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devotion and dependence

Have you ever noticed a connection between dependance and devotion?  In other words, the more dependent we tend to be on something (or someone), the more devoted we are to that thing or person.

We see this connection in the early church.  In Acts 2:42, Luke tells us that they devoted themselves to four things: the apostles teaching, the fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer.  They didn’t dabble in these things; they were devoted to them.

This devotion was birthed out of dependence.

Peter voiced it well, even before the death of Jesus: “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (John 6:68).  This sense of dependency continued after Jesus’ resurrection.  In fact, it’s included in his last words to them before he ascended back to heaven:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The power would come from beyond themselves; it would come through the Holy Spirit.  The word for power is the same from which we get the word “dynamite.”  They would need it.  These followers were outsiders, outcasts, and very ordinary people — and the task they had been given was to take the message of Jesus into the entire world.

As their dependence on God grew, so would their devotion.  And greater devotion creates greater dependence.

If we see symptoms of decreasing devotion, it’s likely we will find at the root of the problem a decreased dependence on God.  In a wealthy culture, this seduction is great.  In a performance-based environment, it’s tempting to believe we can do it all.

May our devotion and dependence grow hand-in-hand.