Meditation for 07/22/2019
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believes were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they h ad. And put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles feet.” (Acts4:31, 35, 36, 37)
The earthly disciples in Jerusalem minimized private ownership and shared everything. They provided the apostles with resources to distribute to those who had need. The generosity of Barnabas provides a good example. Scripture does not set this up as an eternal model for all to follow. It is a model for our concern for the needy.
Churches today should make provision for such distribution by benevolence committees. Discipleship must express itself through the church budget which should reflect a greater concern for those outside the church than for ourselves. Clear enough?
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Abba, our prayer today is that each and every day, You remind us through the Holy Spirit, that we are to gather items for the needy regularly, so that when one is in need, their need may be met. This is not a “rainy day” collection for ourselves; rather, it is things all in need must have to survive each day. All of us within Your Church should be contributing, so that all needs may be met timely. This we ask in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Walk by faith, not by sight. The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has give you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2nd Corinthians9:12-15)
Why do you as a disciple obediently serve God by sharing resources with other people? It is so other people may see God’s grace in your live and praise God. Disciples should be so devoted to God that all praise is directed toward Him and Him alone. Beloved, people will “see” God within you, by the way you live your life. They will “hear” God by your own words, and they will “walk” in God’s love, by the way you walk in His love for all humanity.
Discipleship, Persons: (Leviticus19:1–2, 9-19)
Beloved, one principle stands behind all biblical ethical teachings: be holy like the holy God. God’s people want to be like Him. Striving to be like God is strong motivation to serve His purpose by respecting and helping other persons. Meeting the needs of others demonstrates being holy as God is holy. Holiness means being cut off or separated from all that is evil. It also means being separated to all that is good. Being holy as God is holy is very much like being perfect as God is perfect (Though we all know human beings struggle with sin and therefore we are not perfect, but we can always strive to be). Being holy means concrete actions, not simply an unattainable goal. These include: making provision for the poor and the homeless; practicing honesty toward all others; not taking or keeping anything that belongs to another person; not taking advantage of handicapped persons; being just in dealing with both the rich and the poor; not using gossip or lies to get what we desire; and not doing anything that would endanger a neighbor’s life. God’s people are to seek corrective changes in the lives of their neighbors through the application of redemptive love.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Then Jesus said to his host, ‘Then you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous!” (Luke 14:12-14)
Discipleship is not a social hour we share with our group. Discipleship is using every occasion of life to minister to persons in need. Participation ins God’s kingdom is our reward, not participation in earthly award ceremonies.
Jesus told His Pharisee host he should have a banquet for handicapped persons rather than for relatives and rich friends. Then he would receive God’s blessings. The handicapped should participate full in our programs and fellowship. God welcomes the handicapped with their special gifts into His kingdom. Why should we do less?