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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 6th

Victory in the very place of defeat



Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birthSong of Solomon 8:5

‘…What a contrast between Adam and Christ who was yet to come! And what difference between man’s sin and God’s forgiveness! For this one man, brought death to many through his sin. But this man Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God’s mercy. Adam’s one sin brought penalty of death to many, while Christ freely takes away many sins and gives glorious life instead. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to be king over all, but all who take God’s gift of forgiveness and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s sin brought punishment to all, but Christ’s righteousness makes men right with God, so that they can live. Adam caused many to be sinners, because he disobeyed God, and Christ caused many to be made acceptable to God because he obeyed
Romans 5:14-19
 
  The Bible abounds with examples of God scoring victories in the very places of defeat. What about Joshua’s campaign, against the City of Ai which is described in great detail in Chapters 7 and 8 in the Book bearing his name? A defeat caused by sin, is turned into victory by obedience later. Let’s take yet another example in the somatic (to use medical parlance) realm –the case of weakness of a man turned into his strength (Hebrews 11:34). Moses, the man with speech impediment (Exodus 4:10) by God’s enablement gives the longest recorded speech in the Bible (the Book of Deuteronomy 1-33). Let’s also go to the psycho-spiritual realm. Peter, the coward who denied his Lord for fear of mortal danger was so transformed, that towards the end of his life, he was willing to be crucified upside down. Yes that same cowardly Peter fuelled by his faith rose to such unbelievable levels of sacrificial disposition. Let’s also examine Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness. If Adam succumbed to temptations in the most favourable of conditions of a pleasant Garden of Eden, then the Final Adam-Jesus- enduring the heat of a desert, took on and defeated the foe after 40 days of fasting in the most adverse of circumstances’ (Matt 4:1-11). Now what makes us think that if the spiritual fall of man, began under the ‘apple tree’, the spiritual victory march would not begin under yet another ‘apple tree’? Is this fact not consistent with God’s character of scoring victories in the very areas’ of defeat and there is a specific pointer in the Bible itself, to that effect (Song of Solomon 8:5). Let’s come to that…

If all aspects of Jesus’ were prophesied in advance in the Scriptures (virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection etc), would the same reliable Scriptures point only towards the place of his birth (Bethlehem–Micah 5:2) and not towards the exact place therein? Is the first of the above-captioned scripture portion speaking about Solomon, the son of a rich King David? Even commonsense suggests it is the son of a humble carpenter coming to an unknown place with his pregnant wife (Note: birth pangs can begin anywhere), who can be born under the roadside apple tree and not the son of a rich King, for whom every facility would be made available.

Whilst reading about the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-8, lets examine closely Luke 2:6-7 from KJV which reads thus

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

It is crystal clear, she gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem (not in the manger) and because there was no place for them in the inns’ of Bethlehem, the baby Jesus was placed in the manger.

Consider this once again…

Victory and defeat are two inseparable twins. If there is a sweet smell of victory in the air for some, then not far way would be the pungent odour of defeat for others. If it all, there was defeat with the capital D for mankind, then it was in the garden of Eden under the apple tree, then where else could the first step towards victory be taken (which eventually led to yet another tree in the Calvary), other than ‘at a apple tree’?

Prayer:

Father, only eternity would stun us with some truths, all of us, may not be aware of here on earth. However, grant us the mind to examine and understand Thy Word properly, so that, with some of the startling truths revealed, we can praise you all the more, for Thine indescribable wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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