A couple of weeks ago, I was reading my devotional and read the following passages:
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
If you are like me, you have read this passage many times before and it may even remind you of earlier in Acts…Acts 2: 42-47 to be exact:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Whenever I have read about the early days of the Christian church…I feel all warm inside. However, the day I read these scriptures again…I felt warm indeed but I asked myself some questions…questions that if answered honestly, I am not sure I want to face.
- If we as believers lived the way it is stated in Acts…how different would our world and existence be?
- ALL the believers were one in heart and mind…not a few or half but all were of one mind and heart. Can I even fathom what it would mean to have this type of oneness? I don’t believe it is a oneness that could be likened to being robotic…it would signify our oneness with the Lord…where our individual differences would not be looked upon as anything other than being made in the image of God…pointing each of us to Him…having one sole purpose of glorifying Christ. Do I have a difficult time being one in heart and mind with my husband? My children? My friends? Where does this disunity come from? We saw it in the garden and we see it today…it comes from sin.
- No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. I can look down the street and can take a mental appraisal and know who has more than me and who has so much less…what if we were all the same? What if I made it clear that my car or my pantry was available and open for anyone that had need? What if the same was done for me? How different our world would be if everyone shared their possessions?
- With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. How often to I testify about Jesus’ resurrection? Is it only on Easter? Do I realize that God will enable me to be bold with great power when it concerns His Son? Jesus’ resurrection gives us new life…a changed life…we are not the same…a life that should not make a lot of sense as the world defines life. A life that has been transformed from being an enemy to being a friend…chaos to order…disunity to unity.
- Much grace was upon them all. God extends His grace when we are doing His work and walking in His ways.
- There were no needy persons among them. Let those words penetrate your mind…there were no needy people…when there is unity, all of our needs are met…financially, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Poverty would not be a domestic issue! There are people in our lives that are needy…in need of resources, in need of love, in need of connection, in need of value, in need of a Savior…when we share what we possess…not just the material things…we allow Christ to fill all the deepest most tender needs of others.
Is it possible to live like the early believers?
What is causing me to inwardly shake my head “no”? Don’t I believe that with God all things are possible?
This “notion” of living in unity reminds of Psalm 133…it brings out a whole new potency to me:
“How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.”
When we as believers live in unity…there will be abundance…an overflow…an outpouring that will soak us and those around us with the blessings of the Lord…don’t you want some of that? I know that I do! It can happen…it just has to start with each one of us desiring to live in unity with each other…it might be the beginning of a movement…a movement that began when the Father in His graciousness embarked to reconcile us with Himself through His Son…God is about the business of reconciliation and restoration…so we should be about that business as well!
What we see in Acts 4 comes directly from Acts 2…this is how the believers lives were occupied:
- Receiving teaching
- Breaking of bread
It was the outgrowth of these spiritual disciplines in their lives that lead to:
- Being filled with awe
- Wonders and miracles
- Unity (being together and having everything in common)
- Selling their possessions and giving to those in need
- God’s favor
- Daily adding those who had been saved
As I allow my mind to absorb the radical life that the early believers demonstrated, I know that I need to be sure my life is absorbed by the basics first if I desire a life that moves in unity with others.
So…what do you think…is this type of life possible?
Why not invite a few fellow pilgrims over and talk about unity over some yummy breakfast? Okay, now you know where the random part of this post come from…here’s a recipe that I found at Daisy Cottage…my family loves it and it is so easy…hope you enjoy it too as you spend time fellow shipping with others!
1 cup sour cream*
1 cup cheese*
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon melted butter
Beat eggs well, add sour cream. Stir in cheese and add salt and pepper. Pour into a butter 9×9 pie plate. Drizzle melted butter over the top.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is firm. You can slice it like a quiche or by yummy spoonfuls.
*Feel free to decrease the amount of sour cream and/or cheese.
Desiring to walk in unity with you,