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By Rich Peterson 

Devotion is an amazing quality. It enables men to lay down their lives for their country. It empowers spouses to see in their mates what no other person is able to see. Devotion is that which pushes a person to become what they would never be without it.

In Acts 2:42, the Bible tells us that the new believers in Christ “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching.” The teachings of the apostles were the narratives and instructions of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, as His words and deeds were passed on to those trusted few. Through the teaching of the apostles, believers discover life in Christ. In order to grow and develop, learn and be nurtured in Jesus and His way of life, you and I need to become “students” of those who walked with Him personally.

The main goal Jesus left for us to accomplish was and is to “make disciples.” The mandate of Matthew 28 is not as much “to go, or to baptize” as it is to “make disciples.” The church is to provide the means by which ordinary human beings can be transformed into the image of Christ. As we follow Christ and are devoted to His teachings we become more Christ-like. Christ likeness is the ultimate goal of God in our lives.

So how are you doing?

Would you be willing to get alone for a while sometime this week and prayerfully and carefully think through this brief self-examination to help you determine where you are on this journey?

Do I have an abiding relationship with Jesus?

  • Are my thoughts, attitudes, and actions becoming more like Jesus?
  • Does more than 30 minutes pass without my thinking about Christ?
  • Do I eagerly seek prayer and Bible study times?
  • Do I eagerly seek opportunities to worship and praise God?
  • How do I handle difficult situations that require sacrifice?
  • How do I deal with trials?

Do I have a Christ-centered relationship with the Body of Christ (the church)?

  • To what degree do I love my brothers and sisters in Christ?
  • To what degree do I love those that are difficult to love?
  • How do I respond to conflict with another believer?
  • How quickly do I forgive?
  • Do immature Christians bother me?

Do I have a broadening God-directed impact on the world?

  • To what degree do I love the lost?
  • In the way I spend my day; does it reflect Christ with integrity, commitment, joy, and accountability?
  • How am I influencing those around me?
  • Do I regularly invest my resources in expanding God’s kingdom?

Faith can never be exercised by proxy. You must actively develop it yourself. Spiritual growth begins when you DEVOTE yourself to move beyond the futile attempts to grow passively and start actively engaging your faith.

Howard Hendricks has correctly discovered, “There is no such thing as a correspondence course for swimming.” If you want to swim you must get in the pool. Discipleship requires “getting wet.”

Social Media Challenge:

Meditate on the questions and topics above. Choose a question to publicly share your answer to on your Facebook, Instagram, X, or by video on YouTube or Snapchat. You never know how braving vulnerability online can introduce someone to Jesus in a deeper way. 

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