READ: Acts 4:32-37
- What preceded the acts of generosity were the attitudes that made it possible. Because the believers shared a common heart, they could share in common their goods. Oneness led to a deep generosity. It also led to a deep trust. Because they were one in heart and purpose, they believed in their leaders. They gave up houses and lands (and who knows what else) and gave it willingly to the apostles to distribute. They trusted the leaders to what was right.
- The value of land and houses is all relative to time and cultural milieu. But what doesn’t change is the action involved. To sell a house or land meant to give up something that couldn’t be retrieved. It wasn’t like giving up a paycheck that would be re-earned the next week. Land sold was simply gone and the proceeds given away. Depth of generosity is hard to measure. The impetus to give, not hard to figure out—unity of purpose and heart.
- These acts of generous trust happen all the time around here, too. People convert their time (sometimes their goods) into money that goes into the offering. That money leaves their control and is used to minister to both the Christian community and the broader community around us. It’s done in trust of the leadership to use it wisely. It’s done in the confidence that we share a unified heart and purpose. A congregation’s generosity is a clear sign of its compassion and its trust.
- Describe why you feel comfortable putting money into the church offering.
- When have you made a decision not to be generous with someone based on your lack of trust?
- Why do you suppose generosity (having things in common) is such a powerful testimony?
PRAY: Thank God for the times you have given the resources you had. Pray that you are willing to give. Thank God our leaders can be trusted with what we give.