“They devoted themselves….” – Acts 2:42
When I read the book of Acts, I get excited. In the first three chapters alone, there’s Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, the Holy Spirit coming down at Pentecost, three thousand people being saved in one day, and a crippled beggar receiving healing. And, that’s only the beginning! The next 25 chapters go on to describe one miraculous event after another.
Such stories amaze me, but they’re also unsettling. Disturbing really. I’m bothered that the experiences of the early Church are so much different than what we know today. Something is definitely wrong here.
Why don’t we witness more of God’s supernatural power? Let’s take a look at the lives of these believers to gain insight into this important matter:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.All the believers were together and had everything in common.They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people (Acts 2:42-47a).”
These people were not half-hearted followers of Jesus. They were completely committed to Him, and God blessed them for it. Their faith was so attractive that “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (2:47b).” Imagine it. Every single day people were rescued from sin! Every single day people received eternal life! Wouldn’t you like to see that happen?
Of course you would. So would I. Then, why don’t we? Has God’s power diminished over time? Absolutely not. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God hasn’t changed at all. Obviously then, the problem lies with us.
Too often Christians (myself included) settle for the ordinary. We fail to realize that God has a whole storehouse of blessings just waiting to be set into motion. He longs to show us the extraordinary! Yet, not many are seeking it. Very few are believing Him for awesome displays of His power, which is precisely why we aren’t witnessing more miracles.
What are we missing? I believe the first three words in Acts 2:42 provide the answer: “They devoted themselves.”
We need to move past a mere desire for knowledge of God and enter into the realm of selfless affection and dedication to Him, His Word, and His people. If we want to see God work among us as He did in the early Church, then we must possess a fierce devotion to the disciplines they practiced:
2) the Word
4) breaking of bread
6) giving to the needy
7) meeting together
When we, as the body of Christ, invest our time and energy into wholehearted service to God, there’s no limit to what He can do. Imagine it. The lost will be found! Healings will abound! Lives will be transformed, to the glory of His Name!
In Jeremiah 30:21, God asked the Israelites, “Who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?” I believe He asks the same question of us today.
Personally, I don’t want to miss out on all that God has for me. My greatest desire is to know Him and grow in Him. I long to experience the Lord’s power as the apostles did.
What about you? Are you willing to devote yourself to be close to the Lord?