Acts 2:42-43 NLT
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.
Yesterday we began a new series at The Community Fellowship called “Give it All Away”. Over the next four weeks we will be discussed the lives of disciples, followers of Jesus, and how their lives are impacted by God and how they are impacting others through their connection to God.
There is a cause and effect of almost everything we do. That has been true since creation, and it will be true until the end of the earth. In the verses above we see that the early church devoted themselves to God, and the outcome or result is the sense of awe that came over them. The same thing that those early Christians experienced is the same thing that you can I can experience.
Psalm 112:9 NLT
They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.
By the choices we make we influence others. Some of the things we do influence people in a very negative way. That is why we have to be very careful because it is naive to think that we are the only ones who suffer or share in the consequences of our actions and choices.
By living in freedom and the forgiveness that God gives us we lead others to lives in the same way. Influence is a big deal. Our influence is one of the best things we can do for the people that we encounter on a daily basis, some are family or close and others we don't know very well. When we make positive choices and live by faith, we will help others experience the God that we have come to know, love and follow.
The early church devoted themselves to the truth of Scripture and to spending time together as well as to making a difference in the community in which they lived. We must do the same.
The word “devoted” speaks to an active choice that made by a person. It is when we by an act of our will choose to do something. Again, this could be a positive or a negative choice. We have watched people, even ourselves, devote ourselves to the wrong things that lead us in a destructive direction. Turn to the other direction and see that our great choices lead us in a successful direction that will help many, many people beginning with us.
The first church chose to follow God and to allow the truth of the apostles teaching to penetrate their lives. Acts 2 began with Pentecost happening. This is when God sent the Holy Spirit. The chapter ends with the first church gaining strength and making a huge impact. Their strength was in their number. This is not about a large crowd. This is about power coming from a group of people who center their lives on a common goal, worship together and seek God as one. That ends in a powerful overflow all because of a choice to be devoted to God.
The result of choosing to be devoted was a “sense of awe”. Being devoted was their choice. The awe was the result. The awe and excitement and joy came as the blessing of what God gave after the devotion. We don’t and can’t chose to live in the awe. We chose to follow Jesus, be devoted to Him, and the outcome is to be in more awe of God. he gives the awe.
If we are seeking an experience or the sense of awe for the wrong reason, we will miss the best that God has for us. It begins with being devoted to God. It ends with us being overcome with the awe and worship of God.
May we be people who chose to be devoted to God and lead others to chose Christ and end experiencing the awe of God as His gifts to them, and to us!