I’m in the process of re-reading the New Testament these days, and a word that has caught my eye numerous times this time around is “devout.”
Simeon, the old man who was waiting in Luke 2 for the birth of the Messiah, was devout. In Acts 8, some devout men came and buried Stephen after he was stoned. The Roman Officer Cornelius was also a devout man. In Acts 13, a group of devout converts followed Paul and Barnabas. In Titus, Paul writes that an elder must also be devout. For some reason, that word has just popped off the page the last few weeks.
“Devout” is not a word we use very often these days, so I looked it up,and the definitions for “devout” included: 1. Having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment, and; 2. Totally committed to a cause or a belief. As you might guess, the word shares roots with “devoted” and is a synonym for “dedicated.”
Which got me thinking: could I be described as devout, especially when it comes to my relationship with Christ? Being devout involves more than just a verbal expression of faith; it is a total commitment, top to bottom, left to right and all the way through. A devout person is completely sold out, but not in an external, rah-rah, emotional way; rather, the commitment shows in depth and total permeation of every area of life.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to be described as a devout follower of Jesus, and I would like to help others nurture their devotion as well.