February 13, 2018

Ridge Reading Challenge: Devotional Acts 2:42-47

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.  And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47 NLT

I’m not a foodie. I enjoy food (let’s not get crazy) but I don’t have super sophisticated taste. I’ll take a burger and milkshake over something I can’t pronounce. But every couple years my wife and I celebrate our anniversary by going out to a nice dinner. We’ve gone to a particular restaurant the last few years and it’s good…I mean, it’s good. I leave that meal feeling full (the good kind of full). The food is so delicious that I leave feeling satisfied.

I think of those meals when I read Acts 2:42-47, not because those verses talk about food (although they do) but because they paint a picture of deep and meaningful satisfaction. Acts 2:42-47 describes a scene from the life of the early church. People had heard about Jesus, been changed by Him, and oriented their lives around Him. They “devoted themselves” to knowing Jesus, to living authentically with each other and to prayer. The result of those actions? Satisfaction. Deep satisfaction. Anniversary dinner at a fancy restaurant level satisfaction.

How do we know that? The way they lived shows us. They “met together” regularly and “shared everything they had”. They sold their stuff and “shared the money with those in need.” They worshiped God together and shared meals with “great joy and generosity.” They did all those things while “praising God!” They did some incredible things, did them with a great attitude and they thanked God for the opportunity to do them! Why would they do all those things? Why sell their stuff and share all they had? Because they knew that the way to experience the satisfaction they longed for was to love Jesus first, above everything else. Jesus changed everything for them – the way they lived and the way they experienced fulfillment.

This story challenges me. We often look for satisfaction in the wrong things and in doing so, we settle for something far less than we were created for. We’re hungry and so we settle for a lukewarm microwaved burrito instead of a fancy restaurant anniversary dinner. Pursuing success, wealth, stuff – pursuing what we think we want – doesn’t lead to the kind of rich satisfaction that we really crave. We only find that in Jesus.

So let’s start the same way these people started. (Taking this Ridge Reading Challenge is a great way to start!) What are you turning to in your life to find satisfaction? Are you filling your life with things that are never quite enough? What would it look like for you to devote yourself to Jesus this week? How can you start that today? The early church “devoted themselves” to knowing Jesus, and He changed their whole experience. That can be true for us too.

Prayer: Jesus, help me this week to devote myself to You so I can experience the satisfaction that I desperately want to know. Help me to seek You first. Thank You for knowing me and knowing just what I need.