Acts 2:42-45 (New American Standard Bible)
42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
44And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
I have been spending time thinking about the above passage. What if the church stepped up, (when I say the church I mean people I never refer to the church as a building) and instead of feeling sorry for our brother or sister or even the lost in our community when they have lost a job, we actually pay their rent, car payment, electric bill, or bought them food, for thirty or sixty, or even 90 days?
I am strongly against dependence on government, but all too often we, the church, send people to the welfare office, or some government building for assistance, when all along we should be the ones stepping up.
Others may say that is what the church buildings are doing.(this would be nice, but it is not what most of them are doing.) In most buildings you have to join their club in order to receive help and that is not what it states in the above bible passage.
I know many Christ followers are involved in small groups. I personally always looked at theses small groups as the "church". What if someone was truly hurting in your small group? Would you step up and give to them or would you send them to the welfare office, or a "church building"? As saints, where would our responsibility start and end?
1 Corinthians 13 (New American Standard Bible)
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Can you imagine if the saints (we who are saved) truly stepped out of their comfort zone and gave to a person or a family until they got back on their feet, and we became the welfare office?
Not too long ago I made $42,000 a year, in 2009 I made $12,000, and not too much has changed, just got rid of a lot of stuff I truly did not need along with every credit card and the stupid bills that would go with them. We all have the resources to help others out, but most of us are stuck to our stuff, or some idea of what our lifestyle should be.