Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday: Hopelessly Devoted?

What are you devoted to? The dictionary defines devotion as:
                      1. Love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.
                  2. Religious worship or observance

The problem with devotion comes when we are devoted to the wrong things, or maybe I should say when we are devoted to things. Remember the rich man in Mark 10:17-27? He thought he was doing pretty darn well, following all the rules, being an overall "good guy." He wanted to know what else he needed to do, and Jesus told him to sell his stuff and follow Him. That made this guy really sad, he must have had some really nice stuff. He turned around and walked away. He was more devoted to his stuff than he was to following Jesus.

Now I have been having a years long battle with stuff. I know I have too much of it. The last few weeks I have been reading The Hole in Our Gospel and Too Small To Ignore, which have convinced me even further that stuff is not where it's at. 

You see, devotion to stuff, or other people IS hopeless. Stuff does not have the power to save, neither do other people. Placing your devotion in them will leave you feeling empty, and longing to fill that emptiness with other people or more stuff. It will leave you feeling hopeless. Our first devotion must be to God. It's wonderful to be devoted to other people, and even to enjoy your stuff, just don't let them take priority.

Devotion comes in many forms

Devotion to our pets
Devotion of a mother towards her children.
Devotion to a team.
Devotion to a job.
Devotion to our country.
Devotion to shopping.
Devotion to our cars.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. Acts 2:42-45

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

The apostles sold their possessions and took care of ministering to the needs of those around them, trusting God to provide. We too need to look around us and minister to those in our midst. The things of this world are transient, we can't take our wardrobe, our cars, our houses, jobs, or anything else with us when we go. People are what matters most. God's heart breaks over every lost little one.

Lamentations 1:16 

This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears.

No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit.
My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.

Mark 9:36-37
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

Obviously being devoted to our families, jobs, pets, teams etc. is not a bad thing, but like everything, if we put them before God our devotion is out of whack. They are not where our hope lies.  Maybe it is time we took off our blinders and do a gut check on just what it is we are devoted to.

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Blog about what you are hearing from God, how he is whispering (or yelling!) to you and how his words are impacting your life, and then come by to link up to Graceful (the link goes live weekly at 9 p.m. CT on Sundays). Write about what you hear in church on Sunday or a verse that you've been reading or pondering on your own during the week. 


  1. Lisa Marie,
    I really connected with this post (and I started singing when I saw the pic, hello, classic!). I've read Hole in the Gospel and it rocked my world, but Too Small to Ignore? I'll have to check it out.

    Glad you linked-up today.

  2. I love that we both wrote about Mark 10:17-27 today, the story of the rich man. And I too mentioned The Hole in Our Gospel in my post -- that book had such a profound impact on me (it was the reason I launched the year-long Shop Not Project!).

    Thanks so much for linking up, Lisa Marie!

  3. Oh, I've struggled to being too devoted to things...and people. And God showed me that both with disappoint. So, I have better balance now. Loved Hole in the Gospel, too. What an awakening. Visiting from Michelle's!

  4. The picture from Grease is such a great reminder of a fabulous memory maker moment for me. Thank you and thanks for the nudge about where our devotion truly does lie. With Joy, Carey

  5. God hit me with this again yesterday, too. When we allow anything other than Christ to be the source of our significance/self-worth, it becomes an idol. May we all be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to destroy idols in our lives!

  6. I often wonder what the church and the world around it would look like if we truly tried to model the verses you listed above. I don't think we would struggle with massive poverty. I also don't think we would see the amount of loneliness and isolation. I struggle with my devotion in many different places, too. Thanks for the "vision correction" today!