#640 DEVOTION IS A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (5/9/22)
Our vision is to be a church community that is,
“Bringing people to Jesus - myself, one another and my community”
This is the kind of church that we see in Acts 2 and over the next 4 weeks, we’ll seek to learn from them so as to be a church that brings people to Jesus.
Firstly, we see that God wants us to have a vision of being a church that is devoted to the truth of God's Word. Bringing people to Jesus - myself, one another and our community - is about bringing people to the truth of the gospel and God's word. We read:
“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)
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth." (John 16:12-13)
As we see in Acts 2, a true work of the Spirit will always result in devotion to the things that are important to God. Anyone who is ‘born again’ will live a new kind of life and any church community that is filled with people who are born again will live like the ‘citizens of heaven’(Phil. 3:20) that they have become. Those who became Christians on The Day of Pentecost were all baptised (Acts 2:41); baptism speaks of death to our old life and new resurrection life in Christ; it is this resurrection life of the Spirit which will show itself in new devotion to God, His people and His mission.
THEY WERE DEVOTED
‘Devoted’ (proskartereó) means to attend constantly, persevere, to Continue steadfastly in. Do you see that when the Spirit is in work in us, we have a new ravenous appetite for God’s Word?
‘Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.’ (Matthew 7:17-20)
WHY CAN WE LACK AN APPETITE FOR GOD’S WORD?
i. WE ARE NOT BORN AGAIN
If we have no love for truth, we must ask if we’ve actually become Christians. Have you asked Jesus into your life as Lord and Saviour? Have you been born again of the Spirit?
ii. WE ARE NOT IN FELLOWSHIP
The community that we are devoted to will have a massive effect upon us. If we are devoted to being with a church that loves truth, we will be encouraged to love truth and vice-versa.
iii. WE HAVE ALLOW STRONGHOLDS INOTO OUR MINDS
Our lack of devotion to truth can be because we have believed lies such as: “… I’m not intelligent… I have to read loads to be a good Christian… the Bible is boring… the Bible is not relevant to me…” Some people find reading very easy, some find it challenging, but we can all be devoted to learning God’s truth and sometimes slower is better!
iv. WE ARE IN SIN
If we are in rebellion to God, will will grieve the Spirit and His work in our lives will be hindered. In the natural, if we lack appetite, this is a sign of poor health; likewise a lack of appetite for God and His word is a sign of poor spiritual health.
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.