Acts 2:43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
Recently an Elder in our Church taught our Bible class. The area of study was Acts 2 and the beginning of the Church. He spent some time comparing and contrasting the early Church and the Church today. He pointed out how on fire the early Church was. I was struck by the above passage and wondered to myself, “Where is the awe?”
Admittedly, I catch myself wandering through my Christian life going through the motions. I do not feel much awe around the Church or my walk with God at times. Some of those times can be lengthy. So, where is the awe? Where did the “wow” factor go that I had when I was first in Jesus?
There are some fundamental things I must return to in order to strike up some awe. Mind you, there is no magical formula when it comes to the Kingdom of God. However, I have noticed that when I am taking part in just some of what I will outline ahead, I notice more awe in my life.
In verse 42 it is pointed out that the early Church devoted themselves to four things. Notice the key word here is ‘devoted’. Devotion takes quite a commitment. The four things were: The apostles teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer.
Obviously we do not have the actual apostles here now. However, what we do have is in written form, what was taught by the apostles through the Word of God…the Bible. I could almost stop here. I cannot count how many times I have just opened up the Word of God and randomly chosen a passage (much like I do for my devotional thoughts) and have sat in awe of how that passage applies to my current circumstance. The Word is powerful. Awe, wonder, and amazement follow my reading of God’s Word.
The second piece to reviving the ‘awe’ is the devotion to the fellowship. In both corporate times and small group times, I have seen God show up in so many ways. I am amazed by how He works in the lives of others and how it relates to how He is working in me. Sometimes, the fellowship convicts and challenges me to grow. Sometimes, the fellowship uplifts and comforts me. Sometimes, the fellowship allows me to be there for someone else. I am afraid we are losing touch with fellowship to some degree. Our busy, techno infested culture has truly isolated us at times and has given us a pseudo connection with people. As hard as it may be to drag myself into fellowship with others at times, I find that I do not regret the effort to meet with others.
The third piece to awe is the breaking of bread. Many would say this is divided into two parts: The Lord’s supper and sharing a meal together. As important as sharing a meal together is…I believe the sharing of the Lord’s supper together has more of an impact on our awe. In church, we have become experts in efficiently serving the Lord’s supper. We are almost proud that we have taken care of it in a matter of a few minutes. There is some awe that shows up when I really concentrate on the breaking of bread and what that Passover meal means to me as far as Jesus’ death is concerned. My focus on communion creates new awe in me when I make that effort.
Finally, devotion to prayer is essential. I probably wrestle with this one the most. I mostly pray to God like a customer. I am looking for something for me. However, before I beat myself up too much, I have noticed that when I am in a godly mindset, at times I realize that I am practicing what Paul calls praying “continuously. The key for me is to incorporate into my life more of a daily awareness of prayer. When I have random thoughts about a person or a situation, I must stop and meditate for a moment and let God in on the thought. I have found that when I do this, a sense of awe comes over me.
The big challenge is to put all of these together. Again, I am reminded that there is no formula. What has to happen for me is to incorporate this as a way of life for me. I have seen when I take part in some of the above four pieces, the awesomeness of God shows up. Now is the time to put them all together.
1. List some ways how God has awed you?
2. What were you doing that brought on that awe?
3. What are the strongest of the four pieces for you and how?
4. What are the weakest of the four pieces for you and how?
5. What has to happen to you in order for you to step into these areas where you are weakest?
6. Spend this week looking deeply into these four devoted areas and how to incorporate them into your life.
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