The Early Church - Generosity

A young married couple found themselves facing an enormous amount of student debt, a large sum of $89,000! This couple had chosen to step out of their jobs in a secular working environment and accept a call to work in college ministry at their local church. This meant they would take a considerable pay cut and prolong the years of paying off their extensive amount of debt. God was calling them to step out of financial security and pursue partnering with their local church to disciple the next generation of students. They did so with great joy in their hearts and trusted that God would continue to provide what they needed in order to pay off their student loans.

Unbeknownst to them, a few members of their local church had begun a quiet campaign to raise money to help this couple pay off their debt. Over a period of six months, the church quietly raised enough money to completely wipe away every single penny of the $89,000 owed. The beauty of this was the unity of the church body working together to generously provide for the young couple who had a need. They were living out Acts 4:32-35.

In this chapter of Acts, we see the early church continuing to grow, serve, and provide for one another. They were doing so because of their understanding of the Gospel and Jesus’ call to continue to grow His church, to expand beyond their comfort zones.

These verses specifically point out that no one said any of the things that belonged to him was his own (Acts 4:32). This is a challenging call to live like the church in Acts – open-handed with our possessions, realizing that everything we have been given is the Lord’s. It isn’t easy to be willing to selflessly give, but when we do so we may be able to free others up to fulfill the calling placed on them as followers of Jesus, expanding the reach of the Gospel.

How amazing would it be to look around our church, even our community, and see that ALL needs were being met by generous giving? When we’re living life tethered to the Gospel, aware of the selfless gift that was given to us through Jesus, we begin to have an outpouring of generosity to those around us. Let’s partner with the Lord today and find ways to stretch ourselves outside our comfort zones to become more like the church we see in acts 4:32-35.

By Bailey Thomas

Bailey is on staff at Immanuel as the Young Adults and College Associate.

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