GOSPEL GENEROSITY

Scripture Reading:  Acts 4:32-37

“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 solid and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.” (Acts 4:34,35)

The gospel itself is excessively generous.  God gave His only Son so that those who believe in Him should never perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).  These early Christians clearly understood what God had done for them.  The knew the supreme sacrifice that had been made by Jesus.  They grasped the love of God, a love that is giving and sacrificial by nature.

When they saw a fellow needy believer they were compelled to give of their possession voluntarily in order to meet his needs.  They willingly sold their lands, houses and other possessions, took the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  The apostles then distributed the funds as each had need.

The Old Testament made it clear that there should be no poor in the community of faith (Deuteronomy 15:4-11).  God’s people were commanded to provide for any fellow brother or sister who became poor:  “If among you, one of your bothers shall become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be” (Deuteronomy 15:7,8).

Because God has been so generous to us, we in turn are to be generous to others.  We are responsible to take care of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are to serve them and to provide for their needs.  If they are in need, we are to provide for them.  The early believers were united in heart and soul.  They genuinely cared for one another.  And, if necessary, they sold their possession to provide for a truly needy person among them.

The great principle behind these actions of the early believers was the generosity of Christ.  “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He become poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich” (II Corinthians 8:9).

Lord Jesus, I know how generous You have been to me.  You gave up everything for me.  I acknowledge the great sacrifice You made in my behalf.  Please keep me from being selfish.  May I be a generous person with all that I have.

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