One of the hardest responsibilities we have in life is arranging our priorities in the right order. Many people would like to accomplish a lot of goals but seem to get pulled in different directions. Choices have to be made concerning “priority importance” and a focus has to be established in achieving those priorities. Such was the case in Acts 6:1-7 where the Twelve Apostles established a priority for their ministries.
Due to the growing demand of taking care of the widows in the early church, these twelve men felt as though this obligation was pulling them away from their true calling (Mark 16:15). So many times people get caught up in responsibilities that draw them away from what God actually wants them to do. God has a purpose for our lives and we need to determine the “priority importance” of that purpose. Many times we get so busy doing necessary things that we forget what is necessary to do!
Acts 6:4 says, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” The Twelve Apostles knew that taking care of the widows was a needed ministry in providing finances, food, clothing and shelter. There was no question in their minds as to the importance of this task. Yet they had to decide which took precedence in their lives; ministering to the needs of the widows or fulfilling their calling from God. As individuals we have to decide what takes precedence in our lives as well.
A good balance was achieved by appointing men to take over the ministry to the widows (Acts 6:3). This appointment gave freedom to the Twelve Apostles allowing them to continually pray and minister the word. The change in priorities brought about tremendous results. Notice Acts 6:7 where it says, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of priests were obedient to the faith.”
Apparently the murmurring stopped (Acts 6:1), the needs of the widows were being met and the Apostles were fullfilling their calling. When priorities are put in the right order, a lot more gets accomplished and greater results are achieved. Perhaps we need to decide in our lives what tasks have “priority importance.” Perhaps we need to understand that by putting God first in our lives, the other responsibilities will be taken care of.
Giving ourselves continually to certain responsibilties may become very time consuming with little results. Sometimes we confuse what is important to us with what is important to God. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you and set your priorities in the right order. Allowing this to happen brings about less stress and greater results.