by Pastor Glenn Crouch
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And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all (Acts 4:33b).
I often find myself asking ‘Why can’t all our congregations be like the ones described in this passage?’ Luke, however, continues in Acts 5 to show that even in those early days, the ideal situation did not last for long. Sadly, sin is still present. It is also worth noting that the generosity and sharing described are not being commanded but rather that they flowed from God’s grace within them. Many commentators suggest that the properties they were selling were out of their abundance since if everyone sold their homes and farms, where would they live, and how would they eat?
We need to know our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, better. We also need to see more clearly all our Heavenly Father has done for us through him. We need to listen better to the Holy Spirit, who we received in our baptism. Then God’s grace will flow through us and affect those around us. We will see that our possessions are gifts from God to use for blessing those around us, as well as ourselves. In fact, we may find that they are even more of a blessing to us when we use them (including giving them away) to help others!
So much blessing awaits when we, as congregations, care for one another. Especially when we care in ways that are inconvenient. Are we willing to care even if it hurts our pockets, dreams or plans? How much more can we show God’s love to our families, workplaces and communities if, in our churches, we go out of our way to care for one another?
Gracious God, please create in me a heart that genuinely cares for those in my congregation and community. Open my eyes to see ways I can serve them. Help me be generous and make me more aware of how generous you are to me, especially through your dear Son, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Glenn Crouch was born in Brisbane and was baptised in the Methodist Church. He married Karen in a Reformed Baptist Church, and they moved to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia 37 years ago, where Glenn worked as a lecturer in computing. After serving as a Baptist pastor, Glenn joined the Lutheran Church with Karen in 1995. Glenn served as a lay preacher, which led to him becoming a Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP), and he recently transitioned to General Ministry Pastor (GMP). Glenn still lives in Kalgoorlie-Boulder with Karen, where they have raised two boys.