What I Do Have, I Give

June 10, 2019: Acts 3-5.

 

At the Cary Reunion, we each shared something the others may not know about us or a memory. My favorite memory was of Grandma Cary’s generosity.

The farm was near the railroad track. Hoboes would raid Grandma Cary’s garden. Then they would knock on the back door and ask for a meal. They spread the word – you can always get a meal at Mrs. Cary’s.

Grandma always fed them. She had 13 children and it was the middle of the depression, but she still gave what she could.

I remember eating at Grandmas. There was so much food at her table it made Thanksgiving look like a snack!

Acts 3:6, “Peter said, ‘I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!'” The Message

* * * * * * *

I read 2 verses today with the word “turn” in them. I noticed something interesting…

Acts 3:19, 20, “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so He can wipe away your sins, (20) pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah He prepared for you, namely, Jesus.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Acts 3:26, “God, having raised up His Son, sent Him to bless you as you turn, one by one, from your evil ways.” The Message

…we have to turn away from our sin before we receive God’s blessings. Until that time, we are cursed.

We must:

  1. Change our ways.
  2. Face God.
  3. Repent of our sins.
  4. Turn from our evil ways.

And then, God will send showers of blessings.

I saw something else…

Acts 4:34, “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 Message

Many cite this verse to support communal living. Everyone was liquidating their assets. Yes, they helped the needy, but God’s goal was to fulfill the Great Commission.

After Stephen’s death, there was great persecution, see Acts 8:1; 11:19. The Christians scattered. This liquidating of assets was preparation.

They didn’t have to give all the money to the disciples. Peter told Ananias and Sapphira as much, see Acts 5:4. They gave what was needed to make up a shortfall.

Another interesting thing – communal living was not a cure-all. Those who stayed in Jerusalem lived in poverty. The disciples traveling and preaching were constantly collecting offerings for the poor in Jerusalem, see Romans 15:26.

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