42 They were continually and faithfully devoting themselves to the instruction of the apostles, and to fellowship, to [i]eating meals together and to prayers.
Back in the day when I played basketball in the local league, every now and then during practice, the coach would announce that we were going back to the basics. We all knew what he meant when he said that, it’s back to dribbling the ball, passing the ball, running and all other basic things that make up the game. Sometimes when we have been doing something for a long time, we tend to get into auto pilot mode and we end up forgetting the basics and we end up going off the rails.
The church as we know it was established in the book of Acts and its growth was unbelievable. Are there basics we can learn from them about what being a church is all about?
From the above scripture we learn that they continually and faithfully devoted themselves to several things that make up the basics when you talk about the church. To be devoted to something means that you are loyal, faithful, true, staunch, and steadfast. It means that you are constant, committed and dedicated. They were devoted to the apostles teaching, they were consistent and committed to learn the ways of God, and they had a hunger to be taught. They were ready and available to learn and they presented opportunities where teaching could take place.
Teaching brings growth and ultimately a change of life. Today, we have less and less of teaching that is transformative and life changing. The men and women of the early church understood that they were now part of a different kingdom and in this kingdom, things operated differently thus they devoted themselves to be taught the ways of this new kingdom and the teachings changed their lives.
The Bible says that “My people perish because of lack of knowledge” Knowledge is gained through teaching and instruction. To think that the believers in the early church did not have the scriptures like we have them today and yet they displayed such a high level of devotion to learning is a great challenge for us today because we have Bibles on our phones and in our homes. These men and women met daily in the temple courts and from house to house. This was their daily way of life and we can see the fruit of their dedication. Today we meet once a week for two hours and if the service extends for 15 minutes we complain.
To read is to simply assimilating the facts, gathering information and it ends there. To study and mediate on the other hand is to seek to make practical personal application of the scriptures to our daily lives. It is more than taking in information; it is to seek to understand for the sake of application which leads to a life that is transformed because it has been sculptured by the word of God.
Let each one of us make it a personal responsibility to go back to the word, may we be devoted to the apostles teaching, become teachers to teach others also.