READ: Acts 4:32-37
- Some have seen this text as an early form of communism, but it clearly isn’t. It’s the Biblical example of koinonia. Communism (at its simplest) tries to level the playing field. Koinonia recognizes that in a community of people, there are those who have and those who don’t, and those who have help, and those who don’t. This Acts text says it this way, “they had everything in common.” But that didn’t eliminate the fact that “the things that belonged to him” existed.
- The key was generosity, selflessness. Those who had, didn’t think that what they had “belonged to them.” In other words, they held on to things lightly. When they looked around and saw their fellow believers in need, they sold what they had, including land, in order to help. They lived out what John would later write about in his epistle. “If any has this world’s goods…”
- Communism is a forced giving up of ownership. Koinonia is a voluntary giving up of possession. The early believers impacted the world around them by caring for their community at deep and meaningful levels. It was so different from the rest of the world that it arrested attention. It caused the world to notice. But mostly, it met needs. We should never overlook something so simple as, the hungry were fed, the homeless were housed, the naked were clothed. Sometimes there’s nothing profound in the interpretation, just something powerful in the implementation.
- When did you meet someone’s needs simply because you had it in your power to do so?
- Why is it hard to let go of our possessions and give to the needy?
- Read and ponder 1 John 3:16-18.
PRAY: Pray that we become more and more generous. Ask God to help you see needs and recognize your resources. Pray the world sees us meeting the needs of others.