The First Church Offered Incredible Devotion

Cadence

A Call to Live Like the Acts Church

Church is a world that can evoke several different definitions from people. At Lakeview Christian Church in Portage Lakes, we strive to be like the Church in Acts. In a compelling sermon, Drew encourages believers to embrace complete devotion to God, drawing inspiration from the Acts Church. The essence of this devotion is beautifully captured in Acts 2:42, where the early believers were described as being devoted to the apostles’ teaching. This devotion, Drew contends, is a powerful force that should shape every aspect of our lives, mirroring the commitment exhibited by the Acts Church.

The Meaning of Devotion: Drew begins by exploring the concept of devotion, emphasizing that it involves a profound commitment that surpasses mere allegiance. Drawing parallels to the devotion one might have to a spouse, he highlights the need for believers to prioritize their commitment to God above all else. This devotion, he asserts, should be the driving force behind every decision, action, and aspect of life.

The sermon acknowledges the challenges believers face in maintaining unwavering devotion. Drew recognizes the competing forces that vie for our allegiance – be it work commitments, personal desires, or family obligations. He questions the sincerity of claiming devotion to Christ while allowing worldly pursuits to take precedence. The struggle between devotion to God and the distractions of the world is a central theme, resonating with many believers who grapple with similar tensions in their lives.

Drew underscores the critical role of motivation in sustaining true devotion. He argues that our motivations reveal the state of our hearts and beliefs. True devotion, according to the sermon, requires an inward transformation that aligns our motivations with God’s will. The motivation to live a life devoted to God is portrayed as the key to walking in rhythm with Him and standing above reproach.

The sermon at Lakeview Christian Church challenges believers to embody a character that reflects their devotion to God. Drew emphasizes the need for authenticity, acknowledging one’s brokenness, through sharing some of his brokenness, so that we can embrace the transformative power of grace. This authenticity, allows believers to connect with others on a genuine level, fostering humility and understanding. The Acts Church, as a model, becomes a shining example of a community characterized by the authenticity of its members.

Devotion is not a one-time decision but a continuous journey. It involves walking in rhythm with God, aligning one’s steps with His will. The sermon encourages believers to be people of character who, despite their imperfections, remain committed to serving others with humility. Drew advocates for a shift away from a superiority complex to an approach grounded in the acknowledgment of shared brokenness and the transformative power of Jesus. This power goes beyond individual and calls for fellowship what today we call the church.

Drew’s impassioned sermon provides a compelling call to believers to be completely devoted to God, modeling their lives after the Acts Church. The challenges to devotion, the importance of motivation, the need for authentic character, and the continuous journey of walking in rhythm with God are eloquently explored. As believers reflect on these teachings, they are inspired to live lives that echo the devotion exemplified by the early church – a devotion that transcends circumstances, embraces authenticity, and transforms lives through the grace of Jesus. We see this call to unwavering devotion was modeled by God Himself and desired from His people, now the church, form the beginning.

All the way back in Genesis 22, we find one of the most powerful stories of faith and devotion in the Bible. Abraham, a man of great faith, is put to the ultimate test by God. The story begins with God calling out to Abraham, and he responds, “Here I am.” God then commands him to take his beloved son, Isaac, to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on a mountain.

Imagine the turmoil in Abraham’s heart. Isaac was not just any son; he was the child of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, a miracle in itself. Through Isaac, God had promised to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars. Yet, Abraham didn’t hesitate or question God’s command. He set out early the next morning, taking Isaac and two servants with him.

For three days, they journeyed to the place God had designated. On the third day, Abraham told his servants to stay behind while he and Isaac went up the mountain to worship. As they climbed, Isaac, unaware of God’s command, asked his father, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham’s response was profound in its faith: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

When they reached the place God had shown him, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar. Then, with a heavy heart but unwavering faith, he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But just as he was about to sacrifice Isaac, the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” the angel said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. He took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. He named that place “The Lord Will Provide,” and to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

Through this story, Abraham’s complete devotion to God is evident. He was willing to give up his most precious possession, his son, in obedience to God’s command. Abraham’s faith and trust in God were unwavering, even when the command seemed incomprehensible and heart-wrenching.

In return, God blessed Abraham abundantly, reaffirming His promise: “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

This story of Abraham and Isaac teaches us the profound lesson of complete devotion to God. It reminds us that true faith often requires great sacrifice and trust, but God’s faithfulness and provision are always assured. Abraham’s example encourages us to trust in God’s promises, even when the path ahead seems difficult and uncertain.

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