During church recently, someone gave their lives to Jesus. The celebrations in the building were great. I can only imagine what was going on in heaven. The presence of God was tangible. This person felt Holy Spirit speaking to them and responded. For me, this is what Christianity is all about. It doesn’t get any better than this. Afterwards however, as I pondered such an awesome day, I felt dissatisfied. Of course, one more soul in the Kingdom is awesome, but I want more than one every now and again. If there is something I can do to improve that number it has to be worth it – but what? The early church seemed to get it right. We read in Acts 2 that “the Lord added to their number day by day those that were being saved.”
Verse 42 tells us us that the beginning of this occurring was from the devotion of the believers to the teaching of the apostles, fellowship with each other, the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Most of those reading this go to church on a Sunday, listen to the sermon, participate in communion if it’s happening that week, and say a amen each and every prayer. For some, the best part is the fellowship that happens after the service.
Devotion to these things however is a different thing all together.
The word translated as “devoted” here is proskartereō. The blue letter bible app defines this word as follows.
to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one
to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing
to continue all the time in a place
to persevere and not to faint
to show one’s self courageous for
to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly
Most of us are far too busy to spend all our time in one place. Lunch is calling. Homework for the kids, and preparations for the week ahead beckon. My question is, are we hoping Church can be over, so we can get on with life, or are we “steadfastly attentive to” what is being taught. Are we asking the Holy Spirit how we can apply it to our lives in the coming week? Are we using what is taught to shape the way we live our lives? Do we trust our leaders to lead us to God, or is church just something we do on a Sunday morning?
Will we commit to pray together? Or just when someone with the microphone prays, but together. Will we pray with expectation? Acts tells us that when this happened, many signs and wonders happened through the apostles. Which of us would wouldn’t long for more signs and wonders in the church? Not for the signs and wonders themselves, but because they point to the give of these gifts.
We have just had a week of prayer. I know that prayers were answered. Prayer is the muscle that moves heaven. Your prayers are important. Souls in the Kingdom for eternity is the prize – its too important not to. In my experience, prayer isn’t just good for others, it’s good for me too. There is nothing like a clearly answered prayer to build my faith that God can and will do it again.
I believe that if we pray together, asking God to do the impossible amongst us (for who can turn a heart towards God if not God himself), and devote ourselves to the teaching of our leaders, to do what God is teaching us through them, and applying it to our lives, trusting it is a word in season, that we will see signs, wonders and more people coming to know the love of a Father. Is that your heart’s desire? Do you feel that there is more to the Christian life that “Pie in the sky when you die”?
I know this is a very simplistic interpretation of the text, that there are other things we need to do too – but I can’t help feeling that if we don’t do the things that are spelled out for us, the more “complicated” things will become easier too.
Let’s push into all that God has for us – I promise it will be worth it.