Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hopelessly Devoted?

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ 
teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; 
and many wonders and [c]signs were taking place through the apostles. 
Acts 2: 42-43 NASB

In 1978 Olivia Newton John made famous the song "Hopelessly Devoted to You" in the hit musical, Grease. We (the people who have seen the movie or musical) know that the thing to which she was hopelessly devoted was high-school heart-throb Danny Zuko.
The early church, the FIRST church that formed after the death and resurrection of Jesus, was devoted to THE TEACHINGS OF THE APOSTLES. That's the equivalent to US being DEVOTED to the teachings of our pastors today, right?  
They were devoted to the teachings, fellowshipping (gathering together), and taking communion together.  
I think this idea of "devotion" looks awfully different than the begrudging obligation that many of us exude when we make our way to church. This "devotion" looks quite unlike the sigh we might heave when the sermon starts and we don't want to hear this message AGAIN on joyful giving. The "devotion" of the first church was motivated by a continuous sense of AWE (v. 43) that they maintained in their faith.
AWE...
The feeling you get when you realize how fortunate we were to see Hurricane Irma change paths rapidly or diminish in speed dramatically as she became a tropical storm.
AWE...
The overwhelming sense that God arranged certain events in order to keep you from a dangerous situation, or saved you from something tragic.
AWE...
The feeling of wonder you experience when you see someone on TV or hear someone speak about a tragic event in THEIR lives which actually brought them closer to God.  
When we are talking about things that are worthy of our DEVOTION...shouldn't God be top of the list?  

But how do we maintain awe in our daily lives when we are bogged down with a forever-pile of paperwork, frustrations, phone calls, follow ups, and FAMILY?  

I turn to a daily DEVOTIONAL (Yes, there's a reason it's called that.)  It turns our eyes to Jesus; it helps us stay DEVOTED by highlighting scripture, and helping us see it at work in our every day lives.  

There are many great devotionals out there, check out this list!

Another option for those of us who start our day on the computer, what about Billy Graham's Devotions on line?  How easy to click on the date and get a quick piece of scripture, prayer and wisdom from one of the GREATS?

Or, if you want encouragement for the "special needs parent" tied in specifically to your devotional, don't forget to check back here daily, or to visit our posts from the same days on previous years.  

Plain and simple, we've gotta do the work!  
God can't speak to us when His book lies closed on our bookshelf.  
God can't fill us with awe if we won't step foot in His house.  

Devotion to God can't be a chore...it can't be a to-do.  

It's a pulling...a calling...a yearning to be closer to the one who made us and was powerful enough to save us.  

In order to stay healthy, we DEVOTE ourselves to eating well and working out.
In order to stay on top of the best care for our children, we DEVOTE ourselves to advocacy, paperwork and follow through.
In order to stay active in our book club (or at least avoiding having to re-check out a book from the library), we DEVOTE ourselves to reading.
In order to stay up to date on our TV programs, we DEVOTE ourselves to recording them or binge watching on Netflix and Hulu.  

How can we NOT DEVOTE ourselves to our Rock, our Good Shepherd, our King?

Pray:  Father God, I'm sorry for the times I've made devotion to you seem like a chore that I just can't make time for. I will find a great way to spend time with you in devotions, prayer and by listening to your word either in a church or on-line.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

No comments:

Post a Comment