Friday, November 20, 2015

The Inspiring New Believers of Acts 2; part two

Picking up where we left off yesterday, we have set the stage for arriving at verse 46. "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts."

Let's just look at the first half of this verse as we begin. Some things I notice are:
- this was a priority and a habit; it takes commitment to continue with something like this
- their hearts were seeking growth and instruction
- the footnote on this verse reminds that there were {and still are} Jews who believe Jesus is their Savior and those who do not. Because of the tension between these two groups, many like these mentioned here would meet in homes to grow in their knowledge of Christ which they would not receive at "church." Yet they still wanted the instruction on/from the Scripture so they would do both - meet together for the public teaching and meet privately for further study, growth and instruction.

Verse 46 continues, "They broke bread and ate together with glad and sincere hearts."
We already talked about this "breaking bread" phrase in verse 42, here it adds that they ate together. This begs the question:  Why is it important to eat together? 

- Meals are necessary for us to maintain life and each one is a direct celebration of God's sustaining provision and blessing in our life. They are celebrating God's provision twice - the provision of a Savior {communion} and the provision of the meal before them. It is life in every realm - immediate life needs and eternal life needs.

- Sweet beauty of fellowship around the table together - just to provide a place to come to the table, rest, relax, be nourished and connect with one another. Recently, our CC Essentials mamas got together to watch some DVD's that all of us Essentials mamas get together to watch and we had a birthday to celebrate to we included dinner in the equation. We had so much fun gathering around the table over food without an agenda and just for an opportunity to fellowship and share this blessing together. It was so great, we are going to keep it going.

In addition to loving the fact that they come together to eat, I love the words used to describe their hearts: glad and sincere - what do these words bring to mind?

* glad: this makes me immediately think of Pollyanna and her Glad Game. She was so good at finding something to be thankful for in the midst of even difficult circumstances and it was contagious!

* sincere: genuine, being who I way I am, caring for others, not putting on airs

Verse 47 closes out this chapter by sharing more of a glimpse into the hearts of these believers and the way they carried themselves:

- praising God
- enjoying the favor of all the people: people were attracted to them and wanted to be like them!

And then this, "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Their life and lifestyle were attractive and drawing to people who watched them. Others wanted to be part of it too, it was so appealing to them that it became a heart change for many watching and they welcomed new believers every day by God's grace.

The way I interact with and live among others will either draw others in or push them away. Is there something I can do this week to cultivate this contagious faith to those around me?

Let's keep these thoughts in mind as we gather around during this holiday season - it is a beautiful time of celebrating and giving thanks - how can we gather and celebrate with glad and sincere hearts for His glory?!

Have a great weekend!


Tina Leigh said...

Beautiful Monica. A church sign I pass everyday says this, "Are you living your Thanksgiving or eating it?". Your post is a wonderful reminder of our Biblical responsibilities. What a privilege we have to serve Jesus by serving others as you do.

Mom said...

Good observations and insights into this passage! I especially appreciate what you said about the "sweet beauty of fellowship" and about glad and sincere hearts.