When God’s People Share
33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
This verse stands out in the middle of a section which speaks about the sharing which was taking place in the new church which had been birthed in Jerusalem. Great grace was being showered upon each individual within the community as they shared their worldly goods and no one had any need. The faith community was living and growing and ministering together. The result was great power which flowed through the apostles as they gave their testimony. Daily they shared the good news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his ability to transform lives and the church grew rapidly. The lifestyle of the new believers was all consuming and as they shared and cared for one another power and grace resulted.
We wonder why we don’t see New Testament type results in the church today. There are so many aspects of the New Testament church which are hard to imagine putting into practice in today’s society. This includes sharing all of our goods together with the community of faith and making sure that none within our midst had any need. However, if the church were to behave in this way it would be transformational within society. The more that a community of faith can be engaged in tangible ways within the society as a whole, somehow great power and great grace begins to abound.
This is more than speaking out about political issues, this is becoming personally engaged on the ground level with the issues and needs within a community. Just as Jesus went about ministering; preaching, teaching and healing — so are we called to reach out to our world. As we pray about our engagement with those around us I believe that something synergistic will happen when we take action. We begin to see God’s hand at work in a transformational way and we, ourselves, become more empowered by the Holy Spirit. We personally experience great grace as God uses us as channels of his grace to others. This was the place in which those early apostles found themselves, sharing their material goods and empowered to share their faith. It is a challenge to us today.
Lord, may you lead us into an all-consuming lifestyle of following you. Amen.