Badgering can be a good thing!

Worthy Christian Devotions

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 30:26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

Unless you're up on your biology, you're probably wondering, "What in the world is a coney?" I certainly was. After doing a little research, I discovered that a coney is a rock badger.

These little critters make their homes in rocks and in sides of mountains — only venturing away from their rocky homes in the quest for food. While the badger stays within his home of rocks, he is safe from his natural predators. He stays close to home because he realizes his limitations. Badgers recognize that they do not have strength within themselves — their strength lies in the rocks they call home.

So it should be for us as believers. We, too, must recognize our limitations! We need to be aware that like the conies, we are feeble folk! If we venture too far away from our Rock, Yeshua (Jesus) — we will become vulnerable, easy prey! But if we stay within the shelter of our Rock, we can rest in the security He provides!

The winds and storms of this world can shake us up a bit — but they don't sway the Rock! Let's make sure our homes are built in the safest place there is. Let's build on the Rock.

Worthy Christian Devotions

Stick to the Plan!

Worthy Christian Devotions

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

We often develop strategies, game-plans, life-plans – and then, at some obstacle or critical point, we say – "Just stick to the plan!" It's usually good advice.

Life is always sending unexpected surprises, but praise God, nothing takes Him by surprise. He's the master planner. Our family might turn against us, our friends let us down, illness, afflictions, problems and "situations" on every side…God still has a plan, for you, and for me.

Joseph is a prime example of life's surprises. It took 13 years of endurance and character-building for him to fulfill this part of God's plan. Sold as a slave into Egypt by his own brothers, betrayed and imprisoned, he must have wondered a lot where God was and what He was doing. But finally, as a prepared vessel, Joseph was placed in the highest position in the land, second only to Pharaoh, and commissioned to execute God's plan for saving the world from famine. So the Lord had surprises of His own. Revealing himself to his brothers, Joseph summed it up beautifully: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, in order to bring it about as [it is] this day, to save many people alive. ." (Genesis 50:20)

When our situations are difficult to handle and downright impossible to explain, we need to remind ourselves that God said, “I know the plans I have for you.” Through these situations we discover how faithful and sovereign He truly is. He knows what we can handle and He will never give us more. When the test is completed, we come out with character, stronger in faith, more in love, more useful to Him, and ready……….. for our next test. :) (Oh yeah…)

The fact that we have problems is a sign that we also have a promise. It’s only a matter of time before God reveals His good intentions – so until then, let’s stick to the plan! His !!!

Worthy Christian Devotions

Have some chutzpah!

Worthy Christian Devotions

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 11:5-8 And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you'? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Since moving to Israel we've been thrust into a Middle Eastern culture of "extreme hospitality". The above parable from Luke takes place in a similar cultural context, and it powerfully illustrates how God wants us to approach Him.

The word persistance in Greek is the word anaideia which can also be translated in more detail as "bold persistence" or "tenacity". Look at the raw nerve this man has disturbing his sleeping neighbor in the middle of the night. He's calling out to him, expecting him to understand his need to provide food and hospitality for his unexpected guest, and even when his friend tries to turn him away…he is relentless! Here in Israel, we call that "chutzpah"!

Chutzpah is a difficult word to translate into English, but this is definitely an example of it – brazen boldness to continue knocking no matter the late hour or the stubborn selfish neighbor!

Now there are some of us who pray with this attitude, like God was a stubborn uncooperative friend who doesn't really care, or as though we're somehow bothering him as if we're waking him up in the middle of the night. But Yeshua (Jesus) is using this stubborn neighbor as a NEGATIVE illustration. He's saying the Father is NOT like that, but is a true and loving friend, one to whom we can bring all our needs, our troubles, and our problems because He will listen, and He will care! But God also wants us to be persistent, not to browbeat or pester Him for an answer, but rather, because we so believe in Him, and we want to express to Him just how much we really trust Him even when the answer doesn't come immediately. It's an expression of relentless faith which so pleases Him.

If this uncooperative neighbor finally gives a loaf to his friend, how much more will our Heavenly Father give to us, His children, if we come to Him with believing chutzpah? As long as we ask according to His will [1 John 5:14], we can confidently bring our requests, and even if we need to dig in and wait for His answers, it's because we know that our trust in His love and generosity will make him so happy. So… with so much work to be done, let's show some Holy chutzpah!

Worthy Christian Devotions

Live your life in Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 21:14-15, 22 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."

Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."

After Yeshua’s (Jesus) resurrection, He showed himself to the apostles several times. Once, they were fishing, and Yeshua met them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter was there, back at his craft, but swirling with inward emotions. The anguish of his recent denial, three times, exactly as Yeshua had predicted, mixed with the amazement and perplexity at the empty tomb, and finally the astounding relief and joy witnessing the risen Lord. Peter was on an emotional roller coaster for days, but the issue of his denial remained unresolved.

The Lord's encounter with Peter on the Sea of Galilee was to fully restore him. Three times Yeshua probes His beloved disciple “Do you love me?” But this is more than just a quantitative restoration. The Lord is penetrating the apostle's heart in this amazing conversation, because He really knows how much Peter loves Him and He wants Peter to know that He trusts him completely even after his awful failure. So Yeshua gives Peter his lifelong commission– “Feed my lambs!”; "Feed my sheep." Yeshua knew that He could entrust Peter with this responsibility, and He told him so. Peter was restored.

Yet Peter still wobbles, even as he receives his restoration, when he asks about his fellow apostle, John. Yeshua's response, “what is that to you, you follow me!” settles the matter. The Lord is saying, "stop the competition, Peter. Those days are over, yet you're still comparing…I have work for you; I have a life for you; live it!"

The enemy would love to dig up your past, thrust it in your face, and leave you comparing yourself with others for the rest of your life – but the Lord has a life for you and He wants you to live it. Your life, not someone else's. He loves you and He trusts you to be who He made you to be. So don't allow your past failures or your present jealousies to prevent you from the life you’re called to live for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions

Perfection is Coming!

Worthy Christian Devotions

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 6:30-34 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? O you of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, "What shall we eat?" or, "What shall we drink?" or, "What shall we wear?" For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will will worry about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In Biblical Hebrew, the verb tenses are not like our "past", "present", and "future" – there are only two: "perfect" and "imperfect". The "imperfect" tense is that which is not yet, not done, or not completed. The "perfect" is that which is done, complete and finished.

The Bible speaks of things that are yet to come in the perfect tense, as if they are already completed; (also called the "prophetic past"). God can have a finished work that hasn’t happened yet — for example, our salvation! In Messiah, we are a finished work that hasn't happened yet. We are becoming what we are already, in Him.

Yeshua (Jesus) instructed us to pray, "on earth as it is in heaven." Since we (believers) are born from above — from the finished, perfect work of God, we are already participating in His perfection, though we are still on earth doing His will.

So, reflect on this truth of your already complete perfection in Yeshua. You will look at your problems a little differently — actually be less worried about them from this "Heavenly" point of view. You may still be working them out with fear and trembling, yet rest in this simple and amazing fact: in Yeshua, they are already resolved!

Worthy Christian Devotions