More Than We Need
“The inheritance of Simeon’s descendants was within the territory of Judah’s descendants, because the share for Judah’s descendants was too large for them. So Simeon’s descendants received an inheritance within Judah’s portion.” Joshua 19:9
I hesitate to write what God has placed on my heart today, because I really don’t want to do what He’s telling me. However, the message is clear so at the huge risk of revealing my great hypocrisy, here it is—believers need to share. Not impressed? I am. Perhaps it’s just a personal quirk, but I can be selfish. Snow coming? Rush out to fill my pantry. Gas shortage? Top off my tank at every opportunity. Financial crisis? Stop giving and start saving. You name it. If I fear a shortage of something, I want to store up as much of it as I can get my hands on. And, forgive me, but I believe that many of you do the very same thing. Incredibly, I’ve even heard of some neighbors who are buying guns to prevent others from stealing their livestock and garden produce should hard times get even harder. Harsh … yet I understand. It’s scary to share. Especially when fear is in the air, and we may have to do without some necessities ourselves.
But that’s not what we are called to do. Territory in the Promised Land wasn’t cheap. Fighting was fierce, and victory costly. Yet when Judah’s tribe had more land than it needed, Simeon’s descendants were invited to share their wealth. The same was true in the early Christian church. “… no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them. For there was not a needy person among them, because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet. This was then distributed to each person as anyone had a need.” (Acts 4:32-35)
Man! That’s a tough example to follow. And while we are not told that we must give up all our possessions in order to be Christians, we are commanded to care for those who we know have a need. “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). Because the early church shared, the apostles were able to preach the gospel with “great power” without worrying about the welfare of the believers. Their mission was well-funded and “great grace was on all of them.” God was glorified!
There are people in our families, our churches, and our communities who are in distress and have needs today. The most negative response we could have as believers is to keep our wealth to ourselves. In spite of the current financial crisis and excluding the exceptional situation, we still have much more than we need. How can we begin to share the wealth? We may be too soft a word—how can I share what God has given me in order to give testimony to His resurrection and to display His great grace? Our individual answers to that question will tell it all.
Again—make us willing, Lord! Amen.
[By Lisa Huddleston]
Join the ConversationCommenting is not available in this channel entry.