Devoted (Acts 2)
And they devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)
Maddie, April, Alex, Cody and Suzy, you guys have anticipated this day for quite some time. For the last two years you've devoted yourselves to getting to this day. Surviving today. Because today you're publicly devoting yourselves to the faith that you have been taught in these years. Devoting yourselves just as the disciples devoted themselves to the faith in our text this morning.
The disciples' devotion wasn't just to the Word preached. They were also devoted to the practice of the faith. They didn't just say the right things because they were printed out in front of them in the hymnal. They spoke God's Word and lived out their faith through how they interacted with one another and those outside the Church.
Your Confirmation doesn't end today when you leave this worship service. It doesn't end when you lay your head down to sleep tonight. Your Confirmation continues with you for the rest of your life. As with all the saints who have gone before you in the faith, you will make promises that nothing short of eternity will keep you from fulfilling your God-given destinies. Your faith makes you whole. Your faith makes it possible to fulfill everything God would have you do in your lives. Just remember: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). And Christ's Word is breathed out by God "for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
This is the faith you are promising today to live out for the rest of your life. You live this out because you know Jesus' promise to you and to every Christian who has lived on the face of the earth: "Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). How do you remain faithful? You devote your lives to doing Jesus' last commandment to His disciples: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
This doesn't mean that you have to go out as a pastor or a missionary and personally baptize people in every nation. What it means is that you will be faithful in supporting the work of the Church through this congregation and every other congregation you may be a member of throughout your lives. This may include going on or helping finance mission trips. This includes the gathering together with fellow Christians for personal fellowship and participation in the Sacraments Jesus has given you. This includes the prayerful support of everything the Church does to try to evangelize the world. Everything that needs to be done so that all people may hear the Word of Christ and be saved by Jesus.
Pray because you know that God answers the prayers of the righteous. St. James reminds us, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (5:16). Knowing that God has promised, "Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24). "[Your] Father knows what you need before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8).
A devoted Christian is a praying Christian. A Christian who understands that he or she cannot function in this world without God's grace. Pray for His grace to guide you through the Scriptures. Through the Scriptures, you find the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with other Christians. Through Christian fellowship, you find Christ's peace in the Sacraments. Through Christ's peace, you are able to come to your heavenly Father in prayer and KNOW for certain that He will answer you. With that knowledge, it's so easy to devote yourself to Him who devoted Himself to you through the death of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.