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DAILY DEVOTIONS
 

  In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos' (matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos' which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground' a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.

In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style than the 'Varying topics' one.

Having dwelt on the topic of Christian journey and the “Conquest of Canaan” in the previous months, now in the month of March, considering that we are in the season of Lent, I intend to focus on the subject- “Lent season”.

Once again, let me wish you a happy and an edifying read…

Suresh Manoharan




March 11th

A Big “NO” to sensationalism!



“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.” If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" - Matt 4:5-7
 
  In our meditations on the subject of Lent and all its incidental topics such as temptation and Satan’s strategies, today whilst focusing on the second temptation faced by Jesus, we look at the “sensationalism factor”. Tomorrow, while dwelling on the same subject, we would reflect on yet another theme “Proper interpretation of scriptures”.

Sensationalism historically has appealed to many…those who saw it being purveyed and the purveyors of it. False messiahs of even Jesus’ times were trying to draw a following by trying to attempt the supernatural. A man named Theudas (see Acts 5:36) led a group of people from the Temple to the Jordan River promising to split the waters. After he failed, no one listened to him anymore. Tradition holds that Simon the magician (refer Acts 8:9) tried the very feat, which Satan tempted Jesus to do: jumping off the top of the temple-for which he lost his life as well as his following.

But when it came to Jesus, he would have none of it. Not for him usage of his special powers for self-glorification or for that matter performing an act, which did not have his Father’s approval. All along in Jesus’ life and ministry, we see him performing miracles primarily for God’s glory (John 11:4). For instance after one stupendous miracle, when people wanted to crown him the King, do not we see him slipping away from them (John 6:14,15)?

Finally towards the end of his earthly sojourn, as he hung (apparently) haplessly on the cross, Satan would make one final attempt, quite similar to the ploy he deployed, on the temple top. Using the people who surrounded the cross, he mocked him thus “Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" (Matt 27:39-43), but to Jesus as always fulfilling his Father’s will (dying an atoning death on the cross) mattered more, than coming up with any heroic act steeped in sensationalism! Oh to have the heart of Jesus!!!

Those of us, gifted by the Lord with talents to be used for His glory, are we using the same selflessly all for the furtherance of His kingdom? An honest reality check on this issue would us no harm!

Prayer:

Father, in the matter using of the talents You in your grace have given us, enable us to use them for Your glory alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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