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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, April 9, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Acts 4:32–35   

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (NRSV)

Reflection
As I read this passage from Acts, I find it terribly hard to comprehend what it would be like to be a part of this group of early believers. I try to envision this community of people, so willing to give up their possessions in order to help the group as a whole. Let’s say I had been a part of that group: would I be willing to give up my personal possessions to help others in my community? Honestly, I have to say no. I like my things. I’ve worked hard for my possessions, and I’m very attached to many of them. I own things that I believe I could never ever part with. I’m guessing that many of us feel that same way. Of course, our present-day faith community is very different than that of the early church, as is our society. But it’s still interesting to think about what it would have been like to be with that group of early believers.

As we reflect on this passage in Acts, I want us to think about the compassion and generosity of the early believers. They cared deeply for each and every person and helped out others in any way possible. They were committed to spreading the gospel, and their compassion and action toward others did just that—they were living the gospel.

In our church and community how can we be like the early believers? What are ways that we can sacrifice our time, talents, or finances for a larger cause other than our own personal gain? Many of us make these sacrifices already, but it’s always helpful to pause for a moment to think about what we do—and what we can do differently—to help spread God’s love to others.

Prayer
Loving God, I envy the compassion and generosity of the early believers. As I go through my day, help me to show the love of Christ to others through my words and actions. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator


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