Scripture Reading — Acts 2:38-42
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching ... fellowship ... breaking of bread and ... prayer. Acts 2:42 —
The apostle Peter had just finished preaching the sermon of his life. He had laid out the gospel message without reservation. All who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 people were added to the church that day. What a celebration that must have been! What a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit!
Then we read that these people devoted themselves. Devoted--what an interesting word. All definitions of this word convey its sense of single focus. To devote is to give. Devotion is the giving of oneself to a particular person, cause, or activity. These first church members were not simply curious or interested--they were devoted. They were giving their lives, body and soul, to the gospel of grace found in Jesus Christ.
Such devotion moves beyond initial excitement and passion to a deeply rooted, long-term relationship with God. Devotion to a walk with Christ is a dynamic that can change the world--and that's exactly what happened. The Spirit birthed a devoted church, and the world was never again the same. Cultures were altered; philosophy was reshaped; God was revealed in deeper and more marvelous ways. The devotion of a few thousand ordinary folks transformed the world. We can't understand it. We can't explain it. God did it--through his church, through his people. Amazing!
Father, may we experience the devotion that characterized the first Christians. May your Spirit so empower us that we become fully devoted to you.