Six years ago, I wrote several short devotional thoughts for my church. I wanted to share them here and hope they will be meaningful to you as they were and still are to me.
Scripture: Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Here we see a picture of the early church in action. They were committed to learning all they could about God, worshiping, sharing meals, and praying together. However, this community didn’t just stop there, but they made sure that everyone was taken care of – that no one was in need. They shared everything they had with each other – there was no “mine” and “yours,” it was just “ours.” Not only did they take care of each others’ physical needs, but also their emotional and spiritual needs. The early church community sincerely and gladly loved one another and sacrificed for each other. It was something that people around them probably had never experienced.
On the news, about a year ago, there was a story about a man, Tom, who decided to give one of his kidneys to a taxi customer named Rita. Every time Rita called a taxi to go to her dialysis treatments, Tom would get assigned. Eventually, Tom found out that Rita needed a kidney and offered to get tested to see if he could be a match. After finding out that he was a match he offered to give one of his kidneys to her.
I was really moved by this story because this man decided to do a remarkably sacrificial thing for a relative stranger! At best they could be considered acquaintances. If I were in his situation, I don’t think I could have done it. I have a hard time even sharing my dessert with my husband! But what Tom did was in the very spirit of what that early church described in Acts was living daily. They made sure no one was in need – even if that meant that they would have to sell their personal possessions.
Do you know someone in our family that is in need? Maybe you can help meet that need. It might not be for a kidney, but perhaps they could use a listening ear, or some help paying the medical bills, or a visit in the hospital, or someone to invite them out to lunch, or a heartfelt prayer. Big or small, radical or seemingly unremarkable, we are called to love and take care of our family and make sure that no one is in need. If a stranger can give another stranger a kidney, how much more can we do for those we call our ohana(small group, family, community, friends)?
To read more about Tom and Rita, click here.
Lord, we want to take care of our family and make sure that no one is ever in need. Help us to be invested deeper in one anothers lives so that we can learn about one anothers needs. We want to carry each others burdens and needs to you in prayer. We want to help alleviate those burdens and needs in tangible ways as well. Move our hearts to live like the early church family and may it be a testament to you and your salvation. Amen.