Focus 40 Day 22: Extreme Living—Everything in Common
Prayer Focus: Pray for your church to have the witness of unity – John 13:35
Extreme Living—Everything in Common
All the believers were together and had everything in common. —Acts 2:44 (NIV)
A DISTINCTION OF THOSE who follow Jesus is that they welcome community. You can be an introvert or extrovert, come from a big family or be an only child, but community is non-optional for the believer. We are born into the church when we accept Jesus and become a child of God. We have sisters and brothers, and our Father expects us to love one another.
Our sin nature pushes us to be selfish and protect what is “mine.” Our inclusion in the body of Christ teaches us to focus on what is “ours.” It doesn’t come natural, but it is godly. Even the world takes notice. It was said of the early church, “See how they love one another.”
I think there is a lie we are told by the enemy we have to overcome, and it is this: “If I am fully known, I won’t be fully loved.” Therefore we play defense and isolate from community. It is hard to share with others if we don’t trust. The truth is, in God we are fully known and fully loved. His love is unconditional. And when we love like he loves, we love unconditionally. The Christian community is intended to be this kind of grace-giving community.
Sometimes it is easier to give this kind of love to others than it is to receive it. Inclusion in the community of Christ requires that we both give and receive unconditional love. We learn to trust and that enables us to live in community.
The church is intended to be different. Jesus said it this way, “This is how you know if you are my disciple…by your love for one another.” I’m suggesting that what we often treat as optional, he made a requirement.
Lord, help us give ourselves to community and discover the better way. Amen.
Rev. Gary Kendall, Pastor