The Devotion of a Christian
Os Guinness talks about the McDonaldization of Christianity. “Quantity has conquered quality, efficiency has trumped excellence, and both have excelled at the expense of health…All of life, we are told, can be transformed by the magic touch of the McDonald’s formula so that when we copy the four secrets of ‘the golden arches’ (calculability, efficiency, predictability and control), we can multiply quantities of any kind-whether hamburgers, computers, health clinics, new churches or new converts” (Fool’s Talk, 30). He’s right. Our culture, including the pre-dominant western Christian culture, has been McDonalized. Make it fast, make it the way I want it, and if I like it, I’ll stick around.
Then, there is Jesus, the apostles, and the New Testament church representing a clear contrast to the drive-thru mentality. Here’s what Acts 2:42 says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.”
Four Areas of Devotion
You can see what role the Christians played in the church…one of devotion. Devotion to what? Four areas:
- Apostles’ teaching (the Word of God)-they read, heard, and applied the Bible to their lives.
- Fellowship-they intentionally interacted with other Christians for support, encouragement, and accountability. They were involved in the lives of other Christians.
- Breaking of bread- They regularly focused their heart on the good news that forever changes their lives and eternity. They took intentional time to contemplate the broken body and shed blood of Jesus, that when believed upon provides the forgiveness of sins.
- Prayers-They regularly prayed individually as well as with others.
When I’m in a Christian funk, I can pretty much count on my devotion to the Lord being reduced to close to nothing. My Bible reading slips. Or I excuse my time of prayer. I cut people off from what’s going on in the depths of my heart. Or I lose sight of Jesus’ death on the cross for my sins. And then, I want a quick fix. Give me an uplifting song, a pithy Jonathan Edwards quote, and some people who love me. All good things, but they miss the mark.
Truth speaks…“Nate, your soul needs devotion to God, not a quick, drive-thru, sensational Christianity wrapped up for your convenience.” Those are the words that I need preached to me on a regular basis.
How about you? Like me, are you susceptible to the unhealthy drive-thru Christianity model? Join me in renewing a devotion on what the Bible teaches. A heart devoted to the Christian practice of following Jesus in these 4 areas.
Oh and by the way, I like McDonalds. If you haven’t already, you should try their new little McDouble. It’s tasty.