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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.

As the month of December coincides with the Christmas season, in this month I intend to dwell exclusively on all the topics revolving around Christmas using the visit of the Wise man described in Matthew 2 as the base.

Let me wish you a happy and an edifying read… oh yes-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF US!

Suresh Manoharan




December 17th

How can I discern the call for Full time work? Who are the Full-timers?



On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh - Matt 2:11

 
  We had completed yesterday’s meditation with a concluding thought which is as profound as confusing to some…’how can I discern God’s call for full-time work’.

Ensconced in a certain way of life, it can be doubtless unsettling for some to hear God’s call for full-time work as it would mean coming out of one’s comfort zone. As any meditation can never be complete without shedding some light on relevant history, I propose to dwell briefly here today on some full-timers of the Old Testament times even while concurrently shedding some light on their New Testament counterparts, in order to freeze the thought as to who are the full-timers’ in the first place, so that there is no iota of doubt on this paramount subject.

Chiefly, there were 2 types of full-timers in Jewish history - the Priestly Levites and the Prophets. While Levites (among them were Priests) were descendants of a particular tribe owing its origin to Levi, the III Son of patriarch Jacob (who was the progenitor of nation of Israel) the Prophets were chosen by God from the rank and file of Jewish community. While on the subject of prophets, for instance if Zephaniah the prophet hailed from the royal Davidic line (Zephaniah 1:1), Amos the prophet was from a more humble roots having been a fruit picker and a shepherd (Amos 1:1/ 7:14). In a humorous vein, it can even be said their origins were as disparate as the first letter of their names…A and Z.

Functionally, too the calling of Priests and Prophets was different. The Levites and priests worked within the confines of a Sanctuary be it a tabernacle or temple. Amongst them was chosen the High priest a descendant of Aaron, the first God-ordained High Priest (Exodus 28-29) to minister in the Sanctum and Sanctorum of the Sanctuary. If the Prisestly tribe was designated to instruct the people in the Law (Deu 18:1-2/ Neh 8:7-9), which entailed that they be perfect in the matters of Law, the Prophets were ones’ who received special revelations and messages from the Lord (I Sam 3:20) to be passed onto the people.

From the Old Testament pattern, emerges the New Testament one, bringing to the fore 2 types of Full timers – the Pastors and the Missionaries - as though to suggest how important history is, when it comes to giving pointers for both the present and future.



If the Missionaries are to expend all their resources’ (talents, skills and even life) in fulfilling the last commission of Christ (Matt 28:18-20), which is to introduce people outside the Christian faith to the Saving knowledge of the Lord, the Pastors’ like their Old Testament counterparts (the Leviticus priests) are required to expend theirs’ on nurturing God’s flock (II Tim 2:1-2) whom the missionaries bring into God’s fold (Acts 14:23) ministering mostly within the confines of a Church (the Church building may be a big cathedral or a house of a Christian) using all along The Bible as the base for any instruction. Here it has to be stated emphatically, depending upon the situation some times the Missionary may consciously or unconsciously* double-up as a Pastor and vice-versa**. For instance Timothy, who accompanied Paul in his missionary journeys’ pastored the Ephesian church of old.

    * If a new believer were to approach a missionary with some doubts regarding any aspect of the Bible, the latter at his level would try his best to instruct the former in the Bible without thrusting that responsibility down the pastoral throat. ** Likewise, if a Pastor has a opportunity of sharing the Gospel with a person outside the Christian faith, he wouldn’t wash his hands off the responsibility and wait for the Missionary to do that.


Now a word on the responsibilities of the Laity. While, the laity of the Church (who are neither pastors nor missionaries) are instructed to diligently pursue a vocation of their choice (II Thess 3:12) working wherever they are placed as unto the Lord (Col 3:23), they too are instructed to not to let go of any opportunity to share the Gospel with anyone (I Peter 3:15 / Col 4:5-6) besides being well-versed in the scriptures (II Tim 3:15-17) themselves.

Now for a lead-up thought for tomorrow’s meditation. What ought to be one’s qualification to don the mantle of the ‘servant of a Almighty God’? Any servant of God be it a priest or a prophet or for that matter a pastor or a missionary has to be first and foremost a God-pleaser to be called for his work. We shall dwell on this subject in greater detail, tomorrow.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, what a great privilege it is to be called your servant. What an awesome responsibility to be your ambassador and a spokesman amongst your people in this world. Enable us to fulfill our responsibilities, faithfully. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 


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