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.
Acts 4:32 (NIV)
Does the Bible sometimes speak in hyperbole? I mean, in this Acts 4 passage, do we really think that all of the believers were one in heart and mind and no one claimed that any of their possessions was their own? It’s what Luke wrote, so I’d suggest we should take it at face value and not let the Laodicean lukewarmness of our current day tempt us to conclude otherwise.
So, how did THAT happen? I would suggest there were at least three factors at play.
First, the people prayed to God for boldness (verse 29b – “enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness”). When’s the last time you heard anyone pray that you and I would speak the words of God with boldness?
Second, they were sensitive to, led by, and filled with God’s Spirit (verse 31b – “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”) Have you asked God to lead you by His Spirit? Have you taken any initiative to get your eyes off yourself and your world to get in tune to what God wants, especially when it comes to using you to meet the needs of others?
Third, they relied on God’s power, not their own (verse 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”). Are you willing to do something so bold for the kingdom that it would require God’s power to be at work, not just your own?
If we are going to answer Jesus’ prayer in John 17 that we would become one as the Father and He are one, we all are going to have to learn to put others first – no one can remain selfish.
Lord, let this reader and I be “All for One”, and may Your grace be powerfully at work among us so that the world may see “all” and “no one” among us.
This is the third in the “Put Others First” series of blog posts.