The early church displayed an amazing view of sharing everything – and no, I’m not talking about cell phone data (sorry for the cheesy hook).
In Acts 4, we read this:
32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Stop for a moment and picture a community in which no one is needy.
Seems impossible right?
What would it take to get there? To me, there’s a clear order in this passage of what happened that brought this result about:
- The early church did not view their possessions as their own (v. 32). If we want to become more like the early church, the first thing we need to do is ask God to help us adopt the mentality that what we own is actually His, not ours.
- They were one in heart and mind. They were a lot less individualistic than our modern western society. We need to pray to become more interested in others than in ourselves (see Philippians 2:3-4).
- They shared everything they had. Because they were one in heart and mind, and because they didn’t see their possessions as their own, they shared all they had! We won’t share if we remain individualistic and see our possessions as ours.
- There were no needy persons among them. This was only arrived at because of the first three things.
So what are our takeaways from this? Here’s three tangible things I think we can do today to respond to this scripture and idea:
- Pray for God to help you see that you are a steward, not an owner of your possessions. Job said, “Naked I came…and naked I will depart” (Job 1:21). We can’t take anything from this earth with us in the next life.
- Pray for God to help us think less about ourselves, and more about others. We are selfish people by default. But, when we become saved, we become apart of a larger body that is supposed to feel the pain of the other parts. We can only help the other parts if we are aware they are in need – we need to pray for our eyes to be opened to others.
- What’s one thing you can give away or let someone borrow? The final bottom line is we need to take an action. Is there an item someone can have or borrow from you who is in need? Is there time you can give to serve someone? Ask God to show you and then do it.
Take a minute to prayerfully respond now.