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Saturday, April 12, 1997

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Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33
John 6:16-21

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"The word of God continued to spread." —Acts 6:7

Peter and John were arrested, jailed, threatened, and told to shut up about God's word (Acts 4:3ff). They refused to stop (Acts 4:19-20). The apostles were then arrested, jailed, threatened, told again to shut up about God's word, and whipped (Acts 5:17ff). However, "day after day, both in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus the Messiah" (Acts 5:42).

No outside pressure stopped the early Church from proclaiming God's word. So the devil tried an inside job. Through an administrative oversight and/or a demonic strategy, the widows of the Greek-speaking Christians were "neglected in the daily distribution of food" (Acts 6:1). The apostles were tempted to neglect the word of God and to make sure the widows of the Greek-speaking Christians would no longer be neglected. They probably were tempted to think this would only be temporary, but a temporary neglect of our God-given callings often goes on indefinitely. However, the apostles did not fall into the trap. They continued to concentrate on the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4), while appointing deacons to better administer the food.

Are you neglecting your God-given responsibilities because of sin, selfishness, or fear? Are you neglecting them because of misguided attempts to help or rescue others? Is a temporary neglect becoming permanent? Concentrate on your calling.

Prayer:  Risen Jesus, send the Holy Spirit to keep me undistracted and focused.

Promise:  "He told them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.' They wanted to take Him into the boat, but suddenly it came aground on the shore they had been approaching." —Jn 6:20-21

Praise:  Jim, a security guard at a bank, was ordered by his boss to stop bringing his Bible to work. Jim respectfully refused and continued to read his Bible on his lunch break. A few months later, Jim's boss was fired.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996