“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized. . .”

Acts 2:41a

You can’t go with God and stay where you are.

That’s the message that “pricked the heart” of those who heard Peter’s message that day, causing them to cry out “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).  They realized what they’d done and the weight of their guilt was about to crush them.  That’s why they cried out in desperation:  “Please, tell me what I need to do!

No one likes going to a doctor or dentist.  We especially don’t like being told we’re in need of treatment; yet, we know the pain will not stop until the remedy is applied.  And, the same is true when the Holy Spirit “convicts us of sin, the need of righteousness and judgment to come” (Jn. 16:8-11).  We know what we need/ought to do; the question is “Will we do it?”

Repentance is never easy.  No doubt the road leading home was a long one for the prodigal son; yet, he knew if he didn’t “arise and go to the father” that he’d end up dying of starvation in that stinking pig pen (Lk. 15:15-20).

Yes, the first step is always the hardest.

But, thankfully, the One Who convicts us of our sin is also the One Who accompanies us on our journey Home.  And, thankfully, this same One is the One Who “sees us a great way off, has compassion on us, runs to meet us, grabs us in a bear hug and kisses us” (Lk. 15:20).

That’s what happened that day in our Manna.

“Receiving the Word” (believing what the Holy Spirit said through Peter) produced repentance (a turning from self and a turning to the Savior), which resulted in redemption from above and rejoicing within.

Again, the key is “gladly receiving the Word.”

No one likes to be told he’s wrong or sick; yet, such is necessary if there’s to be a change.  We may not like the doctor’s diagnosis, but we do not blame him for our sickness.  We have a choice of either believing him or not.  However, if we take him at his word and surrender ourselves into his care, later on we’ll thank him for (hopefully) helping bring healing to us.

Oh, dear Pilgrim, the Holy Spirit’s “scalpel” (the Word) is incredibly sharp (Heb. 4:12).

But, the Great Physician will never cut us except for the express purpose of healing and wholeness.  Where’s He “pricking” you today?  In what areas is He convicting you and calling for a change in thoughts and deeds, attitude and actions?

Only those who “gladly receive the Word” will experience the joy that comes from walking in His Spirit (Acts 2:42-47).  There’s no doubt He’s wanting to do something miraculous in your life; the question is “Are you willing to let Him?

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 31, 2009

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