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…
“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many
convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty
days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them,
he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will
be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore
the kingdom to Israel?" –
In our journey of the study of Book of Acts with a specific aim to understand in detail
the subject of “birth and growth of the Church”, today we come to an incident, which doesn’t
portray the soon-to-be-pillars
(Gal 2:9) of soon-to-be-born Church in the grandeur usually
associated with the heroes’ of faith. In short, we see them experiencing “an identity crisis”.
Post resurrection, not only were Jesus’ disciples (including the top trio of Peter, James and John)
guilty of failing to identify their blessed resurrected Lord (there is a record of he rebuking
them for that lapse –
Mark 16:14), they were also guilty of still not identifying their Master’s
cause for coming into this world, which was to shine as a beacon light to the entire world and not
only to the Jews
(Luke 2:32). Despite being with him all these years and listening countless
times to His sermons proclaiming himself to be the Saviour of the whole world, his disciples
were still trying to come to terms with Jesus original purpose behind His I Coming, so much so,
we see them posing a witless question in
Acts 1:6 “Lord, has the time come for you to free
Israel and restore our kingdom?” Oh how much it must have pained Him that they were yet to
fully comprehend His agenda behind His I Coming, which had nothing to with anything political
but had everything to with all things spiritual. More than occupying any earthly throne, Jesus’
had always been keen on occupying the thrones in the hearts of men.
However, in our imminent meditations, we shall see the transformation of these very disciples.
They not only identify the cause of the Messiah but they also identify themselves with that cause.
The result? They turned the World upside down
(Acts 17:6 KJV) or to put it more aptly, they
turned the World, which was topsy-turvy (spiritually that is) right side up. Much of the identity
crisis problem of mankind has to do with the failure in identifying the main purpose behind its
creation. Once we identify the calling of our lives and align ourselves to it,
we would be a “DIFFERENT LOT”.
So what was that watershed moment in the lives of the disciples,
which transformed them and made them “World-shakers”? We shall come to it, in due course.
Father, enable us to identify not only the purpose of our lives, but remain true to our calling.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.