Worshiping God and Thanking Jesus

Glad Hearts

Acts 2:46 describes the “glad” hearts of the Jerusalem church.  This was a happy and positive congregation.  One reason was their great relief and sheer joy in receiving God’s promises.  Those who responded to Peter’s sermon were “cut to the heart.”  Recognizing their sins against the Messiah, they knew they were in trouble.  In reply to their desperate plea, Peter commanded, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).  Three thousand obeyed the Gospel that same day.

The very Jesus they helped to crucify flooded them with overwhelming mercy.  The blood of His murder gave them complete “forgiveness.”  More than that, He gave them “the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus proved to be more than “Lord and Christ,” He became also their Savior and Friend, leading to greater joy than any human friendship gives.  Paul affirms this for us: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).  We can understand that language.  I rejoice in my wife and children.  You rejoice in your family, meaning you rejoice in how special they are, how close the relationship.  “Rejoice in the Lord always” does not mean disappointments never touch us.  People and circumstances in a fallen world do sadden us.  But Jesus never disappoints us.  He is our constant joy, especially as our relationship with Him grows.  The New Testament church is a rejoicing church, individuality and collectively.  That rejoicing is evident in our positive perspectives, our confident choices, and even our faces.  “A glad heart makes a cheerful face” (Proverbs 15:13).

John Reese

Highland Village Church of Christ 2018