Like Throwing a Few Coins

Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need. (Acts 4: 32-35)


Awhile ago, when this verse was read during worship service, it struck me that the Spirit profoundly enabled the early believers to clearly see the goodness and glory of the Lord, such that they were further enabled to let go of the things which brought them status, security, and hope in the world. I imagine that for those believers giving up claim to their possessions was like throwing a few coins in a common pot because God had given them millions of dollars.

As I relate the above testimony to my life, I clearly see that my possessiveness arises from a dim vision regarding the Lord’s goodness and glory, and from this awareness I more readily understand why Jesus said that a person cannot serve both God and Mammon.

Beyond sustenance of the body, everything I have potentially gives me something that I should seek in the Lord. It is as if these things desire to occupy a psychological space that is reserved for God, and if I give this space to those things, then I become horribly misshapen. These spaces are reserved for God, because he made them for himself, so that through intimate action he could be establish us in his own freedom, power, and glory.

In the death and resurrection of Jesus, God freely gave his utmost, for in the mystery of the Trinity the giving of the Son is equal to the self-giving of God. When I contemplate what God has given me and continues to give me, which is a life saturated and shaped by the resurrected life of Jesus, it becomes considerably easier to let go of the crap that my petty flesh craves.

2 Responses to “Like Throwing a Few Coins”

  1. tom  

    Thanks Tony for the good words. Isn’t funny that it is so hard for us to give up these things to Christ, even though we know from experience that there is freedom in giving these things up.

    P.S. I nominate you to write a devotional guide that doesn’t suck. Your brief thoughts on scripture have depth and they move me, unlike the many shallow ones that occupy the shelves of our local Christians Book Stores. Maybe we could co author one. That would be fun.

  2. Roger Green  

    I always thought that Acts story was communism – I mean that in a good way – in that they needed to depend on God (the first commandment), but also to depend on each other (the second commandment). And I always felt the latter emphasized more than the former – not that they are necessarily divisible – so it’s interesting to see your take on it.