TOPIC: FOLLOWING WITH GLAD AND SINCERE HEART
Read: Acts 2:40-47
Acts 2:40-47 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart (Acts 2:46)
With all honesty, can we say without reservation that gladness and sincerity of heart pervade most of our church and home fellowships and activities, today? So many of our gatherings look so artificial to the spiritually minded. Little wonder we experience little or no mighty manifestations of the Lord that those of old enjoyed unhindered.
Gladness is the state of being happy and pleased, bright and cheerful, being appreciative of, or grateful for something, so much that one is cheerfuly willing, or ready to do something. Sincerity is honesty in the expression of true or deep feelings, i.e. being honest and unaffected in a way that shows what is said is really meant, not feigned, based on what is truly and deep felt.
A striking feature of the early Church that made them enjoy favour of both God and people (v. 47a) is that they did all they did – fellowship, worship, Scripture study, breaking of bread, prayer, house fellowship, communal sharing, etc. ‘together with glad and sincere hearts’ (v. 46 NIV).
God is more interested in the intentions/motives behind actions than the actions themselves, and He grades and rewards accordingly. He looks straight into the heart beyond the eyes (1 Sam. 16:7). Where there is the manifestation of carnality (1 Cor. 3:1-3) as we meet in worship, fellowship, and outreach, can there be true gladness in the service?
Have we forgotten that God isn’t the author, and can never abide where confusion reigns (1 Cor. 14:33,40)? How sincere are we with what we say, do, and give to God and others? Sincerity and faithfulness are somewhat synonymous, and that is what moves God (1 Cor. 4:2). Faithfulness is what breeds fruitfulness in God’s service.
May there be restoration of gladness/joy and sincerity of heart and purpose in our worship, fellowships and outreaches, henceforth, beyond the gladness and enthusiasm the tourists are getting from tourism as today marks world Tourism Day, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1. O Lord, restore true gladness and sincerity of heart in our midst as we worship and serve You, in Jesus’ name.
2. Lord, forgive our past insincerity in our dealings with You and others, and help us to return to the path of genuineness and honesty.
3. Pray for Christians in Civil Service that they would become godly examples of honesty, remembering that they are serving God as they serve humanity.
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EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Proverbs 24:18 – 26:18; Galatians 1:6 – 2:3