Qualities of A True Church: Generosity and Outreach

Acts 2:44-47
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
A generous person is one who is willing to give and to share. As believers and the church of Jesus Christ, that is one trait that should be evident in our midst because it is the culture of our kingdom. The Jerusalem church displayed generosity to proportions that we even find hard to comprehend today. They were so united in their faith that none looked at what they had as their own, but rather as belonging to the fellowship. The bible says they had all things in common, and none among them was in need.
We have a lot of teaching and preaching in our churches about tithing and giving, but rarely do we hear messages about generosity. As long as we have given of our tithes and offerings, many of us feel that we have fulfilled our spiritual obligations, and it ends there. We are not generous towards one another. We have no concern for the need of others around us, though we claim to be in fellowship.
When we get to a place of unity spiritually understanding that we belong to the same body with Christ as the head, then we will not place material things above our fellowship and unity as a body.
When the love of Christ truly flows in us, then we will be generous towards one another.
Verse 47 of Acts 2 tells us that the Lord added to their number daily those who were being born again. This means that the people were not only focused on those who were part of the fellowship, they were outward looking as well. They were focused on the mission, the great commission. If the Lord added to their number daily, it means that daily they reached out to those who did not know the good news of the kingdom.
The mandate that Jesus left the church with is what we call the great commission. Sadly, many treat is as the great suggestion, no wonder it is not the priority in many of our churches today.
Reflections
When was the last time you heard a sermon about generosity?
Would you be willing to forego some of the things you enjoy so that someone else can benefit? When did you last do so?
When was the last time the Lord added to your number (as a fellowship) those who were being born again?
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