Acts 4:32-35 - Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
When I read this description of the earliest Christians, I'm sorry to say that I'm amazed. Specifically, it's the phrases "no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own," and also "There was not a needy person among them." Christians today are generous, but this is an amazing level of love.
What made it possible? Or maybe I should be asking, "Why do we have trouble with this today?" I think it has to do with fear. Money is a safeguard against fear, or so we think. In the back of our minds we know that if we have money, we probably don't have to worry about going hungry or being homeless or doing without electricity or heat. And even if we get sick, money will help us get treatment. And so we hang on to our money and assets, because we are afraid.
The first Christians must have had the same kind of troubles. So why could they let go of their money so freely, even joyfully? I think it's because of verse 33: "with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." Day and night, they were surrounded by people who had seen Jesus risen from the dead. And those people kept talking about it! Jesus' resurrection was the basis for their whole lives—not just something they heard about briefly on Sunday. They took Jesus' resurrection into account in every part of their lives, including their finances.
Think about that fact—Jesus has risen, really risen, from the dead. God used His power to do this, and God will do it for us, too. If that is true—really, really true—then suddenly we don't have to be afraid, do we? The same God who raised Jesus from the dead can also supply all our needs, whether it's for food, housing, medical care, or anything else. We can turn to Him with every need, not just the invisible ones (like forgiveness of sins). We can drop our other safeguards, including money. And that sets us free to use money for better purposes—like loving the people around us.
THE PRAYER: Lord, help me to live my daily life trusting in Your power and love, instead of money. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. How do you deal with the temptation to trust in money?
2. When has God used you to meet another person's needs?
3. Tell a story about a time when God provided for your needs.
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