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Radical Generosity

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 
–Acts 4:32

In this passage from Acts, a scene unfolds that describes a community that has experienced new life and a new sense of purpose and calling. There was a keen awareness that they were part of a bigger story, a redemptive story. What resulted was a collective engagement in kingdom advancement and radical generosity.

Does the description of the early church match what we see in our own community of faith? Our challenge today is to recognize that we too are a part of this same unfolding drama and to experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ Spirit, working in and through us.

This early church community was of “one heart and one soul.” What does this mean? The radical generosity we see in Acts is grounded on the understanding that we are all one body. Our Christian faith was never meant to be individualistic. When we are in Christ, we are not only connected to Jesus, but we are connected to one another—as messy as that can be. This is not only true for believers in our home church, but those across the globe.

Being of “one heart and one soul” not only describes our identity, but also our purpose. The disciples were of one heart and one soul in their mission to bear witness to Jesus. And so the radical giving to meet the needs of the saints was not simple charity, but served to free those in need to also engage in kingdom witness. The sharing of resources was ultimately to increase the number of those who would bear witness and advance Christ’s kingdom, unhindered by concerns for daily bread.

Our identity as the body of Christ means that Jesus’ vision is our vision: We want to see the gospel of the kingdom advancing throughout the world. How does that happen? It happens when we invest generously in kingdom initiatives that bear witness to our King Jesus—when we send part of us, part of our body, to reach out into the darkness and shine the light of Christ.

Lloyd Kim Jan 8, 2019
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