They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
As described in Acts, the first church was raised in a time of uncommon unity. New believers were learning continually, communing regularly, devoting time to prayer, feeling God's awesome Presence, witnessing signs and wonders, taking their meals together, abiding in honest joy, thanking and praising the Lord, adding believers daily, receiving favor from men and sharing their possessions.
'As it is written, 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack' ' (2 Corinthians 8:15). Rich people were no longer hoarding wealth, and poor people were no longer in need.
Can you imagine such a marvelous time? A time when no one thought he owned anything? A time when assets were called God's property, so all shared their goods as Jesus commanded.
But considering today's rich believers, how far have we strayed from our King's instructions? And He didn't just teach it, He lived it, too.
On the other hand, isn't the 'All things in common' practice like socialism? Isn't socialism the theoretical foundation for communism?* No and yes: adding corruption to truth is a disaster waiting to happen. Satan is the classic example of how a good design goes bad without God.
Even so, can we return right now to the sharing examples of the first church? Person to person, brethren to neighbor, community to community? Yes.
To Be Continued...
* Definition of socialism: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism?s=t
* Definition of communism: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/communism
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.