Scripture: Acts 2:37-47
Key verse: (42) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Reflection: In the book of Acts, we get a sense of how the good news of the gospel spread out into the world, transforming lives and calling people to follow Jesus Christ. Luke, the gospel writer, also wrote the book of Acts. Perhaps in his mind, this is the sequel to the gospel, the continuation of the story, and the gospel story continues through history to now include even us.
Luke tells us that the early disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.” These spiritual activities formed the core of their faith practices, helping to encourage them and equip them to share the good news. I am intrigued by the word “devoted.” In the Greek, the words indicate constancy and continued faithfulness. Apparently we know someone is “devoted” because we watch what they keep doing over and over. These practices are habits woven into their lives.
Disciples who devote themselves to learning, and to prayer, and to fellowship, and to worship will grow in faith. They will gain knowledge, but more importantly they will be transformed to be more like Jesus Christ in the world. They will be equipped to share the good news with those around them, in both word and deed. I sometimes think that faith practices shape us the way water shapes a rock; slowly over time the steady and constant drip of water will smooth a rough place. So it is with prayer and worship and Bible study and fellowship!
What are you devoted to? What are your daily and weekly habits? Exercise? Drinking several glasses of water each day? If someone observed your life for a month, what would they conclude about your faithful commitments? Regular prayer? Weekly worship? Gathering with other disciples for fellowship? The summer might be a good time to devote yourself to faith practices because the change in routine creates opportunities for new habits. As a disciple of Jesus, what will you devote yourself to?
Prayer: In these long days of summer, I want to devote myself to you dear Lord. Surround me with faithful community that encourages my faith practices. Help me create habits that will invite your transformation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].