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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 20th

Call through God’s servants



So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then I will come with you." "Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?" So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant – I Kings 19:19-21
 
  How true that…thematic Study of God’s word bears striking resemblance to Deep sea diving, for like deep sea exploration, thematic study too keeps leading us from one exciting new discovery to another. Take for instance, our thematic (can also be called topical) study of the visit of the Wise men as a part of the greater Christmas story, which brought to the fore several fascinating insights, hitherto (at least to some new believers) unrevealed.

Even whilst focusing on the III gift of wise men –Myrrh- we had been led by a chain of congruent thoughts to the broader subject of ‘God’s call for full-time work’. Our meditation yesterday ‘On the receptivity to His Call’, had lent itself to meditation on yet another subtopic -‘God’s call received through His servants’.

Yes, there are cases in the Bible of God’s call for full-time work not coming directly from Him but through His dedicated, devout servants. The words in italics in the previous sentence have been used advisedly to indicate that such a call can come only and only through his dedicated, devout servants who alone can be relied upon to tell the truth on this paramount issue which can make or break one’s life.

The call to Joshua to assume the leadership responsibilities of Moses on latter’s departure from the scene came from Moses himself (as sincere a leader, as one can find) on receiving the Lord’s instruction to that effect (Numbers 27:18-23). Similarly Elisha’s call emanated from his predecessor Elijah (a committed soldier of the Lord) again on Lord’s instruction (I Kings 19:16).

In the Christian context dear friends, the call through his servants can come by way of a message from a pulpit or a dais or even by way of personal ‘across the table’ counseling. Usually for this the Lord would prepare the heart of a believer by the prompting of His indwelling Holy spirit or by touching him with a relevant Scripture reading and this prompting for full-time work in due course gets validated by virtue of the concerned believer either hearing a perfect message speaking directly to his heart from a devout God’s servant or even by counseling to that effect. In these days of several profiteering God men, yes there are still credible Christian leaders who can be relied upon to speak truly on His behalf. For instance, I have immense respect for the leaders of a missionary organization namely Friends Missionary Prayer Band, Chennai, India, who through years of selfless, sacrificial service have earned the respect of one and all.

Now coming to my own case of receiving and responding to God’s call for full-time work, it all began with the prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit, when I was recalling the faithfulness of God in constantly providing for the needs of full-timers who preceded me. When I resisted the prompting (it is not easy to ‘die’ to a secure way of life which also guarantees good social status), the joyous presence of the Lord in my heart left me only to be replaced therein by the tormenting ‘evil spirit’. When we do not respond to his gentlemanly persuasion, well, God quite justifiably resorts to some measured arm-twisting tactics…remember the case of Jonah! It was only when I ‘surrendered’ to His will after 2 days of spiritual unrest and turmoil, did peace and joy start flowing again in my heart. Now after 46 months in full-time work, I can testify my God is a faithful God, who has not let me down in any way.

While, on the subject of ‘full time’ service, tomorrow I would like to focus on a related, insightful scripture portion, which goes thus…

‘For many are called but few are chosen’ – Matt 22:14

Prayer:

Father in heaven, it is indeed a privilege that you have entrusted some of us with a sole responsibility of doing ‘your business’ in this world. For that, we thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 


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