The Attraction of Glad and Generous Hearts

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.” Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35

In a time before social media, there still may have been FOMO, “fear of missing out,” yet in the early days of the church, the fellowship of believers was warm and inviting rather than exclusive. The joy of new belief, and the power and spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit on believers, ignited a zeal for living and sharing and meeting needs that was contagious and irresistible.

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There is something about the Spirit-filled life that sees nothing as mine and all as Gods’ to be given and used for His kingdom, and something about that bounty and generosity exuding from God’s children, that attracts onlookers and draws people in. Our senses, our emotions, can be caught up in swells of joy and affection and attention that are freely offered. Somehow, resistances dissolve, hard hearts soften, grudges begin to melt, and protective layers and masks start to slide away when we are warmly embraced by arms open and overflowing with love.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

An effective way to reach a hungry world is to attract them through genuine love and caring, and welcome them in to our fellowship. When we open our homes and lives in glad generosity, holding out the bread of life that satisfies forever, and sincerity that may stupefy, our homes, nor our meals, need not be perfect. What keeps me stingy with my time and stuff? Why do I resist being the uncommon one to invite those outside in? What difference would it make if I offered each day to Jesus, then offered His spiritual food in tangible ways to those He puts in my path? When and where will I set a table of understanding, help, and lavish love for those who need Jesus?

Lord, may the way I gladly love and serve be a magnet for others to know You, that they see and savor Your generous grace.

 

 

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