Acts 2:42-47 - And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The family I married into has many Vietnamese pastors in it. In Vietnam and in America as well, the pastor's home is—well, sort of a community help center. It's where people go who have nowhere else to live. It's where the hungry can find food and the sad or confused find counseling. If you're being abused by a family member, that's where you run to. If they can't help you themselves, they'll find someone who can.
When I was twenty, I was basically in terrified awe of my brother-in-law's home in Southern California and all the people they were caring for. I could never, ever do that, I felt. It made me want to run. I think a lot of people feel that way about the earliest church in this passage we've just read. Look at them—selling their property, sharing the money, eating together, making major life changes—yikes!
And with the fear comes the guilt. Shouldn't I be doing that? a little voice bugs me. But guilt misses the point.
What motivates people to do this stuff is not guilt, but love—well, and joy, and maybe some pleasure in adventure, too. Plain duty doesn't get you very far. It was love that motivated Jesus to give Himself for us on the cross and make us His own forever. God the Father didn't have to push Him. So if you're looking to expand your own service horizons, maybe the place to start is with love—not duty. Start with love—with the compassion, concern, and care that God has already placed in your heart.
Then ask the Lord to send you something to do that is well within your capabilities—a good first step, a tiny adventure, especially if you are a beginner. That might mean taking dinner to a sick neighbor, or picking up the phone to call a lonely friend. It might mean offering a ride to the doctor to someone you know and care about who has advanced cancer. Start with what you've got. I think you'll enjoy your tiny adventure!
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, please show me a way to pass on Your love, and make it one that fits my capabilities right now. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What is the greatest act of love and kindness you have ever heard of? (No fair saying "Jesus.")
2. What is the tiniest act of love and kindness you can imagine?
3. What is one thing, however, tiny, you could do today to express your love for God and His people?
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