Devoted – Part 1, by Brian Hammond

On October 7, 2018 at The Church at South Lake, the sermon was delivered by Senior Pastor Brian Hammond. The sermon title was “Devoted – Part 1.” It should be available on the church’s website (watch or listen) or podcast feed in the next few days.

Notes from the sermon follow. If something is in brackets it is a question or thought of mine.

Acts 2:42-46: 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Reflecting on past 20 years with a friend, Brian was asked what he worried about the next 20 years. He said it is that we would become devoted to wrong things or casually devoted to good things and less devoted to the most important thing.

Like mowing if you don’t keep a fixed reference point in the horizon your line won’t be straight. We wobble and we have to self-correct (see admonish).

Paul was afraid of a similar thing at one point: 2 Corinthians 11:3: But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Genesis 3:1-5 serpent deceived Eve. How? “… will be…” Eve was deceived into believing God was keeping something from them that He had already given them. Eve had everything she needed. But she saw “….”. Nothing inherently wrong with some of these things but a selfish pursuit results in a wrong devotion. This is the root of wrong devotion: a selfish pursuit of a right desire.

  • What? Devotion to gathering. Hebrews 10:24-25: 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
  • How? Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. The regular corporate gathering of the church is on of the most beneficial devotions of a Christian’s life.
  • Breaking bread. Jesus said that all of the years of observing Passover with the Bread of Affliction was not really about deliverance from Egypt but rather pointing to the day when I would deliver you from your sin.

Close with Communion.

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