Monday, September 7, 2015

On 9-13-15, Acts 4:34-5:10 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Sharing with Sincerity or Sharing All Things

Sharing with Sincerity 
Sharing All Things
Acts 4:34-5:10

September 13, 2015

Jed Greenough

“Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”  This was not included today because we stopped at verse 10 and I think it should have been don’t you?

Obviously fear was a part of what we read.  Part of verse 5:5 says, “And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.”

Fear means many things but with healthy fear comes healthy respect, wisdom and truth and a lack of the same leads to a messed up Christian and a messed up faith.  I can see no other answer for some of the questions as to why the church is the way it is today.

Now this has a lot to do with sharing, which is what most of us will look at today when we have our lessons.  That is, not to be feared into sharing but to share with sincerity.  A lack of sincerity is like one rotten apple which spoils the whole barrel of apples.  

So what questions roll through your head when you read today’s scriptures?  Did you think I don’t like this?  They were apparently giving way more than a tithe so what was the problem?  This is extremely severe and over the top not just once but twice?  Are we supposed to be living like this today, selling everything we have and living in a sense communally?  

All those are fair questions and I think great for discussion.  I do not think it would be a stretch at all to say that many over the last two thousand years have read those words and thought this is what they did and this is what we are to do.  That would be great if the spirit was right wouldn’t it?

If you have ever thought about most of our church today and compared it to this you would see how far we have strayed from it.  Members who you don’t know who are hungry or who have bills unpaid.  Members who have a death in the family and you didn’t know or you didn’t give condolences to.  Members who have talents of teaching or giving who don’t have the opportunity to use those talents.

Churches, unless we start new ones that seek to healthily copy this, are not likely to resemble this at all.  But what they can do is attempt to do what it takes to follow the spirit of what we read from today’s scripture.  How do you think that might be accomplished?

Well it is a scary proposition, but what about whenever a church that is growing seeds a new church instead of adding on to an existing structure.  This way members don’t fall by the way side.

How about having staff members (even unpaid ones) who's job it is to make certain that every individual is known?  How might you know someone?  Are they involved?  What are their talents?  What are their needs?  Just because they are in a group is it the right group a year later?  Just because they decline something once do they want it now?

I’m not sure I am making my point but if you think about the consistency of what God wants maybe you’ll understand.

In Leviticus 1, Jeremiah 6 and 7, Psalm 50, Isaiah 1 and other places we read about God not wanting sacrifices but we know He prescribed them.  You know when you read what David said in Psalm 51:16-19 that David figured it out.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is[a] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

God wants sincerity.  We must know each of our members as best we can if we are to meet their needs the way God knows us.  This is how God is with us and this is the way we should be in the church towards each other.  When members see we are sincere towards them they will learn in turn how to be sincere towards God.

Then and only then can we expect to teach and understand how we are to live and give as a church.

Upcoming Lessons

9-20-15     Speaking Up for God or Witnessing to the Truth    Acts 5:27-29, 33-42

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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