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Sure and steady wins the race

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he 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: 42-47

When I watch a person running a marathon, I am struck by their desire to win the prize.  They are devoted to stay on course and to finish their task regardless of what pain or obstacles come their way.  This is an example of steadfast devotion to a goal.

For the new New Testament Church, the believers were devoted to the apostle’s teachings.  The King James Version utilizes the words “continued steadfastly.”  They were steadfastly pursuing the knowledge of Jesus that the apostles had from their very personal experiences with Jesus and their recent receipt of the Holy Spirit.  From Peter’s sermon, we can see the messages of Jesus forgiving sins, the need for repentance, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the applicability of these promises for all.  Since they were devoted, it also implies that they were embracing these teachings deeply and that this was reflected in the ways that they lived their lives.

Paul provides an example of this steadfast pursuit of Jesus.  He said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  2 Timothy 4:7  Throughout his Christian life, he strove to understand and to live the teachings of Jesus.

At the heart of a revived congregation is a group of believers who devotes themselves to a steadfast pursuit of God’s word.  If you want revival at your church, then it must start with you.  There may be a catalyst such as an evangelist or preacher, but there will not be revival until the church members seek God’s truths in a steadfast manner.  Paul lived this steadfast lifestyle, and God calls all of us to run our course by keeping devoted to God’s teachings.  We must embrace and share the messages of repentance, Jesus’s forgiveness, the gift of the Holy Spirit which is freely available to all who believe.

Father God, may we not look to our church leaders for revival.  Instead, may we look steadfastly upon your teachings and seek to fully know and understand Jesus, the forgiveness He provides, and the repentance to which He calls us.  May we continue steadfastly as we grow in our knowledge of you, and may You please bring revival as each member turns his or heart back to the steadfast devotion of Your word.

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