DEVOTION MAKES THE DIFFERENCE – MATTHEW 15:8, 9
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).
True devotion to Christ requires more than just words . . . “words are cheap,” real fruit counts with God (Ephesians 2:10).
I. DEVOTION TO CHRIST IS MORE THAN AN EXERCISE OF INTELLECT
- Talk is cheap (I Corinthians 4:18-20).
- Genuine devotion to Christ is the object of our endeavour (I Timothy 1:3-7).
- Are you just talking or working (Acts 1:8)?
II. DEVOTION TO CHRIST IS MORE THAN A TYPE OF EMOTIONAL FEELING ABOUT THE LORD
- Feelings and emotions fluctuate — they can erroneous.
- Devotion to Christ must be based on something more substantial than feelings (2 Timothy 4:2).
- Devotion to Christ must remain constant despite fluctuating feelings (I Thessalonians 1:7-11).
III. DEVOTION TO CHRIST DIES OUT WHEN THE HABIT OF RELIGION BECOMES DULL
- There is little satisfaction, fulfilment, or joy in a devotion-less service (Genesis 29:20; I John 5:3).
- Devotion-less service indicates a possible leaving of our “first love” (Revelation 2:2-5).
IV. DEVOTION TO CHRIST MEANS AN EVER-INCREASING UNDERSTANDING OF THE “HOW”
- Devotion-less service means we need to repent of our loveless-ness (Revelation 2:4-5).
- Devotion-less service means that we need to return to Psalm 119:9, 11; cf. Isaiah 40:31.
- Devotional-less service to Christ as a church means that we need to return to Matthew 28:18-20; cf. Acts 1:8).
- Devotional-less service to Christ means we need to have a jealousy for Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, 3).
While He was here on earth, never do you get the impression that the Lord Jesus Christ was just going through the motions. Jesus was personally involved in everything He did (Matthew 9:36; Matthew 23:37). He came to do the Father’s will (John 6) and so should we. As Christ lives through us, the Father’s will is accomplished (Philippians 2:12-13; cf. Galatians 2:20).
When we have true love for Jesus, it results in definite devotion to Him and the Father; then we are reciprocating the love He has for us.
- Is your Christian life just an exercise of the intellect?
- Is your Christian life limited to mere emotions?
- Is your Christian life not remaining constant with fluctuating feelings?
- Is your Christian life just a dull religion?
- If you answered yes to any of the above, perhaps you need to return to your first love through repentance and confession of the sin of a “dead devotion to Christ.”