Perfection is Coming!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

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 » Adversity

Be a bold voice for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 52:7-8 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.

In the 4th century lived a Christian named Telemachus, in a remote village, tending his garden, and spending much time in prayer. One day, he believed he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome, so he obeyed, setting out on foot. Some weeks later, weary from his journey, he arrived in Rome about the time of a great festival.The little man followed the crowd surging through the streets into the Colosseum. He saw the gladiators standing before the Emperor and proclaiming, "We who are about to die salute you." Then Telemachus realized that these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the cheering crowd. So he cried out in a loud voice, "In the name of Christ, Stop!" Yet the games began, so he pushed his way through the crowd, climbed over the wall and dropped onto the floor of the arena. The entire Colosseum watched this tiny figure rushing toward the gladiators, crying, "In the name of Christ, STOP !!!" The gladiators thought it was part of the show and began laughing. But in a few moments, they realized it was not part of the show, and then the crowd became angry. Telemachus stood his ground, insistently pleading with the gladiators to stop their bloody show, when one of them plunged a sword into the saint's body. He fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were, "In the name of Christ, STOP!!!"

Then a strange thing happened. The gladiators stood there looking at the tiny Christian lying there dead. A hush fell over the Colosseum. Way up in the upper rows, a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others followed. In dead silence, one by one, everyone left the Colosseum. The year was 404; and that day saw the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. Telemachus' martyrdom initiated an historic ban on gladiator fights by the Roman Emperor Honorius. Never again in the great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd. One tiny man's bold voice — one voice — reshaped Roman history, and saved thousands of lives, by fearlessly proclaiming the truth in God's name!

You may be a little man, or woman, spending time alone with Yeshua (Jesus). And He may be preparing you in the quiet place, for a moment when you will be called to raise your voice in some public square or stadium, to fearlessly stand for His truth, even if it might cost your life. Remember Telemachus, whose voice changed the world because God's word was behind it. Boldness is not bravado, but is rooted in deep conviction based on deep relationship and unswerving obedience. And it's effects resound through history. So cultivate that intimate relationship with Him, and be ready to be launched into the arena of death-dealing humanity. Your lack of fear and your love for others will reveal the Yeshua whom you love, to many souls.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

Stand in Faith, Receive your Inheritance!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Numbers 14:6-11 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them." And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?

26-30 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, "How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28 Say to them, 'As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upwards, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

As we concluded Tisha B'Av last night, let's consider a lesson from this historic day. When the twelve spies returned from spying out the promised land, Joshua and Caleb alone gave a good report, saying the land is full of milk and honey. They believed the promise of God so emphatically that they tore their clothes and implored the children of Israel saying, "the Lord is with us, do not fear them!" Israel's reaction was unbelievably severe. They were ready to STONE the faithful spies!

It is unquestionable that the report of the other 10 spies was terrifying, and that it had spread fear throughout the camp. Would the faith of two witnesses stand against the overwhelming majority? How often has the voice of the majority with all of its "common sense" stood as a consensus against your "crazy" faith? What kinds of attacks and threats have you received for standing on the Lord's word or promise, or simply for believing in His salvation? In these days as the darkness deepens, our light will shine more brightly, but it may also seem that our stand of faith makes less common sense than ever, and will bring severe opposition against us!

Joshua and Caleb stood firm, and it's wonderful to see how even the most vicious threats could not affect their position of trust. And we know how the Lord rewarded them. These two men became the only ones from their generation to enter the promised land.

Test the word that God has given you; be as sure as you can that He has spoken it, just as Joshua and Caleb were concerning the Lord's promise of Canaan. When the opposition arises, and it will; when the threats are severe, and they may be, remember that the majority against you with all its fear and "common sense" will not receive the reward of faith, but will lose its inheritance… while you will please the Lord and receive yours in full.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

Will We Learn From History?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

This Saturday night, Jewish people around the world will mourn Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar year. Some of you may know that a lot of bad things have happened to the Jewish people on this date, the first of which was when the spies returned with an evil report of Canaan, the Promised Land, recounted in Numbers 13 and 14. Both the first and the second Temple were destroyed on this exact date, hundreds of years apart. The Crusades began on this day in 1095. The Jews were expelled out of England on this day in 1290, and again were expelled from Spain and Portugal on Tisha B'Av in 1492. And there are many more examples of this infamous day in Jewish history!

The number "nine" is sometimes associated with "judgment" or "fruit" in scripture. Not taking this too far, yet we may still see repeated expressions of the Lord's judgment through this recurring historical pattern. Moses warned, especially in Deuteronomy, of the terrible things which would happen to the Jewish people throughout history were they to abandon the Lord, worship false gods, and forsake His covenants. And He often used idolatrous nations who hated or were jealous of Israel, to bring judgment upon their disobedience, though they often went way too far and angered the Lord bringing His judgment against them as well.

But God's judgments are almost always tempered with His mercy and grace, for one constant purpose — and that is to bring people back to Himself! We see this in our own lives and in the history of nations throughout the world. But as the saying goes, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". And we have a powerful example of this in Tisha B'Av. Israel's idolatry brought God's judgment upon her. And as the Jewish people around the world are fasting in preparation for the observance of this "day of judgment", we may remind ourselves of our own past failures which we don't want to repeat!

Will we remember and learn from these past failures? We are not doomed to a fate of failure. If repentance is sincere and deep, we can avoid the judgments and consequences of past sins, and learn from history. If we seek the Lord to expose the roots of failure in our lives, and pray with faith for healing and deep repentance, trusting Him for the power to overcome the sinful nature…we really can avoid a pattern of judgment. Let's spend the time with Him now… so we don't need to return to Him through the terrible shame and sorrow of "Tisha B'Av."

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

Don't Procrastinate!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

1 Chronicles 12:15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

As we continue our study of the Mighty Men of David, another quality is worth pointing out — they were not procrastinators. Notice that these men decided to cross the Jordan river when it was at flood stage! They didn't wait till the river receded, but rather, boldly crossed when it was the most dangerous!

And because of this boldness — remember in our previous study they were described as mighty men whose faces were like the faces of lions with the swiftness of gazelles — they crossed the river without fear or hesitation. Their boldness and courage set fear into the hearts of their enemies who trembled before the spirit of these men, and fled before them to the east and to the west!

In these last days the enemy of our souls would love to strike terror in our hearts, but there is only ONE whom we should fear, with a reverential and Holy fear — our awesome Creator! Is there an obstacle before you today — a "flooded river" that stands to stop your advance? Don't procrastinate if you know the Lord's will — go boldly, press forward, without hesitation! He will go before you and strike fear in the hearts of your enemies!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Adversity