5/14 Acts 4:32

32 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.

Jews had come from distant countries to celebrate the Passover. They had discovered that the Messiah had come and they were born again. Now they wanted to understand what He taught and how to live it. The apostles began to teach what would later be known as the Apostles' Doctrine. The people hadn't expected to stay in Jerusalem for so long, which meant many were running out of provisions. There was a need to share wealth and possessions so everyone could remain and be taught. This would enable them to take the message back to their home countries and teach others.

Some have taken this verse to mean that the church should live communally. However, we read later in the letters of Paul that there were churches in certain individuals' homes. They didn't sell their homes, but they did share them for times of worship. What we have comes from God. We are merely stewards of possessions for a short time. We are responsible to use the possessions that are in our trust for the glory of God. If there is a genuine need among believers and we can meet that need, we should pray and ask God if we are to give up our oversight of finances or possessions to them.

As a pastor of a church on a main road, I can tell you that there are those who abuse the generosity of Christians. They make the rounds of the churches in the towns that they travel through so that they don't have to spend their own money for gas and food. We must use discernment about who is genuinely in need. Being a steward of God's possessions means we are always ready to give at God's direction, not man's insistence. While we should always be ready to give, we should also have discernment about who is genuinely in need.

Consider: The day will come when we will leave all worldly goods behind and give an account to God as to how we used them.