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Devoted


Scripture: Acts 2:42 CEB “The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.” I admittedly love the stories recorded of the early church. Over the years I have come to understand what the early church was like through one phrase … on fire! Through the descriptions of what went on in the early church this seems to be the most accurate description. So what does it mean? To be on fire for something denotes passion, urgency, and an all-consuming attitude. As I read the New Testament it seems like the gospel of Jesus Christ was the only thing on their mind. It was what consumed their thoughts and actions. They acted out of courage and strength given directly from the Holy Spirit and gave themselves to the work of the good news. This is the type of passion to which we should aspire. We should seek to be on fire for Jesus and in the name of Jesus act out that passion. In the second chapter of The Book of Acts there is a description of exactly what that means. The Common English Bible translates it this way, “The believers devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.” Other than the word believer there is one other very important word, devoted. Merriam-Webster defines devoted as having a strong love or loyalty to something or someone. This definition seems to undersell what the Acts believers had for Jesus and his gospel. The good news they had been taught by the apostles was everything to them. They gave every part of their life to this new way of believing and living. It was their one Holy passion and it literally consumed them. It was the one thing to which they were devoted. What would it look like to be that on fire for Jesus today? What would happen if we were to devote ourselves to the apostle’s teaching, to the community, to shared meals together, and to praying for each other? Some would say this is what the church does even today. When we get it right this is absolutely true. The one thing we must have in order for this to be absolutely true is the passion, the total devotion. When that is missing our time together becomes more social than spiritual. We need to have passion for what we do. A word of caution: passion is not the same as activity and volume. The most passionate person for God may not be the loudest or even the most outwardly active. This may be the difference between passion and devotion. Being on fire for God is less about passion and more about devotion. When we are passionately devoted to God our love and loyalty belong to God alone. This is what it truly means to be on fire for God. To be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ means that every part of our life is devoted to Jesus. Is my life fully devoted? Are there any parts of my life that I resist devoting to Jesus? Is my marriage devoted to Jesus? Is my family devoted to Jesus? Have I devoted my work to Jesus? Have I devoted my weekends to Jesus? Are my finances devoted to Jesus? Today make the decision to devote every part of your day to Jesus. Make the decision now. Don’t wait until something goes wrong or you feel like you need to … make the decision now. One of my spiritual mentors, Dr. Steve Harper, says “We are not called to a devotional time, we are called to a devotional life.” We must make the decision every morning to devote all of our day, and life, to Jesus. Perhaps today we may even be on fire for Jesus and be consumed with devoting every moment to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Prayer: Holy God, Scripture tells us that you are an all-consuming fire. Consume me today that I may be on fire for you. Empower me to live a life devoted to you today in every aspect of my life. I love you Lord and my loyalty is to you alone. Fill me with the fire of your Holy Spirit and kindle in me the fire of your love. In the name of Jesus. Amen.