May 27, 2018

“No Needy Persons Among Them”

Acts 4:32-37

God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.

—  Acts 4:33-34

Churches can have a certain reputation based on their history, their music, and the ministries they sponsor. The church in our passage for today has a reputation. They are a “needs-meeting church.”

People’s needs were being met because the church had a unified heart, mind, and testimony—all based in the love of Christ. They had a story to tell—that Jesus Christ came to live and die for us and rose from the dead. But they knew they also had to show what this good-news message meant in their lives with one another.

Rev. Scott Hoezee, director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary, has written a book called Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons That Matter, and it includes a chapter devoted to the topic “Show, Don’t Just Tell.”

Maybe, as a child, you had times in school for “show and tell.” Students would take turns bringing a favorite toy or pet and talking about it to the class. As we grow older, we can tend more toward “telling” and forget the joy and the power of “showing.”

Our passage for today ends with a “show” story of a person who sells land and gives the money to the church to help meet the needs of others. His generosity and encouragement to others even lead the apostles to call him Barnabas, meaning “son of encouragement.” May we join with Barnabas and be “show and tell” people of the gospel!

Lord, thank you for always meeting our needs. May your grace and love inspire us to “show and tell” the good news of Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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