#641. THEY DEVOTED THEMSELVES (6/9/22)
keeping in step with the Spirit by loving God’s truth is a choice that we have to make for ourselves.
“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. 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 favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-43)
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17)
We read that ‘they devoted themselves’. Those who believed and were baptised chose to join this new church and join together in learning. Maybe Peter or one of the other leaders gave a notice about when and where they would meet and these new believers chose to respond. Likewise, I urge you to be devoted to the church and her various meetings; only you can choose to actually be involved.
Peter speaks of the role of elders:
‘To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.’ (1 Peter 5:1-3)
Do you see how elders are to ‘shepherd’ and too ‘watch over’ and set an ‘example to the flock? Do you also see that an elder’s role and gift is only made available to those who are willing? A major function of an elder is feeding the flock through teaching (1 Timothy 3:2) and this is only possible if people will willingly receive this. An elder is like a shepherd of a flock; the flock is to follow them willingly; if they go astray they are to seek to find them; however, all of this is only made possible by the willing, voluntary response of the sheep.
So let me ask you a simple question: are we prioritising, willingly listening to and seeking to apply the teaching of your church elders? Last week, Phil Mash, spoke on the parables of The Pearl of Great Price and The Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:34-35). He encouraged us to ‘go all in’ in God’s Kingdom; he quoted a youth leader who had said to him, “find out what is most important in life and make in most important in your life”; devotion to truth is most important, it’s treasure, but will we be devoted to it? The choice in ours!
God wants us to be devoted to His Word. He wants us to have a vision of bringing ourselves, one another and our community to Him and His word.
Our application for this week is a very simple one - have an open Bible in a prominent place in your home - maybe in front of the TV! - as an inspiration to read it as a lifestyle.
TOGETHER IN SEPTEMBER
During September 2022, at CCP, we are having 'Together' meetings instead of our usual Community Groups. You are very welcome to attend these gatherings.
Please come to the church building at 7:30 pm - refreshments and a meal will be available.