Everything in Common

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  (Acts 2:42-47)

1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”  (2 Corinthians 8:1-15)

The coronavirus has lifted the lid on a lot of the need within our city. At Everyday Church, it has also prompted a wave of generosity too. In the first months of the pandemic, we created a new Church Family Fund, into which many church members have given money so that we can make gifts to those who are in need within the church. As a result, some significant needs have been met in a similar way to the needs within the church in Jerusalem. (Email finance@everyday.org.uk if you would like more details) As we begin to gather back in person and further needs become known, we want to live out our faith in Jesus more and more by helping them through the Church Family Fund. How can you play your part in this?  
Read Acts 4:32-37. What extra light does this shed on what it was like to be part of the first church in Jerusalem? Dream a little about our own church and what this would mean for us, then turn those dreams into a prayer!
Father God, I thank you that you are deeply moved by the financial need within Everyday Church right now. I thank you that the Gospel offers more than trite words to people who are in need. It brings us into a church family where we care for one another. Please help me to know how to play my own part in meeting need within the church. I want our church to be like the one that is described in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37. Please make it so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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