The word 'devoted' expresses the idea of holding firmly and not letting go, persevering or exercising diligence and doing so a body of believers, sharing life together.
They held firmly to the message, the authoritative teaching and doctrine that was passed on to them. In the same way, the church today must hold the message, the authoritative teaching and doctrine we find in the Word of God. It is truly a pillar of our faith.
The early church understood the necessity and value of fellowship. Read the story of the early church and you will be struck by the powerful image of togetherness; they had to stick together, they needed each other and so do we. At a time when matters of faith have become personal and private we need to come back to this value of a shared experience in the community of faith and hold to it firmly as a critical pillar of our faith.
The breaking of the bread is another example of togetherness, the gathering of God's people to worship and celebrate the very core of our faith, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is in and through the Lord Jesus that we find forgiveness of sin, a restored relationship with the Father and the hope of eternal life. The coming together of God's people to worship and remember is absolutely critical to our spiritual well-being. So hear me again, my friends at Valley...'whatever you do, don't miss the gathering'!
They also devoted themselves to prayer. As we noted last Sunday, this is the same message declared by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 4:2: Devote yourselves to prayer. Prayer really is the pathway to God's presence and the pathway to God's power. Prayer changes us and prayer changes what is possible. And, as we saw last week we just never now when or how or in what way God is going to break through in answer to our prayers, so we must persistent in prayer. It is one of the pillars of our faith.
Luke goes on in Acts 2 to reveal what happens we God's people devote themselves these things: Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:43-47)