Week of June 17 - Day 1

Scripture to Memorize: Acts 6:7

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Day 1 Read: Acts 4:32-37

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. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Reflect: Why do you think that Luke included this act of Barnabas in his book? How could Barnabas’s gift have been an encouragement to others? What does it mean for a church to be “of one heart and mind”? How would that affect how they viewed their possessions? What do you think Luke means when he says that they “held everything in common”?

Consider: How could a Levite own property as Barnabas did? Were not Levites prohibited from owning property? (Num. 18:20, 24) The answer may be that whereas the Levites were not to hold land in Israel, they could own land elsewhere. Apparently Barnabas, being from the island of Cyprus, owned land there. It is also possible that his wife owned land in Israel and that they together sold it.[1]

Respond: What affect has the generosity of Jesus Christ had on you? How can your overflow of gratitude make a difference in the lives of others this week? What attitudes or circumstances prevent you from living sharing with sincerity? What can you do about them?

 

[1] Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 364