Devotion - Part 2 of Signs and Wonders: 4 Core Values for Today's Church

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:42-43 NIV)
Before we jump into the 4 Core Values we need to look at the first four words of our text because it gives the foundation of their meaning. The powerful truth presented in this verse doesn't merely lie within these 4 values, but in the manner in which we must embrace them into our daily lifestyle as followers of Christ. What was so revolutionary about the birth of the Church was how these had become part of the DNA of her members. This verse wasn't a statement of purpose, a corporate vision statement or a constitutional amendment to their bylaws. It was a testament to a radical new way of living that enabled the Church to thrive and grow for over 2000 years. The grim reality is that these 4 core values are meaningless without our devotion to them. Without it they are just ideas or concepts. With it they are life-changing and world-impacting truths.

The King James version says, "They continued steadfastly in.." According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the original Greek meaning is to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing, to continue all the time in a place. The word "devoted" in the NIV comes from the same meaning of the word fidelity. It means a strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty. This is where we get the concept of marriage vows where a man and woman pledge themselves to one another for as long as they both shall live. That is the essence of what it means to be devoted to these 4 core values.

Before you decide to embrace these 4 core values you must understand that it is a life-long commitment. Once you are in, there is no turning back. You are marrying yourself to these as a new way of life, to have and to hold from this day forward, forsaking all others. This radical lifestyle among the members of the early Church created an atmosphere where signs and wonders became a normal part of who they were. When we begin living this way there will be no need for classes on signs and wonders. This is what Jesus meant in Mark 16:17 where he said,  "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” It wasn't meant to be complicated. Signs and wonders are not things we do. They become who we are. At least that is the way God designed it to be.

May we become people devoted to the ways of God!
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