Yes, Integrity Matters!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

Please forgive us for the length of this particular devotion, but it was sent in from some friends of the ministry in Nigeria — please take the time to read this powerful message.

An aging king woke up one day to the realization that should he drop dead, there would be no male in the royal family to take his place. He was the last male in the royal family in a culture where only a male could succeed to the throne – and he was aging. He decided that if he could not give birth to a male, he would adopt a son who then could take his place but he insisted that such an adopted son must be extraordinary in every sense of the word. So he launched a competition in his kingdom, open to all boys, no matter what their background. Ten boys made it to the very top.

There was little to separate these boys in terms of intelligence and physical attributes and capabilities. The king said to them, 'I have one last test and whoever comes top will become my adopted son and heir to my throne.'

Then he said, 'This kingdom depends solely on agriculture. So the king must know how to cultivate plants. So here is a seed of corn for each of you.Take it home and plant and nurture it for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, we shall see who has done the best job of cultivating the seed. That person will be my heir-apparent.' The boys took their seeds and hurried home. They each got a flower pot and planted the seed as soon as they got home. There was much excitement in the kingdom as the people waited with bated breath to see who was destined to be their next king.

In one home, the boy and his parents were almost heartbroken when after days of intense care, the seed failed to sprout. He did not know what had gone wrong with his. He had selected the soil carefully, he had applied the right quantity and type of fertilizer, he had been very dutiful in watering it at the right intervals, he had even prayed over it day and night and yet his seed had turned out to be unproductive.

Some of his friends advised him to go and buy a seed from the market and plant that. 'After all,' they said, 'how can anyone tell one seed of corn from another?' But his parents who had always taught him the value of integrity reminded him that if the king wanted them to plant any corn, he would have asked them to go for their own seed. 'If you take anything different from what the king gave you that would be dishonesty.'

'Maybe we are not destined for the throne. If so, let it be, but don't be found to have deceived the king,' they told him. The d-day came and the boys returned to the palace each of them proudly exhibiting a very fine corn seedling. It was obvious that the other nine boys had had great success with their seeds. The king began making his way down the line of eager boys and asked each of them, 'Is this what came out of the seed I gave you?'

And each boy responded, 'Yes, your majesty.' And the king would nod and move down the line.

The king finally got to the last boy in the line-up. The boy was shaking with fear. He knew that the king was going to have him thrown into prison for wasting his seed. 'What did you do with the seed I gave you?' the king asked. 'I planted it and cared for it diligently, your majesty, but alas it failed to sprout.' the boy said tearfully as the crowd booed him.

But the king raised his hands and signaled for silence. Then he said, 'My people behold your next king.' The people were confused. 'Why that one?' many asked. 'How can he be the right choice?' The king took his place on his throne with the boy by his side and said, 'I gave these boys boiled seeds. This test was not for cultivating corn. It was the test of character; a test of integrity. It was the ultimate test.'

If a king must have one quality, it must be that he should be above dishonesty. Only this boy passed the test. A boiled seed cannot sprout.' Never!!

We live in a society that has become obsessed with success and many show success at any cost. We say the end justifies the means. It is the tragedy of life. You see, failure often is an invitation to God to show that he is all powerful and does not need help to make us great or to bless us.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

Don't Forget Your Godly Ancestry!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

A few years ago, a rare archaeological discovery was made in Northern Israel. Archaeologists discovered a 1/2 meter statue of Hercules which they say was dated to the second century.

In Greek mythology, Hercules was the son of the Greek god Zeus, and the mortal mother Alcmene — the wisest and most beautiful of all mortal women. Hercules was said to surpass all mortal men in strength, size and skill. How did Hercules become such a powerful mortal according to mythology? It was because his father was the Greek god, Zeus.

While this is a mythological story, we as saints of the most high have a real Heavenly Father who sits on His throne in heaven. While we live in these mortal bodies, we're called to do extraordinary things in this life! We have a Spiritual Father sitting on the throne who wants to give us wisdom from above. He wants to give us "peace that passes all understanding." And He's calling us to live a life outside this natural realm — a life worthy of a "King and a Priest" of the Most High.

While Hercules was a myth — your life is a reality — the reality that God is Your heavenly Father! Don't place God in a box — but recognize that God is calling you to live outside the box! Your life before you were born again was a "mortal" life, but having crossed over, you're now called to live a supernatural life! So live it — because your life is an inheritance directly from your Heavenly Father!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

Are you an armor-bearer?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Samuel 14:6-7; 13-15 Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few." So his armor-bearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart." And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armor-bearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armor-bearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land. And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling.

The setting in 1 Samuel 14 is war between the Israelites and the Philistines; and while King Saul relaxed under a pomegranate tree [1 Samuel 14:2], his son Jonathan along with his armor-bearer left the camp quietly to see if the Lord would fight the battle on their behalf. Jonathan had no idea what he would face out there, how many Philistines he would encounter, their battle skills or strategies. He only knew that if God delivered the enemy into his hands he would be victorious. And he was.

“Nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few”, is Jonathan's faith statement to his absolute conviction that victory is not determined by numbers but by God. But notice that Jonathan didn't fight the battle alone; his trusted companion, his armor-bearer was with him. We don't know his name, we don't have much information about him, except this one sentence, "Go then; and here I am with you!"

Jonathan rose up, a man with divine initiative, a sense of spiritual adventure, and a total conviction that YHVH was with him. He was a leader whose name is forever memorialized by deeds of valor. And then, there was this nameless fellow who accompanied him with deep loyalty doubtless inspired also by the Lord and his knowledge of Jonathan's faith and character. When the judgment of our works is given there will be those who were known and those who were "nameless"; loyal armor-bearers standing alongside their leader/friends whose loyalty, faith and bravery will be honored and recognized in full. Be sure of it!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

Expect More!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Philippians 3:14-15 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude ; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;

Ephesians 3:19-21 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

When Paul wrote to the Philippian church he spoke of pressing forward for the prize of the high calling. Though he was physically content whether rich or poor, [Philippians 4:11] the apostle was not content with his spiritual condition, but constantly seeking a deeper, more intimate and fruitful walk with the Lord. Paul had great expectations for his own lifetime, and he accomplished tremendous things, yet if he'd known while writing his epistles that they would edify the lives of billions of people for 2000 years, I think he'd be saying to himself, "This I could never even have imagined!"

I was reading a quote by legendary preacher, D.L. Moody yesterday; "We honor God when we ask for great things. It is a humiliating thing to think that we are satisfied with very small results."

Why do we honor God when we ask for great things, or expect more from Him? Simply because He is great, far greater than we can imagine, but also because we are made in His image. His greatness is glorified by what He performs through our lives. If we desire great things, it's because we're reflecting His awesome nature. It is in us by nature to seek more and greater things — just as Paul and D.L Moody did. We should not be ashamed of it when our motives are pure, because our Lord will be glorified all the more. Not seeking fame or fortune, but the glory of Yeshua (Jesus) crucified and risen, will be a lifetime of pressing forward, and accomplishing more than we ever could have imagined!

Allow your mind and your heart to think and to dream of great accomplishments for Yeshua. He Himself said through Paul that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, so let's honor God by seeking the greatest things and then watch Him fulfill more than we could ever have imagined!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

Look to the Lord of blessing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 5:3-11 Then He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, nevertheless at Your word I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught such a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Yeshua's (Jesus') feet, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" For he was astonished, and all that were with him, because of the catch of the fish which they had taken, And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Yeshua (Jesus) said to Simon, "Fear not, from now on you will catch men." So when they brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Sukkot is a festival about rejoicing in the blessings that God has provided, but let’s be sure our focus is on the Lord of blessing – instead of the blessings!

We read in Luke that Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples to go into the deep waters and let down their nets for fish. When they did, their nets were filled up with fish to the point of breaking. Being fishermen and businessmen, they may have been tempted to start doing business. I mean, think how much they could make!

But God had a different purpose. The disciples' occupation as fishermen was just a vehicle for God to demonstrate His great power and love. He wasn't blessing them with fish so that they would get excited about fishing — He was blessing them with fish so that they could get their eyes off their fishing and on to the greater call He had for them! Thankfully, they left the fishing business and went off with the Lord to do great and mighty things.

Let's make sure we're not getting up wrapped up in fish! We seek the Lord for His blessings, prosperity, and success. But true discipleship is focusing not on the blessings of the Lord, but on the Lord of the blessings!

We can rejoice in our blessings this Sukkot season, but let's not dwell on them! Let's set our eyes on the Lord and the calling He has for us. When He sees that we have pure and willing hearts, He will be faithful to use us to accomplish His glorious plan!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Ambition