Summary: Love means sharing not only our time and talents but also our treasure
LOVE BY GIVING
An American missionary was travelling across Korea by train. At a busy station an old man boarded and sat across from Him. The man was Korean and he addressed the American in his native tongue. The Missionary responded in the only Korean phrase that he knew which was "I don’t understand". A few minutes later the Korean tried again, but the missionary could only say "I don’t understand" The Korean then tried a third question, this time the American recognized the word YESU which means JESUS.
The American pointed to himself and said YESU the Old man did the same thing with a smile of delight on His face. The Korean then unwrapped the bundle he was carrying . It was a large Korean Bible. He turned to a page and pointed to a place that he wanted the American to read.
Understanding the reference, the American man took his own Bible and counted the number of books and chapters to the place that the old man had pointed to. The old man had pointed to Mark 3:35 "Whoever does the will of God is my brother." The American searched for a suitable reply. He counted out and pointed to it in the Korean Bible. It was Psalm 133:1 "Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" The Korean man read it and smiled in agreement and for the rest of the journey, these two men, though they could not speak each other’s language, were brought together in a remarkable friendship as they pointed first to one verse and then to another. Their separate Bibles had a common language of the Spirit.
Today we are continuing in our series I Love My Church. We have already looked at how love requires community and serving. Today I want to talk about the fact that love involves giving of not just our time and talents but also our treasure.
Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
1. United in Mind (vs. 32)
This passage starts here by saying that all the believers were one in heart and mind. The key word here is BELIEVERS. There was one thing that united this group together, and that was Christ. The believers were one. They were one with each other because they had believed the same message and loved the same Lord. Notice what it says here in verse 32;
… “all the believers were one in HEART and MIND.” There was unity. They believed the same message and loved the same Lord. What does it mean to be united in MIND?
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
When we walk in the light of the truth of God’s Word we can enjoy true fellowship with one another. It is our common faith which unites us. Walking in the light means walking in truth. When we are united in belief we should be united in fellowship. Unfortunately that is not always true. What we often see in the church is that, even though we are united in major issues we allow minor things to divide us. Also, while we are united in WHAT we believe, we are not always united in HOW we believe.
There once was a man who was stranded all alone on the deserted island who was rescued. His rescuers asked him what the three structures were that he had built on the island. Three buildings seemed perplexing for just one man. He said one was his house, one was his church, and one was where he used to go to church before he got his feelings hurt!
It was not like this with the early church. Remember the day of Pentecost?
Acts 2:7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"