All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. (NLT)
“Devote” seems like a somewhat outdated word. In the musical Grease, Olivia Newton John sang “hopelessly devoted to you.” Maybe the word is a relic of the 1950’s? Maybe we are so busy and preoccupied today that we don’ t have the energy to “devote” ourselves anymore. Maybe everything seems so unreliable these days that we’d rather be tentative than devoted. It just seems safe that way.
The dictionary defines “devote” as “to give up or appropriate to or concentrate on a particular pursuit, occupation, purpose, cause, etc.: to devote one's time to reading.” I’ve mentioned other places that balanced really has to do with focus. To concentrate on one thing is perhaps to give up something else.
How do we make sure that our spiritual life is on track? Now, I didn’t say perfectly in order. I don’t think that happens in this life. The early church devoted themselves to four things that helped them grow: God’s Word, fellowship, sharing meals and prayer.
For some to mention food and fellowship separately may seem a little confusing. Where I grew up, fellowship equaled “pot luck.” Christian fellowship or koinonia carries with it the idea of coming together in love, faith, and encouragement (Philippians 2:1-2).
What do you devote yourself to? How would you rate yourself in terms of connecting with other believers, studying the Word together, sharing meals together and praying?
Copyright © 2009 by Allen White
All Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.