A Devoted Church
by PastorErick | 2/6/17, 9:00 AM
As I've been thinking about all the people I've come into contact with lately that are looking to join our church, I'm reminded of a passage from the book of Acts. It comes right after the church was just getting formed. We read:
 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the 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. (ESV)
To put it simply, my prayer for Epiphany Lutheran Church is that we would have the same steadfast devotions:
1. Devotion to the Apostle's teaching- Apostle's teaching for our purposes today means they had devotion to the word of God (aka, the Bible). These first Christians understood that the word had power and authority and was their key to freedom.
2. Devotion to the fellowship- Through thick and thin, good times and bad times, the people of the church stuck with each other and sought to love one another fiercely.
3. Devotion to the breaking of bread- This is most likely a reference to Communion. Why such devotion? Because there they were reminded of how steadfast God's love for them was: So steadfast, that He would bleed and die for them. There at Communion we receive Jesus' forgiveness and nourishment for our faith.
4. Devotion to prayer- Would you do me a favor and say a quick prayer for Epiphany today? What if we all did that everyday? Ask God to bring new people, to provide for our needs and to help us love and serve our community well.
5. Devotion to generosity- We're told the early Christians cared so much for one another that they were willing to sell their homes to make sure everybody had what they needed to get by (vs. 45). Now, I'm not suggesting you need to do something that radical. But wouldn't it be great if we were all known as generous people?
What does devotion to these things result in?
1. Awe and Praise to God- This is our hope too: That as people are drawn into our community they would see how good and caring and loving and gracious and just and powerful God is, and through seeing, be inspired to worship Him.
2. More people joined up- A church is not all about "the numbers" (far from it), but wouldn't it be great if more and more people came to hear the wonderful message that "God shows his love for them in that while they were still sinners, Christ died for them?" That "God so loves them that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life?" Yes, I want more and more people to know this truth and to be set free by it.
I want you to know that I pray for you always and I care for you deeply. If you ever want to talk, share something you need prayer for or just want to get together for coffee, please feel free to call me anytime at 909-210-8585.
Grace and Peace,
- 31 - Reasons for Faith in the Bible Part I: Jesus Said So
- 24 - Reasons For Faith In Jesus’ Resurrection Part V: The Uniqueness of the Resurrection
- 17 - Reasons For Faith In Jesus’ Resurrection Part IV: The External Evidence
- 10 - Reasons For Faith In Jesus’ Resurrection Part III: The Birth, Rapid Expansion and Martyrdom Of The Early Church
- 03 - Reasons for (Christian) Faith Part II: The Counterproductive Gospel