay, I confess I had to google “Jewish desserts” to come up with that.  Are you impressed?