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7th November 2023


Devote Yourselves

Scripture encourages the Lord’s people to devote themselves to several things.
The Lord Himself of course comes first. First things first. SELAH
Accompanying devotion to the Lord there are several other things Christians are encouraged to devote themselves to.
We have seen how we are to faithfully commit ourselves to prayer, the Scriptures & to truly love one another.
Other areas to commit & devote ourselves to include Apostolic doctrine, the breaking of bread & fellowship.
Devoting ourselves to Apostolic doctrine will be our focus for today.


They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42 NIV


This verse provides a glimpse into the initial practice of the early church.
They devoted themselves unto a number of things that really mattered & carried power to change lives.
By devoting themselves in this way the believers were continually & steadfastly committing themselves to four things.
Adhering to Apostolic doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread & prayer.
Each of these was a means of grace & source of strength for both the corporate body & the individual believer.
Note we are talking about THEY here. It was something that the church devoted themselves to together. WE > me.

We have already looked into devoting ourselves to prayer & will explore fellowship & the breaking of bread over the next 2 days.
Apostolic doctrine is therefore our focus for today. What is it & why is it so important?
The Greek word used here is ‘Didache’ & it means teaching or skilled instruction & training.
The believers in the early charge were single-mindedly focusing upon & putting into practice the teaching of the apostles.
No doubt this teaching, instruction & training was being powerfully lived out & modelled at the same time it was being taught.
We often catch & retain more from what we observe rather than what we hear. The combination of the 2 intensified the impact.
The apostles ‘walked the talk’. SELAH

Apostolic doctrine therefore refers to a body of material considered authoritative because of who it was delivered by.
It was the message about Jesus proclaimed by accredited apostles who were those closest to Him in both relationship & time.
It included a compilation of Jesus’ words together with an account of his earthly ministry, passion, and resurrection (Acts 2:22-24).
Alongside this there was a declaration of what all this meant for humanity’s redemption (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).
This became the Christian “tradition” that could be passed on to others (1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6).
This has become what we now refer to as Orthodoxy & has been encapsulated in the historic creeds of the Church.
Basically, we continue to trust those who were first entrusted with the message & teachings of our Lord & master Jesus. Hallelujah!!

For Reflection

  • Who do I trust to instruct & teach me the Word of God? What makes me trust them?
  • Who am I learning about Jesus alongside? How are we being instructed & taught?
  • Meditate upon the authority & continuing impact of Apostolic doctrine.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You call me wholly unto Yourself,
And also to faithfully follow the ways & words of Christ.
Jesus thank you that You so clearly & powerfully modelled how-to live-in God’s world, God’s way,
Through the power of Your Spirit teach & train me to faithfully follow Your words & ways.
Holy Spirit keep revealing the truth of Christ to me,
And keep me living in & following His ways.
This I ask in Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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