‘There were no needy people among them.’ Acts 4:34 NLT
When we think about the New Testament church, we tend to focus on its power and growth. In Acts 2, three thousand people are won to Christ after Peter preaches. In Acts 3, a paralysed man who sat begging at the temple gate was healed through the ministry of Peter and John. In Acts 4, we read: ‘Many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totalled about 5,000.’ (Acts 4:4 NLT)
Preaching! Soul winning! Miracles! Growth! Exciting stuff.
But here is part of their story you must not miss: ‘All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.’ (Acts 4:32–37 NLT)
Yes, our top priority must be winning people to Christ and bringing them into spiritual maturity. But if we are to follow in the footsteps of the New Testament church, we must remember that we are called to take care of each other too.
SoulFood: 1 John 3:11–5:21 John 8:12–20 Ps 15 Pro 25:21–22
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023