Sunday - A Holy Jesus Community
Series: The Mvmnt
Message: A Holy Jesus Community
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Alex Bryan
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 4:32–5:16 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Focus on Acts 4:32: “All 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.”
Parents teach children from an early age to share. Siblings are taught that while toys may have private ownership (“That baseball bat is your toy, William,” or “That unicycle belongs to you, Audrey”) there is also an expectation to offer up each toy for others to enjoy. These instructions given to little humans are meant to carry over into the way we live with one another as adults. We frown on people who will not loan a shovel to a next door neighbor, who will not offer a room to a (known) traveller or a car ride to someone who has endured a flat tire.
But here in Acts 4 it seems the Spirit of Jesus is pushing the church far beyond norms of politeness or minimal expectations for “good” human behavior. Materials possessions are no longer understood as privately owned, but rather fully shared in common. And the scope is striking: everything. All that I have is now all that we have. All that you have is now all that we have.
What does this mean for those of us who live in a society organized around private property? I heard Pastor Rick Warren once express something along these lines: “Communism says ‘what’s yours is mine’ and capitalism says ‘what’s mine is mine’ while Christianity says ‘what’s mine is yours.’” I like that. In other words, the spirit of holding everything in common, of truly sharing the materials and resources that God has provided, comes from the heart. It is not forced; it comes from the free will. And, most notably, the impetus for this attitude is a recognition that all belongs to God and we are merely stewards. And so I see my house, my car, my clothes, my bank account, everything I have, as His. And this makes all the difference.
Recalibrate: When we begin to act as though everything we have belongs to God, how does it change our outlook toward the things we “own”?
Respond: Ask God to begin molding your heart to view your possessions as gifts from Him that you can use to help others.
Research: People these days are crazed with all types of technologically-driven sharing: sharing videos, photos, notes, clever articles, political views, dog walks, vacation rooms, rides to work, Ubers, and even their actual cars—but this “new” type of sharing seems to only perpetuate our selfish “me first” culture. Itemize your life and take a deep look into how you can use the gifts that God has bestowed on you to help others on a daily basis.
Every new day is a place to share the good things around us. Can you see some good things, flowers, puppies, babies? Sharing is how we show what is on and in our hearts. What are you sharing today?
Sharing is tough. It’s not easy to give something you love to someone else. This is what God did for us. He gave us Jesus. The question is what are we going to do with Jesus. Are we keeping Him to ourselves or are we sharing Him? Think today about what things you like to share and are there things you do not like to share. What makes the difference?
When you look around your neighborhood, school, or church, what kind of needs do people have? At the end of Acts 4, we see that everyone has enough food and clothing, everyone is taken care of. Find a way to take care of someone’s needs today. Share your lunch, donate some clothes, do something you don’t have to do to help someone else.