The Joy of Giving Back

April 8
Acts 4:32–37

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. . . . There was not a needy person among them.
Illustration by Gustave Doré

Illustration by Gustave Doré

The launch of the early church was an incredible time! When Jesus ascended to heaven after his death and resurrection, he sent his Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of his followers and spread the movement of the gospel. When we search through the Bible looking for examples of the unity within the church, the early church in the book of Acts stands out. The early church understood what it took to be on the same page. It doesn’t mean that they were perfect, but it does mean that they strived for unity through the Spirit of God. One way that the early church was unified was in their giving. The verses above represent a collection of believers coming together, equally and obediently sacrificing to the work of God and the needs of others. The text says that things were “distributed to each as any had need.” This is a difficult concept to grasp for us today because there seems to be so many needs around us.

What if Christians across the world were giving and sacrificing equally just like the early church?When we look at this text, we immediately notice in verse 33 that when the church gave, there was “great power and grace” among them. Grateful hearts produce giving actions. We give back to the work of God not to boast or take pride in our efforts but to humble ourselves under the work of Jesus and pour ourselves to him in worship. When we do this, needs are met, lives are changed, and the presence of God is manifested in and through us. The phrase, “It is true that it is better to give than receive” is actually true. Let’s give back to the Lord during this Lent season, just as he has given to us.

Reflection

  1. What is one way in your life that you are currently giving to the Lord? If you’re not giving to the Lord, how can you begin?
  2. What has the Lord gifts you with and how can you begin to bless others with those gifts?
  3. Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to direct your worship to him through giving back.