“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” Acts 2:44-45
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” Acts 4:32-37
Paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon (run over by a hit and run driver) doesn’t just love his bedroom pillow. He needs it. It helps keep away those awful doggy pressure sores. Paralyzed dog Miss Mercy (hit by a car and taken to a shelter) doesn’t need a bedroom pillow. She scoots around on her knees and doesn’t get pressure sores. She steals Mr. Simeon’s pillow anyway! I thought I found the answer. I gave her a pillow, too. That’s when slightly disabled dog Gracie (dumped at a gas station and hit by 2 cars on the same day) decided she wouldn’t mind some pillow time, too. She didn’t need a pillow either, but how could she resist? The story ain’t over.
One day I came into the room to discover senior dog Dancer (found on a short tie up without food or water) perfectly contentedly, delightedly, and comfortably perched on BOTH pillows all smooshed together as though they were one big pillow. No chance the other dogs would get an inch of them. So much for giving, sharing, sacrifice, not to mention love, mercy, and compassion. Who couldn’t laugh? These are dogs, after all, and very special ones at that!
But what about us humans? Are not some of us doing the very same thing? Forsaking love, mercy, and compassion, giving, sharing, and sacrifice so we can live to please ourselves? Being possessive and stingy with our “pillows,” our luxuries, comforts, and even basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing, and oh, yes, “our” money? Aren’t we sometimes hoarding and holding back on giving what we have in our possession to others?
Look at the verses above. The believers were of ONE heart & soul. They shared. They gave. They sacrificed. They loved. They had compassion. They didn’t see “their” stuff as “theirs”. They knew it belonged to Christ and was for everyone. It was God’s. So people’s needs were met by God through all who gave. The apostle Paul considered himself the worst of all sinners. That’s exactly how I see myself. I don’t know anyone who has been more spoiled and selfish than myself with my heart, time, love, finances, and physical possessions. But the more I follow Jesus, the more I know His love, the more I love Him, the more I love others through Him, the more I yearn to give of myself to others what the Lord so graciously gives unto me. The Lord calls His followers to love and give like He does. Are we?
The Lord sacrificed His very life on the cross and bore all the sins of the world and all God’s wrath at us upon Himself for humanity as Savior of the world. How can the sacrifice He asks us to make even compare? But, oh, how easily some of us moan and groan and resist and rebel and sigh and pity ourselves with the little sacrifices we are asked to make in comparison to the Lord’s.
My special needs and senior dogs don’t know any better. But we should know and act better, shouldn’t we? Are we?