The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

11/12/2010

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Putting The Stuff To Use


"Now Joseph, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite by Birth of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostle's feet....But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostle's feet" (Acts 4:36-37, 5: 1-2).

It seems that material possessions have been a stumbling block to people forever. Moreover, they can become serious rivals with our God for human affection. There has never been a problem in itself to have stuff. The problem has always lied in our affection to it and what it is used for. It is a certainty that God desires that we love one another, and use things. Unfortunately, there is a tendency on people's part to love their possessions and use people to get more. From the shear amount of teaching on the subject in our Bibles, this must really be important to God! From the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew nineteen to the parable of the talents in twenty five, Jesus teaches his followers to be good stewards of what they have. He lets them know also that what they have has been entrusted to them by God. As the church was in it's infancy in Acts forty two, poverty and need became a problem. Because of the spirit of love that existed, those that had, were willing to part with some of their stuff and share with those in need.

The early church soon discovered why so much was written about possessions. Even generosity was to become a problem...Go figure...Today's verses illuminate that which should have the sweet smell of flowers, turning into the thorns. Barnabas gave out of a pure heart with pure motives. On the other hand, Ananias and Sapphira diverted something that should have been noble and pure into the swamp of self-interest. And here we come to a lesson that we all need to take to heart. As Christians, what we do and what we believe has implications within the church. What we do coupled with why we do, has implications in all areas of our lives. "Each one must do (give) just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7). Lets put our stuff to good use....

Have a great day...Go about doing good... Love mark Pil. 4:11

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