|JANUARY 2008||DEVOTIONAL MESSAGE||
SANCTIFYING POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD
The word of God sanctifies us. It is a great blessedness to delight in the word of the Lord and to meditate it day and night to keep an intimate acquaintance with it. The word of God keeps us out of ungodliness and fortifies us against temptations. Gospel Conventions are such occasions which bring a habitual regard to the word of God as the spring of our comforts. We must have that in our thoughts and make use of it prayerfully and with atmost preparations.
In the Sanctuary, we see two thrones, one is the throne of incarnate word and the other is the throne of proclaimed word. Former is the throne seat of the word incarnate Messiah, The Christ. The latter involves the Evangelion Table from which the living proclaimed word of God is read. Mar Ivanios the Golden Tongue told about it that considering reverence adhered by the Celebrant to administer the Holy Communion to the faithful and the devotion and care taken by the faithful to receive Holy Body and Holy Blood of Christ through Holy Communion, the same reverence and humilty should be observed to appertain to the proclaimed word of God through the Gospel. So we need a basic preparation to receive and take part in the proclamation of the word of God.
The Holy scripture is synonym for the God Himself. Those who receive the word of God come near to God and become resembled with God. Eventually he becomes holy and Godly. The word of Christ is a distinguishing word, and separates between the precious and the vile. The word of God cleanse and sanctify us with the truth of Christ. The Spirit of grace refine us by the word from the dross of the world and the flesh and purge out our iniquities. It cleanses as fire cleanses the gold from its dross, and as physic cleanses the body from its disease. We then evidence that we are cleansed by the word when we bring forth fruit unto holiness. That is why Jesus told us that we are clean because of the word which He had spoken to us.
Our land is now in the clutch of a liquor culture. The surveys show that many crores of Rupees are spent for liquor in our state alone. In the story of the journey of a wanton, it is depicted that the medicine prescribed for an alcoholic addict to come out of his addiction was to read a lesson from the Gospel when ever he feels temptation. The book says that eventually the addict came out of his addiction with the power of the Gospel. The word of God is a powerful tool to bring out an addicted society with evils.
Exhortation of John the Baptist was repentance. The main theme of the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ was also repentance. Once Jesus reminded, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you." [Luke 10: 13-14] So the eventuality of the lack of repentance is very severe and it will be the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The proclamation of the word of God is a sacrament. Sacrament is the act which sanctifies us. The word of God also sanctifies us and hence it is a holy sacrament. So through the Gospel proclamations we should grow from holiness to holiness.
Now a days we see many many prayer services across the land. But still people fall into utter desperation. The mode of suicides had gone out from personal level to family level. Now a days we hear many families suicide in unison. Only the word of God can relieve us from this utter desperation and put us in the hope of eternal life and renewal in the Lord. If we pass through the side of suicide the word of God we heared will cause for the penance and devastation. Those who are in Christ will perceive the glory of the life and the power of the hope and will never venture to ruin their life or other's life.
Another great evil which encounter our contemporary society and Church is the divorce. We see two type of divorces, one marital divorce between the husband and wife and the other spiritual divorce between man and God. Both are equally dangerous. We may assuage it thinking that this is only a western phenomenon. But we can see the divorce became very common in our country also. There are many in the world who do Satanic worship. Our Lord Jesus had told about them only that "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." But now they too came to know that fasting and prayer have got great power and they started fasting for the diffusion of our families. We should consider the word of God as the binding force with which God had united and no enemy can seperate it. Another type of divorce is the outcast life from the Grace of God. The man who had drifted away from God is a dead man. So the word of God should rejuvenate our spiritual life and drive away all sluggishness.
In the old Testament we read the story of Naomi. She went out from the land of Bethlehem to the land of Moab for her betterment with her husband and two sons. She had to encounter a melancholy change in her life in the foreign land. Her husband and two sons died. Eventually she decided to return to her home land. She herself describe it as; "I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back as empty." Even in sufficiency we may be in straits. However there is a spiritual and divine fullness which nobody can empty from us. With the power of the word of God, we enter into this un-emptiable sufficiency. All-sufficiency of God should be our support and supply under all our afflictions.
We should keep great conviction in our traditional faiths. Traditional faith is the proven faith and it is the faith of our fathers and fore-fathers. We should not install persons in place of God in our faith which our faith-generations entrusted to us. It is the word of God which keep us in our faith and strong in our spiritual convictions.
As we read in the Prophecy of Daniel we should break away from our sins by doing righteousness and from our iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. This will lead us for prolonged prosperity. [Daniel 4:27]
So we should take seriously the proclamation of word of God. It should bring forth fruit, thirtyfold, sixtyfold and hundredfold in our spiritual life. Let the Holy Spirit of our God enable us for the same. God bless you!
[Extract from Inaugural Devotional Address delivered at Chengaroor Church Convention - Reported By: Cheriyan Alexander, Kallooppara
Original in Malayalam : Translated for LOL by Editor Dr. Rajan Mathew Philadelphia, USA]
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