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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 12th

Proper interpretation of scriptures



“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
 
  Yesterday, while dwelling on the subject of II temptation, we said that we would reflect on yet another ancillary theme “Proper interpretation of scriptures”.

With Satan’s given propensity to use scriptures (he quoted Psalm 91:11-12) themselves to lead us astray-as he tried in the case of Jesus- it follows that we should properly interpret the scriptures at all times, lest we fall into his cleverly laid trap. The best way to steer clear of his trap lies in understanding the scriptures both in letter and spirit, even while looking at them in light of other scriptures, just as Jesus did, I may add, so effectively whilst standing upto the well-disguised bait.

For instance, in order lest Satan use a well-meaning, albeit confounding scripture like Luke 14:26 which reads thus "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple”, to make us really hate our relatives, we need to gauge its proper meaning by looking at Matt 5:44 “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” and ask ourselves a simple question “ Can Jesus who is advocating loving disposition towards our ENEMIES, ever ask us to hate our own kith and kin”. The picture becomes clearer when we also parallelly focus on Matt 10:37, which reads thus

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”. As such the word HATE in Luke 14:26 is not hate per se but it is only an implication that our love for Him in relation to our kith and kin should always be much higher necessitating if the situation demands even severing of the familial ties (of how many Christians I know have been excommunicated from their unbelieving families because of their faith). Mind you at all times, we need to radiate selfless Christ-like love amongst one and all (including our family members). But if they hate us and reject us because of non-conformity at spiritual level, then so be it. But even then, with no malice towards them, we ought to take our stand for Christ (Acts 28:19 TLB).

All (doing things as per His will) this is possible only if we are well grounded in the scriptures. Yes, dear friends, we needed to be “rooted” in them in order we not fall over when up against Satan’s “storm” of deceptions.

Prayer:

Father, you in your wisdom have given us the Bible to guide us in our earthly journey. Enable us to be rooted in it, so that we would be able examine everything in the light of the same and be guided accordingly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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