Acting out of Grace

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:32-37)

 

Before moving on to a different text concerning the unity of the early church, I feel it necessary to emphasize something. If you turn back to Acts chapter 1 and read about the time before the beginning moments of the church, you discover that the indication of one mind and one accord being there from the very beginning.  However, it is important to not get the cart before the horse and assume that the being of one heart and soul was something the believers were striving for until at last they attained the ultimate goal of having all things in common.  The next verse doesn’t allow for that and in fact the whole of scripture does not allow for that.  The words “and great grace was upon them all” is the phrase that gives the real meaning to the believer’s actions

 

There was a chorus that became popular several decades ago entitled, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.”  Whatever you may think of that song, the idea behind the lyric was that when our focus is upon Christ, there is a natural phenomenon which occurs in the believer’s life.  That which occurs is a loosening from the temporal things of this earth.  We become more focused upon the things in life that really matter from a spiritual point of view.

 

The point of this text is simply this: When great grace is upon us, it will cause us to do sacrificial acts of service for the kingdom of God without it seeming as a sacrifice at all.  I think it is safe to say that as Christians, we have all at one time or another experienced something very similar to story in our text.  Not one has to persuade you to act or make you feel guilty if you don’t act.  You simply act in giving or going or doing or speaking to someone because great grace is upon you.  You act out of the grace given to you.  I call this grace, “the great equalizer.”  It’s why people answer the call of God into ministry.  It’s why people answer the call to foreign mission service.  It’s why people donate hours of their time helping others.  Therefore, we do not hold the act of these believers having all things in common as the ultimate goal in Christianity, but rather hold the grace of God in high esteem in our lives and act out of that.  When we do that, we find ourselves doing things with the right motives and when that happens, our whole surrounding world benefits.  Let’s act out of God’s grace today.

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