All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had (Acts 4:32, NIV).
Friend to Friend
“What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” My husband and I used to joke that this was the unspoken motto of our kids when they were little. Toddlers have no qualms about grabbing a toy, snack, or any random item of interest from other people or pets. It’s rare to see a child share her cherished possessions generously.
It can be hard for all of us to share.
Media bombards us with marketing campaigns that tell us we are the center of the universe. “You, you, you, you, you!”
Time and time again we hear that this life is all about us. The more we have, the happier we’ll be. The bigger that bank account, the more blessed the life.
I sincerely hope that none of us believe these lies. They’re dangerous deceptions.
How does this mentality slip into our realities? Sometimes we don’t want to share our time or our space. Sometimes we don’t want to share our loved ones or our gifts. Sometimes we don’t want to share our resources. And sometimes we just want to be left to ourselves and don’t want to share anything!
But God calls each of us to share.
The early New Testament church shows us that generous living honors God and blesses others. In Acts 4:32-37, we see an amazing snapshot of generous giving in the early church. The believers were one in heart and mind. They were supernaturally unified to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there wasn’t a needy person among them.
Giving wasn’t political. It wasn’t mandatory. It wasn’t done begrudgingly.
“…they shared everything they had” (Acts 4:32).
“The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 11:29-30).
“But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving … For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (I Corinthians 8:7,12).
Everything that the believers owned belonged to God, and they knew it. They placed what they had before the leaders in selfless acts of worship … for the glory of God and the provision of others. This principle is important, but it’s also counter-cultural.
True life, a blessed life, an abundant life, a purposed life, is, in fact, all about God and His glory. What we have, have given birth to, or hold onto is really not our own. All of our treasures are just on loan to us for a breath of a moment by our more-than-generous Creator.
And each day brings us new opportunities to be good stewards. And, generous living reflects God’s gracious giving.
Let’s face it; it’s just not always easy or natural to be generous. Perhaps you’ve been taken advantage of or have been hurt by the deception of another. There are risks to giving. The generous giving of the early church blessed the lives of their people. When we share what we have, God is honored, and needs are met.
The risks are worth taking.
I’m not suggesting a Robin Hood philosophy of “take from the rich and give to the poor.” And I don’t believe in the politics of communism or socialism. This principle of generous giving is Biblical. It’s an act of worship to God. It matters to God, and it should matter to us.
Let’s reject the toddler mentality of “what’s mine is mine.”
God loves a cheerful giver.
It’s a blessing to give to others.
Join me today in telling God, “Lord, what’s mine is Yours.”
Dear Lord, Thanks for this reminder from Your Word. You are lavish in love and have given me so much. All I have is Yours. Please help me to excel in the grace and worship of giving. Open my eyes to opportunities to bless others for Your glory.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you feel about your people, passions, and possessions?
Have you shared generously lately?
Is God bringing anyone to your mind that could use your help or generosity?
Read and meditate on 2 Corinthians 8:1-15.
Remember, giving isn’t always about money. We can give in many ways; service, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a dinner to a new mom, or time spent with an elderly friend. Go and bless someone today!
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This devotion has answered my questions.
My life has changed from working to retirement. I was having a hard time time, letting go of my former life.
Talking to a dear friend, she understood my problem and said “closet purging” would help. But, I just couldn’t move forward. “What if I need…” kept coming to my thoughts.
Then, 2 Corin.8 passage came to my attention. God blessed me with my work wardrobe; the items were only temporary anyway, so gifting them to others is the action needed. Just reading Apostle Paul’s words gave me the gentle reminder that God would be pleased for me to move forward so others could be blessed.
Thank you for this divine answer to my actions.
Thank you for this devotional.
It truly is a wonderful blessing in helping others. I remember standing in line purchasing toys for my grandkids. This darling little girl was ahead of me and her mom was giving her the choice to chose one of three $5.00 toy items. The excitement and joy in the girls voice and face was so cute and I just melted at her obedience and excitement. All of a sudden I thought, why can’t she have all three. She is so deserving because of her JOYFUL OBEDIENCE. I quietly leaned in and humbly asked the mom could I purchased all three. The kind smile on the mom’s face turned to a trembling mouth with tearful eyes…and that said it all. I did not need to know her story because I was actually the one being blessed in that moment The joy the little one brought to my heart is the same I prayed was left with her mom in that one moment. And yes, we shared a brief wonderful conversation later.
God, I thank you for blessing me in ways to be a blessing to others!!
Oh, Sherri! My chill bumps have chill bumps! LOVE this story and the ways the LORD allows us to participate in HIS grace of giving. Thanks for sharing your life with us.
What a blessing it is to be a giver. No, money is not the only way. Sometimes kind words of encouragement goes a long way. I thank God that He has blessed me to be able to give financially but I also thank Him for the gift of encouragement. That gift alone brings me great joy! We are blessed to be blessings and Father I thank You for how You are using these three ladies and others to be givers to the rest of us. God bless you all and may your day be a continual blessing to others.
Such a great perspective you have, Penney! So true. We are blessed to be a blessing. Shine on, friend.
Wow, Carol! What a wonderful takeaway!! I’m super excited for you… and for those who are blessed by your obedience. Keep moving in that direction, friend. You’ve inspired me today!