ACTS – The Acts of God
“NO, it’s mine, I had it first!”
What is it we always shouted as kids? “Possession is 9 tenths of the law, I have it, so it’s mine!” A little knowledge of what we learned in our seventh grade government class is dangerous is what I’m now thinking. (Smiling) Kids on the playground depict the basic culture we live in…hanging tightly to what we have and never letting go of the grip…on stuff.
A good teacher will present a solution to this struggle. “If you let go of what you have, you both can play with it and have fun together.” WHAT?!, the students are thinking. “Yes, try it.” Of course they need help from the teacher to remove the grip each of them have on the item. What you have doesn’t belong to you anyway. It belongs to everyone at the school. If you share instead of fighting over what is yours, then more fun can be had by all.
What do we learn?
–Unity happens by letting go. Spiritual unity means letting the Holy Spirit fill our hearts, minds and souls so we rise above self and stuff to see God and others in a completely different way.
–We no longer care about what we possess and how hard we work to cling to it. We care more about the lives and souls of others.
–We leave the thinking of the world that tells us to grab all we can while we can. We move toward a thinking that is the complete reverse of world thinking.
–We move into higher, more nobler thoughts…like Jesus taught us. (See Phil 2, 4 and ALL of the gospels’ teachings of how Jesus loved.) We discover that we love more, live more joyfully, experience peace and have more fun when sharing with others!
–Unity is one mind, one heart, thinking like Jesus, in commUNITY. What we have is Jesus! What we need most is Jesus! If you have Jesus then you have all you need.
–The stuff we collect is just…stuff.
–We can’t seem to do this by ourselves, we need the help of God’s Holy Spirit…
As soon as Peter and John were let out of the clutches of the religious leaders, Jesus’ followers prayed and praised God. “They lifted their voices in a wonderful harmony is prayer.” What happens when we pray in harmony with one mind and one heart? Fearless confidence in God! While they were praying, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.”
AND guess what happened next, something we all long for in God’s church…
“The whole congregation of believers was united as one–one heart, one mind!”
THEN their thinking (by the power of the Holy Spirit) changed:
“They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. NO ONE said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything.”
This is what happens when we go from “mine to ours” thinking. We have a ton more fun when we share life with others.
HOW does this happen? I am convinced that the closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to each other. When HE is the center of our attention, thoughts, motives, and energies we move toward him. When others move toward Him, we see them more clearly. We touch each other lives as we move toward Jesus together. We can’t help it. It’s a Spirit thing.
Read and see what you think…
Acts 4, The Message
One Heart, One Mind
23-26 As soon as Peter and John were let go, they went to their friends and told them what the high priests and religious leaders had said. Hearing the report, they lifted their voices in a wonderful harmony in prayer: “Strong God, you made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit you spoke through the mouth of your servant and our father, David:
Why the big noise, nations?
Why the mean plots, peoples?
Earth’s leaders push for position,
Potentates meet for summit talks,
The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers!
27-28 “For in fact they did meet—Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against your holy Son Jesus, the One you made Messiah, to carry out the plans you long ago set in motion.
29-30 “And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.
32-33 The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.
34-35 And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need.
36-37 Joseph, called by the apostles “Barnabas” (which means “Son of Comfort”), a Levite born in Cyprus, sold a field that he owned, brought the money, and made an offering of it to the apostles.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You continually change our thinking as you transform us to be all you intended for us to be. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit who comforts, convicts, challenges and helps us to think more and more like You and less like the world. We need you every hour. The more we think about You and others, the more fearless and confident we become in Your ways. Help us to love each other like you love us. Deeply and profoundly.
In Jesus Name, Amen