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 topics
- “The Christian journey”
- “ The Conquest of Canaan” and the
- “Lent season”.
in the previous months, now in the months of April and May, considering that
post resurrection of Christ (one of our concluding themes’ you would remember
in the meditations of March, was Resurrection), birth of the Church was a
landmark event in Biblical history, I want to cast the spotlight on the Book of
Acts (which records the birth and growth of the Church). This would ensure to a large
extent continuity of thought albeit under the ambit of new subject.
Once again, let me wish you a happy and an edifying read…
Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them (Paul and Barnabas).
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city,
thinking he was dead.-
- Acts 14:18-19
In the First Missionary Journey of Apostle Paul, while there are many events to highlight,
I would like to restrict myself focusing on only one incident which brought to the fore the
wavy ways of the people of Lystra (the town marked in the map above from where another spiritual
stalwart Timothy emerged). In a way their vacillating ways are symbolic of our own “blow hot blow cold”
relationship with our Lord or for that matter with his representatives.
There they were one moment… the Lystrans’ virtually (much against the will of Paul and Barnabas)
worshipping the apostles following a miraculous healing
(Acts 14:8-10) and the very next, so to speak ,
can you believe it(!)... almost stoning Paul to death courtesy the devious intervention cum insinuation of some Jews.
Shades of “Hosanna howls” followed almost immediately by “Crucify cries”
19:15)? Yes, very much!
Face it! People (which include all of us at some time or the other) are given to extreme mood swings resembling an
erratic graph at best or worst. If we judge the effectiveness of any Ministry (ours or that of other fellow servants of God)
from public point of view, we would be on a sticky wicket, for public response vacillates without any rhyme or reason.
Let the good Lord alone judge us. While on the subject, taking a cue from Apostle Paul, who has “seen it all when it comes
to fluctuating fortunes in Ministry”, wouldn’t do us any harm…
“As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority.
I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right.
It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of
time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.
Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.” –
I Cor 4:3-5
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in this world of so many variables, Your fair judgment is the only constant.
Without being discouraged by the negative response of this World or sometimes even fellow servants in the
vineyard vis-à-vis our Ministry, we look to Thee alone for vindication. AMEN.