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October 17 – Our primary duty

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. – Acts 2:42

Scripture reading: Acts 2:36-47

The church faces a lot of skeptical criticism today. What should the church be like? Many think that Acts 2:42-47 describes the ideal church. Yet, further reading in Acts reveals that they had not yet arrived. They needed further organization and had to deal with many problems.  Yet, these verses display something that is true of an ideal church, that worshipping together is a primary pleasure and duty of the church.

The new converts in Acts had just come to faith in Jesus as the only Saviour from sin. And the first thing we see them doing is worshipping. The first mark of a Spirit-filled church is that they are devoted to the preaching of the Word and the sacraments, and to prayer and fellowship, key elements in worship. They could have devoted themselves to seeking the Pentecost experience all over again, but they did not. Rather, understanding what Pentecost meant they sought to equip themselves for worship and witness in the world.

Often today preaching and sacraments are diminished in worship. Yet historically, whenever the church has focused on preaching the gospel, she has seen revival and reformation. This is because faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ. A Spirit-filled church (and person) will always be a Word-focused one. Tomorrow is a day for worship. Do not neglect the worship (Hebrews 10:25) and the fellowship of God’s people, or your personal devotions (reading, studying and meditating on the Word, and praying).

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you are a Word-centred person. Pray that the church in her worship remains focused on the Word, which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).

Rev. Calvin Tuininga is the Pastor Emeritus of the Covenant United Reformed Church in Pantego, North Carolina. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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