When it says they "devoted themselves" it means they were steadfast or single minded in purpose or desire. They wanted it and they were going after it, so to speak.
In 2008 Sanya Richards-Ross competed in the 400 Meter in Beijing. She started the race strong and built a substantial lead before locking up on the home stretch. She finished third for the Bronze. This year she competed and won the gold medal in the 400 Meter in London with a time of 49.55 seconds. Four years, Sanya Richards-Ross waited. Four years she waited with the hunger pangs of unfinished business and the sense of an uncompleted mission. When they introduced her before the 400 meters in London, she blew a kiss to the camera, went out and got the gold medal she had worked tirelessly for since Beijing.
Just as Sanya Richards-Ross was devoted to her pursuit of Olympic Gold... those early Christians modeled devotion to Christ and the process of becoming Christian. They were intentional and disciplined about the process of becoming devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
(From a sermon by Monty Newton, The Making of a Compelling Christian Community, 8/24/2012)
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