The Big Read – Daily Read
v1-7: “The Gospel was now preached to Jews and Gentiles together, and those of each group who believed came together into the church.” The preaching they heard was so plain and convincing, “with such evidence and demonstration of the Spirit, and with such power.” The preaching was so warm and affectionate, “and with such a clear concern for human souls.” The preaching was so earnest and so serious, so bold and courageous, “that the people who heard them could not help saying that God was with them.” Yet the success of the preaching was not attributed to the quality of the preaching, “but to the Spirit of God, who used that means.”
v8-18: The witness of God is all around us. “The rain and fruitful seasons could not come about by chance… All the powers of nature witness to us of a sovereign power in the God of nature, from whom they are derived and on whom they depend. It is not the sky that gives rain, but God who gives us rain from the sky.” The witness of God is also seen in the daily provision of food and drink for us. “We must all acknowledge that God fills our hearts with food and gladness — not only food, so that we may live, but also gladness, so that we may live cheerfully; we owe it to him that we do not all our days eat in sorrow. We must thank God not only for our food but also for our joy — that he gives us permission to be joyful, cause to be joyful, and hearts to be joyful. And if our hearts be filled with food and gladness, they should also be filled with love and thankfulness, and released to fulfil our duty in obedience.”
v19-28: Young converts need to be strengthened in the faith because they “tend to waver, and a little thing shocks them.” Swimming against the tide frightens them and can tempt them to retreat from the true grace of God. “Those who are converted need to be confirmed, strengthened; those who are planted need help to become rooted… To retain is sometimes as difficult as to acquire.” What they need is to be exhorted to continue in their belief that Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. “Those who are in the faith should be concerned to continue in the faith, despite all the temptations to desert it that may come upon them from the smiles or frowns of this world. They need to be encouraged to do so often. Those who are continually surrounded by temptations toward apostasy need to be continually freshly motivated with urgent appeals to persevere.”
Quotes from Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
(Photo: Brad Neathery)