What They Owned
06 April 2015
Reading: Acts 4; Proverbs 16
32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had... 36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. (Acts 4:32,36-37 NLT)
What an amazing time for the believers in Jerusalem! When the pressure was on and they were threatened for their faith in Jesus, instead of praying for protection from persecution, they prayed for boldness to witness fearlessly! Instead of saving up for a quick getaway in case things got worse, they sold what they had and shared the proceeds with those in need. These people felt that what they owned was not their own. They believed that their security was in God, and that their home was in heaven.
This shift in values from the earthly to the heavenly—from selfish to sharing—was an important part of the transformation that took place in the life of a Christ-follower named Joseph of Cyprus. Joseph went from being a wealthy landowner, known for his kindness to others, to becoming Barnabas the Encourager; grace-lover, church-planter, second chance-giver, and apostle to the nations.
Unity of heart and mind and generosity with personal resources are still exciting things to see and experience! It’s transformational in the lives of those who live it. It’s a powerful example and testimony to those who see it. It’s Kingdom of God living at its best!
Take a moment to check your unity and generosity levels as you read this. If either of those needs a tune-up, decide now to act on your awareness. We don’t feel our way into new patterns of living, we live our way into new patterns of feeling!
Father, Thank you for the opportunities you’ve given Jean and me to experience unity and generous sharing of personal resources. Thank you for the on-going generosity of those who bless us now and have blessed us through the years. Thank you for the opportunities to share generously with others. Thank you for the part that unity and generosity have played in who we have become and how you have used us. Please keep the heart for generosity and sharing alive in me and my friends. Amen.