My Way Here… Through hardships untold and heartaches unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the Kingdom of my father. Through perilous journey’s over lands covered with temptations, I have triumphed my way here to the gates of heaven. Through eyes once clouded and a heart once jaded, I have believed my way here to the splendor of heaven. Through words confessed with my mouth and deeds done with my hands I have prayed my way here to the glory of my father’s kingdom; Heaven.
Jennifer Seaton – 2004
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.Acts 2:42-47 NIV
What does it mean to be devoted to something?
I love this word because it speaks of giving yourself completely to something, spending time, giving attention. It also carries undertones of loyalty, love, and passion… It’s hard in our culture to be devoted to anything. Now that it’s possible for many to work whenever and wherever it suits us, it’s hard to be fully present anywhere. We always have one eye on our notifications, and one earphone in; so, it is harder to be devoted because we are constantly bombarded by our connections to other times and places.
As Christians we should first and foremost be devoted to God, to Jesus, to the teachings in the Bible. Our Christianity is what we are, who we are comes second. I am a wife, mother, daughter, and granddaughter, but without God, and the words he spoke when he created me, I am essentially nothing.
I didn’t realize the depth of devotion we need to have for Christ.
When I first became a Christian I was naïve. I knew that Jesus was my saviour and that God created everything we know, and all that we are still learning about. I was familiar with immersion Baptism (having been baptized as a baby in the Anglican (Episcopal) Church and the concept of needing to be Born Again. I had read large chunks of the Bible over the years, and had been in and out of local churches while I figured myself and my beliefs out. What I didn’t know about, or didn’t grasp was the depth of devotion being asked of me.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to erase my sins and the sins of the world, he died so that I could live, so that I could be born, so that my story could be written in the cosmos. He died so that all of our stories could be written and imprinted. The amount of love He had for us was so great. God’s love was so profound that he gave us his only son so that we could continue to be… that simple realization shifted everything for me. I went from believing that Jesus is my Saviour to being completed devoted to the words, the teachings, the Man who was and still is Jesus.
2 Samuel 7 describes how God makes a covenant with David, who wants to build God a permanent house. Later in 1 Chronicles 28-29 we read about David as he prepared to build the temple. He prayed for his son to have the devotion to see the temple completed. I was struck by the strength in that word. The kind of devotion that David was praying for was a faithful, powerful, dedicated commitment to a specific purpose. The Bible talks about David’s devotion to building the temple of God. He then passes that charge for devotion down to his son Solomon, who will actually complete the building of the temple.
Do we have that kind of devotion to our faith, to our commitment to God?
In Daniel 3, we have the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These were three men who were willing to die for their faith. Their devotion was strong enough to withstand the fire of a burning furnace. Their faith and devotion was unconditional; even if God did not rescue them from the situation, they would remain devoted and faithful.
Can we say the same? No matter what happens in life, are we able to stand firm in our faith?
“A successful life … requires commitment—whole-souled, deeply held, eternally cherished commitment to the principles we know to be true in the commandments God has given.”Howard W. Hunter
What does devotion mean in our lives as believers?
In a world that constantly pressures us to deny our faith, can we keep an uncompromising devotion to Christ through it all?
Are we passionately devoted to God like David or the three men in Daniel 3 or are we devoted with our mouths but not with our hearts like the Israelites in Ezekiel?
These are questions that force us to evaluate our Christian walk… what does Devotion mean to you?
“My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you and listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.”Ezekiel 33:31