Hold lightly: Acts 4:32-37:
’32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there was no needy person among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.’NIV
‘’No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own…’’ Someone said we should hold lightly to everything we own, because it hurts to have God prize our fingers away.
I also read this: ‘There is no truer test of a man’s spirituality than his attitude to his possessions.’ Furthermore I heard these words in a sermon: ‘If there’s anything you own you can’t give away, you don’t own it, it owns you.’ These are heart-searching words and I believe they are true. We all have stuff. Some have more; some have less. But we all have it. However, we don’t own it. A true Biblical perspective says, ‘This belongs to God. He allows me the use of it for a time, but I need to keep consulting Him to know how to best use His goods.’
Think for example about your home. Maybe you’re in the blessed position of having paid off the mortgage and you consider it to be finally yours. But it isn’t. In no time at all you will have no choice but to leave it behind. Somebody else will inherit it, or buy it. Someone else will live in it. (But only for a limited time. And so the process goes on ad infinitum). Go to an auction house or charity shop and you will see that precious possessions inevitably get passed on to others. ‘You can’t take it with you.’
When I read these closing words of Acts 4, I say to myself, ‘No wonder the apostles could testify to the resurrection of Christ ‘’with great power’’ (33). The church herself was evidence that Jesus is alive. The god ‘mammon’ had been dethroned; materialism no longer held sway. Some real power had driven the selfishness out of these hearts. So decide today that you’re not going to consider any of your possessions as your own. It is all God’s property and you are just an under-manager. That’s how you will think about things from now on, and you will be willing to share what you have with those who are needy. When such a spirit permeates an entire congregation it is not surprising if the world feels the impact.
PRAYER: Lord, this world system is in love with ‘things’. People want more and more. For some its because of the perceived status attached to a particular possession; for others it’s the simple pursuit of pleasure and happiness. But nothing truly satisfies, so the thirst, and the acquisition, goes on. Help me Lord to think and feel differently, and to be part of a counter-cultural movement, handling money and material things at your direction and for your honour.