Devoted is a powerful word. It speaks of character, commitment, and integrity. This word can be misappropriated to be sure, but being devoted is something strong and significant. Being devoted is good, though it may not have a good application or a good end if one is devoted to the wrong thing. Being devoted to an evil leader, ideology, belief system, or an evil desire – like greed or selfishness – is obviously not a good thing, but devotion in itself is powerful and laudable.
NO SMALL FEAT
Jesus certainly calls for His followers to be devoted. There is nothing casual about,
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves
and take up their cross daily and follow me. – Luke 9:23
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” There is nothing casual or superficial about this statement. We are called to be devoted, and we know devotion to Christ is good, important, and necessary. In fact, the more devoted we are to Him the better, because the greater our devotion to Jesus, the better everything else in our lives will be. We will be better spouses, better parents, better children, better employers or employees, better friends, etc.
Speaking of all of creation, Paul says in Colossians 1 that in Jesus, all things hold together. At a personal level, all things in life hold together best in Jesus, too.
This means our devotional life must be good, too. It is hard to be deeply devoted to Jesus without a significant devotional life. The spiritual disciplines that make for a deep, devotional life are both valuable to us and important. The incorporation into our daily lives of prayer, worship, Bible study, scripture memory, fasting, and other disciplines of the faith are essential if we are to be devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
There is nothing flashy, out of the ordinary, or other-worldly about these spiritual disciplines, and nothing all that exciting about practicing them regularly in our lives. However, one day, when we hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” that will be pretty exciting! The spiritual disciplines which make for a strong devotional life and help us to be devoted servants of Jesus, are tools to help us hear Him each day.
by Jimmy Aycock