They Had Everything in Common
 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold  and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.  Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,  sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (ESV)
- Chaos outside, community within.
With the Apostles being threatened and thrown into prison, we might expect to see the Church deeply unsettled and discouraged and on the brink of utterly falling apart. Instead, we find the Church deeply united, living as one, giving sacrificially and generously to meet the needs of one another. In the midst of chaos and suffering, the Church experienced an other-worldly peace and unity that reeked of heaven.
- Some were uniquely positioned to financially bless the Church in ways that others could not.
Sacrificial financial giving is a major part of Church life. All Christians are called to give generously and joyfully to support the work of the local Church. But God, in his wisdom and sovereignty, puts some people in positions to make significant financial contributions that others simply cannot make. Joseph is an example of this. As a land owner, he was in a unique position to make a significant contribution to the Church. Through his gift, the entire Church was blessed. When each person plays their role, the entire body is built up.
- What does this text teach us about the importance of Christian community?
- How is it that opposition and suffering lead to deeper and sweeter fellowship between Christians?
- Why is financial giving an important element of Church life and Christian growth? What role has God called you to play in the furthering of his Kingdom?
Call to Worship
 If the LORD had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
 When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
 Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
those who frame injustice by statute?
 They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
 But the LORD has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
 He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the LORD our God will wipe them out. (ESV)
Prayer of Confession
O Lord, our holy God, help us and heal us. We are stubborn blind people who repeatedly and willfully stray from you. In our blindness, even our ability to confess our sin has been distorted. Yet Christ has acknowledged our helpless estate and has shed his own blood for our souls. Your steadfast love surrounds us, because your steadfast love was taken away from him. Father, create in us clean hearts that are truly broken for our remaining struggles with sin, yet are utterly confident that your love is more than enough to reach the foulest sinner who trusts in you. We pray not in our own strength but in the perfect righteousness of Christ, Amen.
Family Discipleship Weekly Resources
Family Discipleship Weekly Resources are tools for families to use to help connect Sunday’s sermon to the rest of your week, fostering conversations and habits of worship.