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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 19th

Receptivity to God’s call



Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, Moses! Moses! And Moses said, Here I am. - Exodus 3:1-4
 
  Our study of the visit of the Wise men and more specifically our meditation on their gift of Myrrh as a part of the larger Christmas story had led us as it were by a chain of adjoining thoughts to a related domain which was ‘how can I discern God’s call for full time work’ (refer daily devo dated 16th Dec). After having focused upon the prime qualification for God’s service –God pleasing demeanor- yesterday, lets zero-in on the core content of the concerned subject, beginning with the 2 types of calls depending on their source which is not to be misunderstood with 2 types of calls distinguished by function dwelt upon earlier (refer daily devo dated Dec 17th).

Understanding this specific subject (2 types of calls basing on the source) would doubtless facilitate a far better comprehension of the wider subject “how can I discern His call”.

Going by ‘the source’, in the Bible there are 2 types of calls the

1.The Direct call of God

2. God’s call for full-time work through his servants.

Today let’s focus upon the first one. Then again, His Direct call can be further classified into 2 sub-categories…dramatic and the not so dramatic ones’. If the call of Moses from the burning bush and that of Isaiah (Isa 6:1-8) with full splendor of heaven in view were dramatic, then those of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) and Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-7) were not so dramatic. Just to reiterate my point, I would like to state that by applying a 1-10 scale for the drama content involved in the call, if we say that the calls of Moses and Isaiah scored a perfect 10 then those of Abraham and Jeremiah would have scored at best 5, lacking as they were in theatrics.

Now, you neither need rabbit ears nor any sophisticated radar system or for that matter, you do not even have to place your ears to the ground to hear any sound signal-red Indian style- to discern the first type of call, which by its very nature is loud and clear.

It is that relatively muted call which came to Abraham or Jeremiah which may be apparently more difficult to discern, for there was no thunder and lightning effect accompanying it. But both Abraham and Jeremiah, essentially God pleasers, walking with him daily even before a specific task was assigned to them were by and large on ‘God’s wavelength’, as it were, to hear His voice and discern its ramifications thereof, immediately.

Dear friends, once again I would like to stress that to be called and even to discern His call, one essentially has to be God pleaser otherwise the worldly desires (‘noise of the world’, I call them) some of them quite legitimate but whose value would pale in light of the eternal rewards, would clamour for our attention putting us in danger of being unreceptive and insensitive to His call. I would like to reiterate once again, even at the cost of sounding repetitive that only God pleasers walking closely with Him daily would alone be always both receptive and responsive to His call.

Dramatic or not, dear friends, kindly note there can never be a God’s call which wouldn’t be challenging, pulling us rudely, so to speak, out of our comfort zones. That is a sure, telltale sign of His call for us to recognize and respond. If for Moses and Abraham, it meant snapping family ties and venturing into ‘an unknown domain’, then for Isaiah and Jeremiah too it was ‘a leap of faith into unknown’, for they had no idea at the beginning of their ministry, how it would eventually pan out…whether disobedient people to whom they were issuing a call for repentance would respond or not.

Tomorrow, after touching upon the II type of Call - God’s call for full-time work through his servants- I would like to testify about my own call, which came to me when I was in secular profession.

Prayer:

Father, difficult as it is, to respond to thy call enable us to keep eternity in perspective when it comes to counting the cost of taking up full-time work, for whatever be our sacrifices’, Thy rewards would always outweigh them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 


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