March 15th


“And in those days, when the number of disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring…”  (Acts 6:1)
                        Whenever the work of God increase there is bound to be murmuring. There are murmurers in every congregation. In the early church the Greeks were tempted to feel that partiality was being shown towards the Jews while their own needs were being neglected. This was a delicate question and a difficult barrier. How did the apostles overcome it? We find the answer in verse 2. The apostles called the congregation together and said to them, “It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.” Then after fasting and prayers deacons were chosen and set apart. Many of us are tempted in the same way, and the devil often succeeds in making us forsake our first job for the second. Men who have been commanded of God to preach the Gospel and who have been anointed by the Holy Ghost for this purpose are now serving tables. They say, “Somebody has to do this also! If we don’t do it, who else will?” The real issue is this, “Did God call you to serve tables or did He call you to preach the Word?” You have to find this out for yourself. If God has called you to minister His Word then do not be carried away by what seems to be “important duties”.
                        When I returned to India after my education abroad, I also faced a similar problem. My father had been involved in a court case in Punjab and had suffered a loss of more than a lakh of rupees. He told me that the family was counting on me to help them, as I was the eldest son; and that I should find a job for at least six mouths. He appealed to me for the sake of my young brothers. I told my father I knew definitely that God had called me to preach the Gospel. After two years of struggle I had at last yielded my life and time and energy to God, for His service and now if I disobeyed God my father would suffer more loss. I said to my father, “I cannot give you any help; I cannot protect you from dangers. But God can. Your safety lies in my obedience.  If I obey my Lord I know that eventually you and the whole family will be blessed. I believe in God”. At this, my mother began to weep. My father also wept. He took off his turban and laying it at my feet he asked me, “Not even for a few months?” Again I said firmly, “No, God must come first. One day all your troubles will be over through my obedience.” Later, whenever I visited Punjab, my relatives expressed their gratitude to me for my obedience to God because though it they had been so abundantly blessed. Everyone in my family has been richly blessed much more than you can imagine. They say, “It is all because of your prayer we are what we are”. As a result I had an open door to preach the Gospel in all their homes. They will even sit up till midnight waiting for me to visit them and give them God’s message. I still remember what a great temptation it was for me in the beginning to yield to their plea and disobey God’s call. What a loss it would have been!
                        The same temptation faces many others also. I know many servants of God who, under similar pressure, have forsaken their calling and are spending their days doing ‘good things’ but not fulfilling the calling which God had for them. It is only through faith and waiting upon God in prayer, that we can overcome all barriers.