I just heard a random fact: At one point Starbucks was opening a new store every 4 hours. Starbucks was devoted to their mission—to make expensive coffee available on every street (not their official mission statement).
That reminds me of the explosive growth the church experienced in the book of Acts. After the first recorded sermon, Peter baptized 3000 people. That is an impressive response to a sermon that lacked an organ, microphones, well crafted order of worship, powerpoint and all the other things we now incorporate into worship.
Peter’s message though was interesting, and it clearly resonated in the hearts of these people. They realized that the church’s message is one that challenges us to live differently then the world around us. Having become part of the community, it says that the 3000 people were “devoted” to the church.
The Greek word used here implies more than devotion, it also suggests perseverance. To be devoted to something or someone, it also means that we will have to persevere through some challenging. It means that we will make personal sacrifices in order for that thing to succeed.
The truth is devotion is not something that comes to us naturally and easily. It is something that takes focused effort and perseverance. I wonder if “devotion” is a term we through around loosely (i.e. I call this my weekly devotional email) when in reality devotion is something far more powerful.
What are you devoted to? What would it look like we were devoted to God? What prevents us from being as devoted in our faith than those first converts? Can we be devoted to multiple things?