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God’s Word for You

Acts 2:46-47 with simple hearts

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, September 9, 2019

46 Day by day they spent much time together in the temple. They broke bread in their homes and ate their meals with joy and with simple hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And the Lord added to their number those who were being saved, day by day.

“With simple hearts” is a translation of a term meaning “without a stone (or pebble),” a way of saying that things went smoothly, like a man walking along happily without ever having a pebble in his shoe. These early days of the Christian Church were happy ones. The people were happy in every single home, and they went daily into the Temple in Jerusalem. The Christians were not yet separating themselves from the Jews or being separated from them. Later, the Jews would drive them out, and the Romans would also declare them to be an illegal religion, but these things would take some time.

A daily question for a Christian to ask is, how can I make life go more smoothly for the people around me? I don’t mean that we need to remove all of the ‘pebbles’ that lie before our children or loved ones, since some of those rough patches and difficulties are important to the way we grow and learn. But what about closer to the mirror? What are the pebbles in me, in my life, in my personality, that I could remove or work at? I can begin with sinful habits that grieve people I love; things that I do that affect me spiritually.

Let the word of God work in you; let the law condemn and crush you, exposing all of your sins. Then embrace the gospel, knowing that there is forgiveness for your sins. David prayed: “Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity” (Psalm 51:8-9). Read the law of God as if it were a mirror reflecting all your sins. See yourself in Eve, in Cain, in Nimrod, in the people lost in the flood. See yourself in Lot’s sons-in-law and in Lot’s wife, and in Laban. Then you will begin to know the meaning of “the bitterness and the gall” (Lamentations 3:19). “I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me” (Lamentations 3:20). But then remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, carrying away all the guilt of our sins, yours and mine and all the sins of the world, in a single sacrifice that need never be repeated. Our names are among those written in “the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain” (Revelation 13:8). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and our sins will never be brought back on our heads or onto our record because we have put our faith in Jesus.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.



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