“I would like you to peruse everything that you call your own and see if you would really give it away if I asked you to do so. Where does My ownership stop? If there is a time that it does stop in your life, what is your interpretation of “Lordship” and “Master”? Where do you draw the line when it comes to stewardship of My wealth and cross into personal ownership? If I asked you to give away everything, would you do it; or is that kind of request outside of My jurisdiction?
"How can you say that I own your life if I really don’t own every relationship, every moment, and every item in your life? Search My Word and see if you can find your license to claim anything as your own if you’ve given your life to Me. Jesus owned nothing, including His life, as an example to each of those who were to come after Him. His waiting bride is in training to do the same.”
Acts 4:29-35 NIV
29) “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
30) Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31) After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
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.”
The above verses fascinate me as much as any verses in the Bible. They occur as a fledgling church moved in a society that was reeling from the most incredible event in history - the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Just after the Holy Spirit empowered them, the church formed patterns for others to follow. As stated above, when in peril, they asked for boldness to proclaim Jesus, not deliverance from the danger. It was too early for the different interpretations of what had happened to pollute them, so they had one heart and one mind. Their risen Master owned nothing and gave everything. It was natural to do the same, not even counting the cost.
Isn’t it fascinating that those who probably walked with Jesus acted very much like He did, once they were strengthened to do so? It seems that as more time elapses - and the further we, as believers, get from the actual resurrection day - the more room for personal interpretation of how Jesus lived is involved in the way that we choose to represent Him. It is also fascinating that we seem to be less powerful in everything we do as that occurs.
At present, we, the church, have become so much like the world in most of what we do, that our impact on the world is far less noticeable. We almost fit comfortably in a society that hates Who we are supposed to represent. Sort of makes you want to go “Hmmmm!”
Change my heart, Lord,