If you can hike the entire Appalachian Trail, all 2,181 miles of it, in 46 days...you have my attention. That is an average of just over 47 miles per day. That is exactly what a woman named Jennifer Pharr Davis did back in 2011. In the book "The Pursuit of Endurance", Jennifer Pharr Davis talks about "the 4 Cs" of what it takes in a person to make an attempt at a fastest known time on a long distance trail: commitment, confidence, control, and concentration. If we could use three words to describe the early church in Acts 4, I believe those words would be unity, generosity, and proclamation. At the end of Acts 4, we find a descriptive passage similar to the passage found at the end of Acts 2 (click here for our discussion on Acts 2:42-47) Check this out:
32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
What was it that united thousands of people? What was it that caused a very poor and oppressed population to cast off any thoughts of selfishness with the little possessions they had accumulated? What was the topic of conversation among this group of people? It was the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. As a body of believers, can we be united around that? As we begin to understand the generosity that God the Father bestowed, will our hearts begin to yearn for that same characteristic? As we weigh the effect of the cross on our very soul, do we realize our neighbor may also desire that same grace that was given to us? What are your thoughts on unity, generosity, and proclamation?
With sincere love for each of you,