“And they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch, Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” (Acts 11:22-23)
Barnabas beheld the GRACE OF GOD working in their lives, and he was glad. This is a beautiful, positive approach. He could have seen all the imperfections, how much spiritual growth was needed, worried about the errors of doctrine, whatever else might be common to the beginnings of the Christian walk. But he saw the grace of God, and knew there was a work begun, and viewing God’s handiwork, he knew that the One who had begun in these people a good work, He also would bring it to a successful conclusion in due time, so he only sought to encourage, to exhort them to continue, to follow on to perfection, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
The word ‘cleave’ comes from the Greek ‘pros’ meaning toward, and ‘meno’ which means to remain, abide. What an excellent exhortation, to remain towards the Lord, to abide in a walk that is always directed towards the Lord, to keep Him in the center of our vision, and to remain in that close union with Him. “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth,” (Psalm 16:8-9)
This vital abiding, remaining ever towards the Lord, is the resultant action of our PURPOSE OF HEART. It speaks of the action of the will. True, spiritual depth and maturity come with growth and processing under the workmanship of the Spirit of God within us, but our responsive action to His inworking is the exercise of our will, willing to live out that which He has wrought within. “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself,” (Dan. 1:8). The deliberate, pre-meditated, chosen course of action. It was the action of his will motivated by his heart, his inner state of being, that gave strength to face every test, which followed.
Lord, we will to have Your will in all things. Amen!