And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
Often the situations that make us feel powerless are those where we feel like the world is against us. We are in debt, our child is sick, or we can’t seem to get out of the funk in which we’ve found ourselves. Whatever the case may be, one of the great blessings of the church is its community. God gave us each other for power, strength, and support. When the world stood against the church, the church turned to the power they found in following Christ in unity.
The early church in Jerusalem had the unity that comes from devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were family, and the goal that united them was to get the testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to all people. They were also obeying Christ’s command to love one another. This mutual love compelled them to give freely to those among them who had needs.
When Luke wrote, “not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own,” it didn’t mean that the church became a commune. It meant that if they became aware of a need, they did not greedily cling to their possessions but happily shared with those who were less fortunate. In essence, they didn’t have to rely on the systems of the world because they had one another. God has placed us with other people so that we can find power and comfort in those relationships when we need them the most. This is what the early church did, and it is what we will have to do as the systems of this world continue to turn against us.
- When have you found power and comfort from the company of other believers?
- How does community exalt Christ?
- Praise God for the people in your life that point you back to Him.