Glad and Sincere Hearts September 24, 2022
Saturday, September 24th
Take5 Devotional today written by Pastor Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor
Glad and Sincere Hearts
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
This June, I was walking to dinner at summer camp when I heard the shouts and laughter of a group of students. As I got closer, I realized that they were playing a card game that was clearly bringing them a great deal of fun. They saw me watching and asked if I wanted to play and while I didn’t know the game, their enjoyment of it made me want to try. I accepted their invitation and joined in the game that, as it turns out, was just as joyful for me as it was for them. That day I relearned a lesson God has taught me many times; joy is the best invitation. If I had walked by a group of kids playing a game that made them look bored, angry, or apathetic, I would not have been interested in playing. But because they enjoyed it, I wanted in.
The early church did not grow rapidly and powerfully because it had the best buildings, philosophical arguments, ministry programs, or comprehensive strategies. The early church grew because they were filled with joy. They had “glad and sincere hearts” and that kind of disposition makes people stop and look. In a culture of outrage, negativity, cynicism, and despair, our church has a massive opportunity to be a joyful contrast. We will fail as a church if our primary disposition is one of anger and outrage. But we will flourish if we are known for our joy, gladness, and sincere love!
For today: Have you allowed outrage and anger at our culture to diminish the joy and gladness in your heart?