Though this has seemed to become impractical, we see in the first believers a community that all Christians should learn from.
Acts 4:31 When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (NRSV)
They prayed. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. They spoke the Word of God with boldness. Do we do this today. Now they brought their earthly, material possessions and put them at the disposal of the apostles. Did the apostles take this money build a great building for the people to worship in? Did they foresee a day when the moneys that were brought to the Lord would be used for a magnificent organ and sound system? Here it says the money was distributed to the needy. This was before the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Were things handled much differently as Saul (Paul) proclaimed the message among the Gentiles?
2nd Corinthians 8:1 We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; 2 for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. (NRSV)
Even though the Macedonians were in affliction and poverty, they showed great generosity.
2nd Corinthians 8:9 For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (NRSV)
Jesus left His glory to join our poverty, so that in His poverty, we might become rich. Do we seek to follow His example?
2nd Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written, "He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. (NRSV)
Many have fallen to the erroneous teaching of Satan (the great liar) that in giving to the church (sowing their seed), the Lord would increase their own material blessings. The blessings of sown seed not given in the right heart (or spirit) would be futile. Seed sown from a pure heart will be blessed, and those blessings will be more fully revealed in God’s Kingdom. Study history. Many have given much for the cause of the Lord and suffered greatly in this life. They are now in Heaven realizing their blessings, not enjoyed in this earthly life.
Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin." (NRSV)
People love to talk about how perfect love casts out fear. It is a fear of this world and what this world can do to you that is to be displaced. Jesus said that we were not to fear men could do to us, but we were to fear the Lord (Matthew 10: 28). A proper fear of the Lord is to discourage us from falling back into the sins of this world. Doesn’t the Scriptures teach that our Father chastens and scourges His children (Hebrews Hebrews 12: 5- 11)?
Also, a proper fear of the Lord will prevent one from placing a worship of anyone or anything before or even alongside of our One True Father Creator. During the campaigns of the political seasons, do you spend as much time studying God’s Word, praying, and worshipping God as you spend promoting your chosen political candidate? Oh, but do you feel that the Lord has lain this political candidate on your heart. Even so, if one feels that the Lord has told him/her to spend more time proclaiming the name of a political candidate than the name of Jesus, then I feel truly sorry for that one. Examine your own conversations. How much time have you invested in telling others about your political candidate, and how much time have you spent telling others against your candidates opponent, and how much time have you spent telling others about Jesus? Do the Scriptures not teach that if anyone comes to you preaching anything other than Jesus and Him crucified, let him be accursed (Galatians 1: 6- 9).
Aside from your gainful employment, are you a member of some other organization, society, or lodge. How much time to you spend meeting, fellowshipping, and tending to this organization’s business as opposed to the Lord’s business? Oh- but do you do ‘good deeds’? Fine- do you do them to the glory of the Lord Jesus? Each must examine his own self, but soon all will be examined by all creation, because that which is done in secret will be shouted from the roofs.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (NRSV)