Spread It Like Peanut Butter

Acts 6:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists,[a] because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

When the number of the disciples was multiplied to many thousands in Jerusalem, there arose a murmuring.

At one time, they were all with one accord. This had been often taken notice of to their honor; but now that they were multiplied, they began to murmur; as is the history of the world, when men began to multiply, they corrupted themselves.

When Abraham and Lot increased their families, there was a strife between their herdsmen; so it was here: There arose a murmuring, not an open falling out, but a complaint nonetheless.

The complainants were the Grecians, or Hellenists, against the Hebrews —the Jews that were scattered in Greece, and other parts, who ordinarily spoke the Greek tongue, and read the Old Testament in the Greek version, and not the original Hebrew, many of whom being at Jerusalem at the feast embraced the faith of Christ, and were added to the church, and so continued there. These complained against the Hebrews, the native Jews, that used the original Hebrew of the Old Testament. Some of each of these became Christians, and, it seems, their joint-embracing of the faith of Christ did not prevail, as it ought to have done, to extinguish the little jealousies they had one of another before their conversion, but they retained somewhat of that old leaven; not understanding, or not remembering, that in Christ Jesus there is neither Greek nor Jew, but all are alike welcome to Christ, and should be, for his sake, dear to one another.

Murmuring and complaining is a grave sin before the Lord

Numbers 14:26-39

1 Cor 10:1-11

Sadly, many Christians are murmurers and complainers. In the home, on the job and in the local church they grumble, murmur and complain. They can see nothing good. To them, everything is bad—their life is miserable and they want to make it that way for everyone else.

To murmur means to grumble or whine. It is to express one’s discontent about someone or something in a subdued manner

It is not wrong to express a complaint- “the sanctuary is too cold”, but there should be no murmuring- “why does it have to be so cold? aren’t you cold? I don’t like this! We will all get sick”.

In relation to the local church, if you have just A complaint about services, the temperature of the building, the singing, the song leader, the elders, the preacher, Bible classes, etc., a complaint can be in order. But if it is not corrected as you would have it, do not murmur. Such murmuring is sin.

There are several examples of the sin of murmuring in the New Testament, like the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, Matt. 20:1-16. (scripture reference not needed)

They murmured because they had worked all day while others who had worked for a much shorter period received the same wages. They had received their just due but they still murmured.

The scribes and Pharisees murmured against the disciples of Jesus because they ate and drank with publicans and sinners but they were really striking out at Jesus, Luke 5:29-32. (scripture reference not needed) They did not care that the publicans and sinners needed Jesus. They were only concerned with their personal agenda.

The Jews murmured about Jesus because He said He was the bread of life. Instead of investigating His claim in an effort to know the truth, they murmured.

If we were to summarize the general tone of these examples it would be fair to conclude that when the behavior of Jesus was not according to what they thought it should be, they murmured.

Make no mistake, murmuring is sin.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” Phil. 2:14-15 NKJV

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” 1 Pet. 4:9 NKJV

Sadly, murmuring is one of the most prevalent sins among some brethren. Those who would never think of committing adultery or murder are guilty of this sin. Some who have the highest morals, adhere most closely to doctrine and are most liberal in their giving negate all the good things they do by whining.

Discontent causes murmuring. Christians are taught to be content with necessities (1 Tim. 6:7-8); what they have (Heb. 13:5); their lot (Phil. 4:11); and God’s way (Luke 5:5).

Selfishnessis the second cause of murmuring (Phil. 2:4; Rom. 15:2). Selfish people want their way and do not like it one bit if they do not get it, therefore, they murmur.

Being discontent and selfish, one murmurs and whines and thus sins bringing condemnation to himself.

You need to hear this- God is not pleased when you murmur and complain against the pastor.

Numbers 12:1-11

  1. Murmuring causes division.

You can easily sway another person from your own malcontent.

Division among God’s people is what the murmurer is trying to do—get people to become sympathetic to his point of view and antagonistic toward the other point of view.

Proverbs tells us that one of the seven things God hates is “one who sows discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:19).

For some reason- like attracts like. Someone who is angry with the pastor or church for something can easily find another who is angry for the same reason. In this case particularly, The complaint of these Grecians was that their widows were neglected in the daily administration, that is in the distribution of the public charity, and the Hebrew widows had more care taken of them.

Observe, The first contention in the Christian church was about a money-matter

Well, I do not think much has changed. Money splits churches faster than just about anything.

Where is my money going? Why is not going here? Why are you doing that? I will only give if you do this or that. I don’t believe in tithing- do you?? It is easy enough to find a person who does not want to give 10% of their income to the church. Duh

The early church brought all the money and put it at the apostles feet for them to do with it what they thought best and they gave it where they thought the need was the greatest.

We have the same thing here at this church. God tells us

Malachi 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

You bring your tithe and the church will decide where it goes. Once it leaves your hands, it is no longer yours to worry about. If this church does not use its finances in a way that is pleasing to God, we will answer for it- not you.

Pastor K giving to Jimmy Swaggert ministries

This is such an easy concept to me. From the time I was saved, I was taught to tithe (give 10%) to the church. This was my first fruits to God. In 23 years, I have never NOT tithed.

$20 is not a tithe unless you just  made $200.

I know people that left a church because they were one of the top givers of the church and therefore thought they should get “special” treatment.

I know churches that split because of the color of the carpet, spend too much on flooring, etc.

Typically, the people who complain the most about money are not even a tither.

  1. The pastor’s job is to give himself to prayer and the ministry of the Word- not take care of all your problems

You guys are blessed to have a pastor that helps you with your problems, counsels marriages, calls and texts on a regular basis, multiplies and disciples people- but that is not his main concern-

The pastor is give himself to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

The apostles believed this to be the highest calling

I live with the pastor. I know how much he spends on prayer and the Word a week- and I can tell you when he’s bombarded with people’s problems, the Word suffers.

Most weeks, he will spend 40 hours just praying and meditating over his next sermon.

WE have a host of pastors and deacons that are available to help you with your complaints.

  1. The wise man of God will find a way through.

It is easy to start something, but it is difficult to see it through to the end.

I tell people that the first mile in running is the hardest- once you get past that mile, it gets easier.

Think about a garden- you can start a garden, start a seed, but taking care of that until it -produces fruit is difficult.

Jesus explained the parable of the sower and the seed:

Matthew 13:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

The first NB class I taught started out with 15 people- we ended with 25%.

People quit when opposition arises.

These apostles of Christ, men of God came up against a big problem and if not dealt with properly, could destroy the church.

They used wisdom. They knew the scriptures. They knew how Moses handled this same type of problem

Exodus 18:13-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14 So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone [a]sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”

15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a [b]difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you [c]counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place suchover them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”

Like Moses, they appointed men full of the HS to take care of these issues arising. They didn’t try to reinvent the wheel- it worked for  Moses, it would work for the NT church

Proverbs 4:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

The wise man will not allow anything or anyone to hinder their walk with God!

  1. THEN, the Word of God spread as easily as peanut butter!

When we do things the Bible way- we will get the Bible results.

Where there is no murmuring and there is no division- the Word of God will spread.

Repent of any murmuring

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