Acts 6:7 : « And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. »
Today and tomorrow we will be looking at just how we can grow spiritually by allowing the word of God to grow in us.
A crisis arose in the early church when the number of disciples grew beyond the capacity of the 12 apostles to manage all of the affairs of the young, growing church of Jesus Christ. A dispute arose amongst the members of the church. This often happens when the size of the church surpasses the competencies of those leading it.
God gave the apostles the idea of delegating certains tasks of the management of the church. And so after setting in 7 new leaders the church began to grow again. But what is interesting in this text is that the Bible doesn’t say that the church continued to grow, but that the word of God continued to grow!
The Greek word translated here as « to increase » means to enlarge, and to give the increase. The fruit of that increase was evident: lots of people got saved, and a large number of the Jewish priests came to the obedience of the faith. So what does it mean for us individually for the word of God to increase in our personal lives?
First of all it means that when we read and meditate on the Word of God we receive revelation from it. In other words the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Bible. This is so important for us as God’s children. And I pray today that God renews in you a passion for His word.
Secondly it means that the message in God’s word is changing your life more and more so that you become more like Jesus every day. The Bible is not a book of philosophy. God doesn’t want to change your beliefs, He wants to change every aspect of your life; and He does it through the power of His word.
And thirdly God’s word growing in you means that it spills out onto others more and more. In the beginning of our faith we don’t share much of what we know of God’s word. But as His word grows in us, sharing it with others becomes completely natural. Regardless of your personality, and whether you are outgoing or more reserved, when the word of God is abounding and increasing in your life, you will naturally look for more and more opportunities to share it with others.
So today I want to exhort you to ask God for a renewed passion for His word. Seek Him for a systematic way you can study His word this year. He might lead you to join the discipleship school of CFH (see the adjoining publicity). He might lead you to go through the Bible study books, La vie chrétienne (only in French). Whatever the Lord leads you to do, decide that this year you will do everything within your power to allow God’s word to increase in your life.