Acts 4:23-37; Deuteronomy 21-22; Job 14
After Peter and John were warned not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus and released they came back to the followers of Jesus and all prayed for boldness in proclaiming the word of God. God answered their prayer. “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:33-35) Two things happened with that power. First, the gospel was proclaimed with great boldness. Second, physical needs were met. When people began to follow Jesus back in those days they were often shunned by family or could lose their jobs. God provided for those people through the generosity of His people. While we in America don’t see that kind of persecution today, we do live in a land where poverty abides with plenty. As Christians it is our responsibility to care for those among us who are in financial poverty. Because we have been so greatly blessed with material things, it really is no sacrifice to care for others, especially our fellow Christians, in financial need. We may find out that those in financial poverty are spiritually wealthy and discover a greater blessing than material goods as we share. Let us not say that we are rich when our wealth is only material and we are, in fact, poor spiritually. The call of God in regards to material wealth on the follower of Christ is to be generous and give with open hands and hearts. I need to grow a lot closer to God to meet that call.
Oh Lord, how easily I think of all the material things I have as “mine.” You have given me great wealth in comparison to the rest of the world. Give me the right attitude about that wealth so that I can use it to empower Your Kingdom and not live in great luxury while my brothers and sisters are in need.