Could it be that one of God's purposes in this recession is to reveal whether we are living in true community with one another as Christians? In Acts 4:32-33, the early church is described as having "one heart and one soul" and God's "grace was upon them all." They were truly a gospel-centered community. But the evidence of their community is shown in the next verse. Verse 34 says,
There was not a needy person among them ...
Wow. According to this verse, one way to guage whether we're living in true community is if anyone is needy in our body. Jesus said that all people will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. Loving one another includes sharing our money with those who are needy, perhaps those who have just lost their job. Contrary to Cain's response in Gen. 4, we are our brother's keeper. We all are connected to one another. So, we of all people ought to hold onto our money and resources with an open hand and give to those who need it more than we do.
John Piper sums up the challenge of this recession with a word to the church:
[In these days ahead] God will test to see if we are a church or a club.
- Read Piper's sermon, "What is the Recession for?"