Everyone is devoted to something or someone, or so they say. DEVOTION to someone or some sport or some hobby or some interest or another is typical of all people to one degree or another. Everyone has certain interests that they tend to gravitate to spending a lot of time at. Are there some things or someone that we should be most devoted to? Is there a description or an example or illustration that guides us to being devoted to someone or something? Or are there insights in God's word to show who and what devotion really looks like in God's eyes? Let's talk about that.
Devotion literally is assiduously to wait on; sitting down to the duty. Assiduously means showing great care, attention, and effort. It suggests a dogged or tireless persistence. Its implication is that you are in it for the long haul, or that you have ability to sit with, wait on, a task or challenge for a considerable amount of time. It comes from the Latin verb 'assidere', meaning to sit beside. In a recent sermon Pastor Ross preached, we saw Jonathan's devotion to David in 1Sam.18:1-4, and 1Sam.19:1-7. In 1Sam.18:1 It states that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as himself. Knit together means to bind, tie, or bind to oneself. Literally meaning knotted, tied together firmly by indissoluble means. The same Hebrew word for bind is used in Gen.44:30, where “his (Jacob's) life is BOUND up in the lad's life (Benjamin's). Jonathan obeyed God rather than man as he did not kill David as his father Saul had requested. It is one thing to honor father and mother, but not at the expense of breaking God's law by committing murder.
As Jonathan showed characteristics of what devotion should look like as I had mentioned earlier, I have three neat ones from the New Testament that you might remember. In 1Tim.5:5 Paul is talking about widows in the church and says, "One who is a widow indeed and has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God, and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day." Paul's words simply describe the one left alone casting all her care on the Lord, and telling Him, as her only friend, of all her thoughts and actions, her words and her works. Similarly, we see Anna in Luke 2:37,"And then as a widow to the age of 84, she never left the temple, serving night and day with fasting’s and prayers." She was one like Simeon that had relished and cherished expectations of the coming of Christ. And lastly, you remember Mary and Martha in Luke 10:39, "She had a sister called Mary who was sitting at the Lord's feet, listening to His word." Contrast that with Martha who was so distracted with her preparations. Jesus responds to Martha, "Mary has chosen the One thing needful or necessary", let us mind the One thing necessary more diligently.
To finish, C.H Spurgeon says this of Mary, "She looked at Him as a priest, She viewed Him as a prophet, She adored Him as a king, and she had heard Him speak about dying, and had listened to His testimony about suffering, and dimly guessing what it meant, she prepared the precious spikenard that ere the dying should come she might anoint Him." He goes on, "Those who think not, who meditate not, who commune not with Christ, will do commonplace things very well, but they will never rise to the majesty of a spiritual conception, or carry out a heart suggested work for Christ." So let us all be a bit more devoted to Him, the One who has a love toward us which is incomprehensible, the One who is described as the indescribable gift, the One who came not to be served but to give His life a ransom for you and for me.
Elder Randy Slak