Live your life in Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

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 » Acceptance

Perfection is Coming!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

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 » Acceptance

You are beloved!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Another interesting correlation we draw from Mashiach Ben Joseph is how Joseph was the object of his father’s (Jacob) love, just as Yeshua (Jesus) was loved of our Heavenly Father. This preference Jacob had for Joseph was unequivocal, and it was also pretty controversial among his brothers. Competition among siblings seemed to infect the family just as it can in many of our own families. But the beauty of Joseph's place in his father's heart emerges when we realize that, as a type of Yeshua (Jesus), Joseph powerfully illustrates the love our Heavenly Father has for all of us, equally and intensely, so there's no need or cause for competition among us.

Now Jacob's love for Joseph was connected with his love for Rachel and the long wait for a son by his beloved wife. Joseph didn't have to do anything to earn Jacob's love. It was not based on his performance, even though it turned out that his character was pretty sterling. Likewise, our Father's love for us is totally based in His love for Yeshua, not on our performance. Our HIGHS do not exalt us, and our LOWS do not depress us in the sight of the Father. Our acceptance is not dependent on us, but rather on Him who sits on the throne, Who never changes!

Rejoice, for your are accepted in the “beloved!” You may say to yourself, "There's nothing good here!" But remember that God the Father is seeing His Son when He looks at you. Your struggle against temptation and sin only proves that you have been lovingly adopted into His family, fully identified with His beloved Son. Realizing this is a source of tremendous freedom, prompting deep gratitude and a growing desire for relationship with God.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

Will you let Him reign?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Genesis 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
Luke 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Another aspect of Mashiach ben Yosef, is that the world would resist his authority.

When Joseph told his family of his dreams, they were outraged at the suggestion that their younger brother would reign over them. They simply had no idea that God would make Joseph exactly the kind of ruler they needed.

Likewise the world is outraged with Yeshua's claim to be ruler of this world. Never mind that His astounding humility completely qualifies Him to be loved, worshiped and respected.

Joseph won the hearts of his brothers by the grace, forgiveness and love that he showed them after they had rejected and sought to kill him. Yeshua wins our hearts the same way, and yet we still find resistance to His authority in some areas of our lives.

The longer I walk as a believer, the more I find myself between two realities. As my life becomes more consecrated and I realize how Holy He truly is, I become increasingly aware of my own true condition,"Woe is me, for I’m a man of unclean lips!" My life may seem to be holier to the world, while inside my spirit is crying out, "Lord, Help me!" It's because I can see and feel more clearly the areas in my soul that are still not submitted to Him. Yet His Spirit is constantly nudging me, "I want this part of your life too!"

If the Spirit of God is nudging you to surrender something, somehow, somewhere… it’s time to give it over to Him. Don’t wait another day. Take a moment and say once again, "Lord I want you to reign over all my life!"

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

Remember!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Today marks Holocaust Memorial day here in Israel. At ten o'clock in the morning on this day, war sirens sound calling the entire Land to remembrance of the 6,000,000 Jews who died and many more who suffered under the Nazi regime during WW2. People in their homes and workplaces rise in silence; cars come to a halt, even on the highways; pedestrians stop where they are and pause… for one minute as the sirens wail, we remember.

You may know that these atrocities and many more through the centuries were done in the name of Christianity. Hitler himself said he was a Christian, and deeply sympathized with Martin Luther's antisemitism, as he murdered millions. Systematic torture, abuse and murder have taken a toll on the Jewish people. The few remaining survivors of the Holocaust carry the scars of history's most recent attempt to annihilate them. The "DNA" of hatred and persecution has passed to children and grandchildren, such that the nation of Israel, partly restored to the Land, partly yet in dispersion, is deeply traumatized and constantly recovering. Yet the Lord's love and His faithfulness to Israel remains sure, as Paul said, "for the sake of the Fathers"; and their suffering also, in some way, points to the suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53.

We need to be praying for the Jewish people. We need to be pouring out much love upon them as we await the complete restoration which God has foreordained. As the Scriptures say, salvation is of the Jews [John 4:22]. They were set aside because of unbelief, bringing God's grace to the Gentiles. But…"if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" [Romans 11:15].

Worthy Christian Devotions » Acceptance