All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.Acts 2:42-47
I suggested a couple of weeks ago that we ponder what made this community share in the way they did. No other systems work like this. What made these people change and move in the opposite direction to the society around them? What was the secret? Many Pastors want to know. Maybe I am doing an injustice to many pastors if I suggested some are more interested in the results of the last verse of this section, where many were added daily to the church. Following Peter’s sermon, three thousand were added to the church. Many church planters long to know the secret to such phenomenal church growth. Many sociologists would love to know how to transform society into a loving, caring, sharing body such as this. Isn’t this what we are all looking for? A place where we feel loved, like in a family. Well, it actually seems to go beyond the care expressed by many families. Our church calls the cell groups “your second family”. We all want to find a loving, caring group of people who will be there for us and support us, even where our natural family doesn’t. Jesus tells us they will know you are Christians by your love, for the people of faith first, and then all others, including enemies. No wonder they had a massive influx of new believers.
Some of us may give to others from our surplus but these people appear to be willing to give from their financial essence. These people seem to have been willing to give beyond their surplus but even to the point of their goods and chattels and / or the money from the sale of their goods. Now that is a challenge to your generosity. When it comes to the matter of giving our funds, and even more so, our property and possessions, we have to trust God to a significantly higher level. Rich people sometimes say they can’t give because the money they have is set aside for a “rainy day”. It is held in an account in case of a need in the future. I am sorry I can’t give anything to you now. I might need what I have later. Do you realise the rich and the poor are in the same boat when it comes to this kind of giving? After giving, we need to depend on the LORD to provide for our needs in a way we didn’t before we gave.
What do you think the answer is? Have you come to any conclusions of your own? Rather than sharing your conclusions with me, a number of you have asked questions as to whether this is the reason or that is what’s behind it all.
- Sharing meals
- Being together and in and out of each others’ lives
- Building commUNITY
- Going to Church every day
- Sharing everything they had
- Not being focused on things but rather focused on people
- Is the secret to seeing this kind of thing happen these days, being in church everyday?
- Should we have communal meals every day?
- Should we have communion more than once a month?
I think it is much deeper than these suggestions made above. I will leave you at this point to give you time to dig or ponder deeper.
What is it that would make people act in the ways described above?
I don’t think it is hard to figure out. But I would suggest that probably it is based on something other than their reactions or their practice. We humans require something deeper than habits or actions to bring about such remarkable change in us.
Talk to me before I write the next Gem.
A grateful heart is easy to be open to God.Anon
You don’t have to go and try to find God; He lives within you.Ian Vail
The Word of God is different to other words because God’s Word is stuffed full of power and anointing.Joyce Meyer
He that is in you is greater than all else! Step up, trust Him and let Him take the wheel.Ian Vail
It’s only money! You can give it away when you know your Heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills.Ian Vail
Time to stop and take stock. Trust Him who has already proved Himself to you over and over. Time now to act and trust.Ian Vail
The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry.Lucy Effendy