Topic: Extending Grace to Others
Today’s Scripture: Acts 4:32–35
Key Verse: God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. – Acts 4:33–34
INSIGHT: Twice Luke mentions the willingness of believers in Jesus to sell property and share possessions (Acts 2:41–47; 4:32–35). The Holy Spirit had come to Jerusalem as the city swelled with visitors for the Jewish feast of Pentecost. Overwhelmed by the apostles’ assurance that God was willing to forgive them, those who stepped forward to believe in Christ saw one another’s needs and felt one another’s pain. It was then, after again mentioning their mutual care, that Luke describes a husband and wife who tried to leave a false impression of generosity. Ananias and Sapphira were caught lying about the details of their gift, and suddenly both died (5:1–10). The generosity Luke emphasized was the result of those whose hearts had been changed by the Spirit of Jesus.
Our Daily Bread 15 August 2021 Devotional Message
Our son spent the early years of his life in a children’s home prior to our adopting him. Before leaving the cinderblock building together to go home, we asked to collect his belongings. Sadly, he had none. We exchanged the clothes he was wearing for the new items we’d brought for him and also left some clothing for the other children. Even though I was grieved by how little he had, I rejoiced that we could now help meet his physical and emotional needs.
A few years later, we saw a person asking for donations for families in need. My son was eager to donate his stuffed animals and a few coins to help them. Given his background, he might have (understandably) been more inclined to hold tightly to his belongings.
I’d like to think the reason for his generous response was the same as that of the early church: “God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all” that nobody in their midst had need (Acts 4:33–34). The people willingly sold their own possessions to provide for one another’s needs.
When we become aware of the needs of others, whether material or intangible, may God’s grace be so powerfully at work in us that we respond as they did, willingly giving from our hearts to those in need. This makes us vessels of God’s grace as fellow believers in Jesus, “one in heart and mind” (v. 32).
Reflect & Pray
How’s God’s grace at work in you? What could you share with others as a manifestation of His grace?
Thank you, God, for all You’ve given to me, including Your grace. Help me to extend Your grace to others. Learn more about grace at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0613.
Our Daily Bread 15 August 2021 Devotional Message. Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODB) is a Christian organization founded by Dr. Martin De Haan in 1938. It is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with over 600 employees. It produces several devotional publications, including Our Daily Bread.