Notes in the Margin 9.3.11

Mom's suggestion of the title 'Notes in the Margin' was perfect, since I always find something to write along the margins, so that's what I'm going with for this series!

This week, Jason talked about the concept of the church being "one in heart and mind" as mentioned in Acts 4:32. This section of Acts describes how the people in the early church shared everything they had. Everything. No one among them needed anything because the church took care of its people. Unfortunately, I can't imagine sharing everything I have. I'm willing to share food, some of our money, open our house to weekend guests...but everything? Verse 36 mentions Joseph/Barnabas, who sold land that he owned and gave the money to the church. I assume it was all of the money from the sale so he was then without his land (which I assume means he was without his livelihood if he farmed) and without any money to save from the sale. That's sacrifice. 10% of our income, food, and occasional weekend guests doesn't seem like sacrifice in comparison to Joseph's sacrifice.

In Jeremiah 32:38-39, God says about the Israelites: "They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them."  Jeremiah doesn't mention singleness in the context of sharing possessions, but when I look at the two passages together, I gather that sharing all of my possessions with my church family will be for my own good and for the good of my children. Maybe that's a stretch, but maybe its not. I think all Christians know that being generous is a good thing. And generosity comes back to bless us, as do most hard lessons we have to learn.

I'd heard the story from Acts about the believers sharing their possessions. I know I need to be more generous, but I'd never actually changed my habits after hearing the story. But now combined with the promise from God in Jeremiah, I feel more willing to change my habits because that promise is right there: this is for your own good, Ashley! While this lesson can be learned in the context of generosity, its absolutely applies to all areas of our life. If the church comes together to be "one in heart and mind", that unity will bless us and our children. I'm alright with that. :)

1 comment:

  1. This passage in Acts is one of my all time favorites and, in my opinion, a LITERAL picture of what church should be like. Whether "church" means a community, family, or entire congregation. Tim preaches on this quite a bit. I've never considered the verse in Jeremiah along with it-very interesting! I didn't get to church today since Isaac was sick, so this was my church:)Thanks!