The Apostles’ Teaching
Devotion. It is a word that is commonly used in Christian circles to signify a set aside time to read scripture, pray, and spend time with God. However, it also seems that at times that is all it has been reduced to, that our “devotions” are reserved for a set period of time in the morning or in the evenings. When we read that the early church “devoted” themselves it was not for a concentrated time-frame but a practice of their entire being. Everything that they did, their loyalty, enthusiasm, time, discussion, was wrapped up in the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and to prayer. As a result of this devotion, they saw God do wonders and powerful things among them. At times I wonder what wonders and powerful things we would witness if we had the same devotion. What are the things that our level of devotion are just not ready for what Jesus is waiting to do among us?
So just like those early disciples we have to start somewhere to increase our devotion. A good place for us to start is the first thing listed in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ Teaching.” It is interesting to note that it does not say, “to the scriptures.” After-all, these early disciples would have been Jews and already been very familiar with the scriptures that they had but there was something new that was sparking this transformative community. It was this new “Apostles’ Teaching,” namely, the teachings on the person, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This new found devotion was to the person of Jesus and everything that revealed and taught when we was on earth. This is an important distinction for us to catch onto. Yes, we find Jesus in the scriptures that we have now and the early church did not have what we have but if we miss the part of the devotion to the person, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus then we miss the center-point of the devotion. Jesus is the lens through which we should approach scripture. If we miss this, we run the risk of mis-construing or even weaponizing scripture. We could do more harm than good. As we seek to increase our devotion like those early disciples, may we also follow their example and centering there devotion on the person of Jesus. Devoting ourselves to understand, learn, discuss, and act on the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It is when we center ourselves around Jesus that we can truly expect to step into the wonder and power that those early disciples experienced.
- What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of devotion? Why do you think that comes to mind?
- Rate where your devotion to Jesus is on scale of 1-10. Why did you rank it where you did? Are you satisfied with it? If not, why do you want your devotion to increase?
- Why do you think it is important see scripture through the lens of Jesus and not the other way around? Have you ever been the recipient of scripture being weaponized? How do you think seeing through the lens of Jesus would have changed that?
- What are 1-3 new things that you would like to know about Jesus or being devoted to the way of Jesus? How do you think you can go about discovering those things?
- Begin reading the gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. They overlap but are also unique so that we can get a full picture of who Jesus is.
- Get involved in a gather! Make Sunday Prayer or Worship a priority, join in on Common Table, or simply ask us questions! We are here to help people follow Jesus!