Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house,
they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart
Last Sunday we focused our study primarily on “fellowship” and “joy.” The Apostle John proclaimed the Gospel so others could join him in fellowship with God, and he joyfully wrote inspired Scripture because he knew the Spirit of God would use it to bring more into the fellowship. Over 1900 years later, we have fellowship with God and one another because someone proclaimed the Gospel to us from the Scriptures. The same joy experienced in the first century is available to us today. Every day!
The early church was filled with joy. Read the Book of Acts and notice how often the believers are described as glad, joyful, or rejoicing (5:41; 8:8, 39; 11:23; 12:14; 13:48, 52; 14:17; 15:3, 31; 16:34; 21:17). They rejoiced when they suffered for proclaiming the gospel, when they saw others come to saving faith, when they were baptized, when they encouraged each other, when God answered prayer, when they heard about Gentiles responding to the Gospel, and when they received truth from the Apostles and leaders of the church.
In Acts 2:46, the word “gladness” is a special word for joy that refers to extreme joy (see also Mt. 5:12; Heb. 1:9; 1 Pet. 1:6, 8; 4:13; Jude 24; Rev. 19:7). God wants us to be characterized by joy which is why He commanded us to be joyful when we serve Him (Ps. 100:2), and for that matter, at all times (Phil. 4:4). To that end, He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us and produce in us His fruit of joy (Gal. 5:22). God has provided us with the resources necessary for lives characterized by joy.
How about you? Are you joyful today? Is your service in the local church joyful? Regardless of your circumstances, is your life characterized by joy? Jesus found joy in dying for us; we should find joy in living for Him (Heb. 12:1-2). Spend time meditating on all that Jesus has done, is doing, and will do for you on into eternity. Fix your mind on things above where Jesus is seated. Think about His coming kingdom and what it will be like to see Him face-to-face. Listen and sing along to some praise music and great hymns of the faith. Then come on Sunday morning ready to smile, rejoice, and fellowship with one another in extreme joy.