[Originally written back in December 2005.]
As you may know, I have three month old twin boys who are unbelievable blessings to our household. And they have acquired a habit, though, that indeed brightens up the house even more.
They have learned to smile!
No, really. These are legitimate responses to whatever ridiculous mannerisms we send their way — and it amazes me how it helps our moods. For instance, I have battled the flu for the last two days and found myself in bed trying to sleep that foul filth off! When I finally emerged from my quarantine, I was needed to hold one of the twins. I noticed that he had seemed to grow in the past two days and had even changed some facial features. Now, when I told him this in that baby talk we parents tend to do, he did it! He smiled — grinning from ear to ear!!!
Now, let’s take the simple principle of a smile and put it to, say, church! When someone new comes to visit, do you greet them with a smile? When your pastor preaches a strong word, do you smile? When you sing a song that blesses your heart or even convicts you, do you smile at God’s working in your life?
Sadly, many of our churches have folks who sit in the pews with such dour looks on their faces, often times we have to check in front of the pulpit to see if there is a coffin!! When we lose the joy in worship and in hearing the Word and in singing His songs and fellowshipping with His people, I fear for our spiritual condition!
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  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.
There is an unspoken joy detailed in the early church of Acts 2. They couldn’t get enough of the Lord nor of helping each other! Their praise was such that it made a racket to all those in the surrounding area — so much so that the authorities tried to stop them! They did not grumble having to come week to week, for they met “day by day!” And God did mighty works among them and “awe came upon every soul.”
But the main issue was that they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). All the other things happened as a result of these things. They listened to the Word, they encouraged one another in fellowship, and they communed with God in prayer! When these things are in place, God moves!
Are they in place in amongst your people? Let us pray that this be the case in 2006!