Worthy Christian Devotional - Daily Devotion » Anger http://www.worthydevotions.com Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:15:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=388 Who are you now? http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/who-are-you-now http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/who-are-you-now#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:19:47 +0000 http://www.worthydevotions.com/?p=3923 David's faith and courage in volunteering to fight Goliath was an embarrassment to his big brother Eliab, an officer in King Saul's army. I imagine his thinking went something like this; “If my little brother wins everybody will ask, 'How come you didn't go out and fight him?'” The Bible records that Eliab “burned with anger at David and asked, 'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is...'” These are devastating words from an older brother. Before David could defeat Goliath he first had to overcome the attitudes, accusations and words, of those close around him.

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by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Samuel 17:26-29 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" And the people answered him in this manner, saying, "So shall it be done for the man who kills him." Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle." And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"

David's faith and courage in volunteering to fight Goliath was an embarrassment to his big brother Eliab, an officer in King Saul's army. I imagine his thinking went something like this; “If my little brother wins everybody will ask, 'How come you didn't go out and fight him?'” The Bible records that Eliab “burned with anger at David and asked, 'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is…'” These are devastating words from an older brother. Before David could defeat Goliath he first had to overcome the attitudes, accusations and words, of those close around him.

The defeat of Goliath had massive implications for Israel and for the Lord. Satan had staked a great deal on Goliath's terrifying power. So wherever the enemy had opportunity in the sinful attitudes of David's friends and family he maximized them, realizing that David truly had the anointing of God to turn the tide of battle. And God allowed David to be tested by his own closest kin.

If there is a true Goliath in your life and you are appointed to slay him be assured you will face similar tests from those close by. When you make decisions to step out and follow God it will put pressure on others to do the same. Their shame and lack of faith will move them to attack, belittle and criticize you. It will come from among those closest to you, especially if your calling sets you apart!

Be careful around those who say, “I knew you when…” in an attempt to label, libel, or limit you – much like David's brother Eliab tried to hinder him. David was empowered by the Lord to slay Goliath – if you have that same Spirit and calling then humbly step aside and say, "What have I done now? Isn't there a real job to be done?" Then go ahead, and do it.

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Choose Repentance! http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/choose-repentance http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/choose-repentance#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:32:14 +0000 http://www.worthydevotions.com/?p=3770 "Break up your fallow ground." "Fallow" means "hard". A hard heart cannot love; and often cannot even receive it. A hard heart will block relationship with God and with others. Whatever the cause; anger, woundedness, bitterness, unforgiveness, the result will be a superficiality in relationship, an inability to empathize, and a corruption of your motivations.

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by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

"Break up your fallow ground." "Fallow" means "hard". A hard heart cannot love; and often cannot even receive it. A hard heart will block relationship with God and with others. Whatever the cause; anger, woundedness, bitterness, unforgiveness, the result will be a superficiality in relationship, an inability to empathize, and a corruption of your motivations. You will become manipulative, deceitful, proud, and unresponsive. God's message, His word to you will be difficult to hear and you will resist it. Like a layer of rock under shallow soil, where the rain cannot penetrate, love and truth will fail to penetrate your heart and affect your actions. Thus, a hard heart is deadly, because sin is petrified there, and the wages of sin is death.

How do you break up fallow ground? How do you change a hardened heart? You start with your will. You make a choice. You decide. Your decision is to soften, in spite of the way you feel, the things you remember, or have chosen to forget. Your decision is called "repentance", a changing of the mind, a turning of the will, in the opposite direction. The power of the will to repent is astounding because it opens the door for God to heal and transform your heart; to rain His love upon you and remove bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, and hatred or any other sin that is hardening your heart. Do you want to love? Do you want to be loved? But your heart is hard? Try repentance. Test God's power and will to heal and change you. But you must be willing to mourn. " Blessed are them that mourn." Repentance will open you to the rain of tears so that the pain and bitterness can pour out of you. But you will be amazed at what happens with your relationships. Love will enter and remain in your life; God's love and love with others too.

Millions have tried it; repentance works. Make it a lifestyle, and you will live and walk in love.

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Have Mercy on Me! http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/have-mercy-on-me http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/have-mercy-on-me#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:53:54 +0000 http://www.worthydevotions.com/?p=3655 We continue looking at Jonah, and find him in Chapter 4 displeased with God's mercy toward Nivevah. The Assyrians were arch-enemies of Israel and among the cruelest nations in history. Instead of being elated that God spared 120,000 Ninevites Jonah preferred to see his own pronouncement of judgment executed by the Lord. "Let those Assyrians get what's coming to them...

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by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jonah 4:1-5 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You [are] a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for [it is] better for me to die than to live!" Then the LORD said, "[Is it] right for you to be angry?" So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city.

We continue looking at Jonah, and find him in Chapter 4 displeased with God's mercy toward Nineveh. The Assyrians were arch-enemies of Israel and among the cruelest nations in history. Instead of being elated that God spared 120,000 Ninevites Jonah preferred to see his own pronouncement of judgment executed by the Lord. "Let those Assyrians get what's coming to them – they deserve to go to hell without any mercy for how they've treated Israel!" The Hebrew word "charah", " to be hot, furious, burn, become angry, be kindled" is a very strong expression for Jonah's feelings as he leaves the city of Nineveh and sets up a shelter to watch what will happen – he seems to be hoping that God might change His mind and destroy Nineveh anyway.

Have you ever felt this way? Someone has really hurt you; really done evil to you more than once – you knew from God's point of view he was "begging for a bolt" (of lightening), and you wished judgment would rain upon him. The last thing you want to do is warn him to stop; you want justice, not mercy; maybe even … revenge! Would you have the courage to admit that? To be really honest with God? Tell Him how disappointed you are that your tormentor hasn't been hit by a truck or developed a brain malignancy?

Jonah's honesty is commendable. How many of us would try to hide feelings like that, even from ourselves? "Please take my life." Jonah says. But the Lord understands. Instead of condemning Jonah for his merciless attitude He tries to reason with His prophet. "`Is doing good displeasing to thee?' He asks Jonah. Then Jonah's misery is compounded when the plant God gives him for shade withers and dies. Depressed and angry, Jonah reveals the depth of depravity in human nature. "“It is right for me to be angry, even to death!” he pines. He cannot find joy in the mercy of God.

I shudder to think of what would happen to me if I received God's justice for my sins. I would not want to wish His punishment even on my worst enemies. Perhaps Jonah didn't realize that his own attitude was displeasing to God and also deserved His judgment. I'm so thankful for God's mercy to us. We should bless our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us; we should overcome evil with good. Mercy triumphs over judgment. The Lord gives us the power to be like Him. He did it by dying on the cross and rising from the dead, after three days. Jonah was a sign of this, remember?

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Have the Heart of God! http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/have-the-heart-of-god http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/have-the-heart-of-god#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:20:37 +0000 http://www.worthydevotions.com/?p=3624 For the next week or so we'll be looking closely at the life of Jonah the prophet. Jonah was told to "preach against the city of Nineveh", that was in the ancient kingdom of Assyria. Nineveh was a major city on the banks of the Tigris River about 500 miles north and east of where Jonah was; located on a contemporary map in modern Iraq, about 300 miles north of Baghdad. Archaeologists have found the ruins of ancient Nineveh right outside the Iraqi city of Mosul. Yes, the same Mosul that was taken last week by jihadists!

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by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

For the next week or so we'll be looking closely at the life of Jonah the prophet. Jonah was told to "preach against the city of Nineveh", that was in the ancient kingdom of Assyria. Nineveh was a major city on the banks of the Tigris River about 500 miles north and east of where Jonah was; located on a contemporary map in modern Iraq, about 300 miles north of Baghdad. Archaeologists have found the ruins of ancient Nineveh right outside the Iraqi city of Mosul. Yes, the same Mosul that was taken last week by jihadists!

When God said Nineveh was wicked, he wasn’t kidding. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, the most powerful empire in the world in that day. The Assyrians had a reputation for cruelty that is hard for us to fathom. Their specialty was brutality of a gross and disgusting kind. When their armies captured a city or country, unspeakable atrocities would occur. Things like skinning people alive, decapitation, mutilation, ripping out the tongues, making a pyramid of human heads, piercing the chin with a rope and forcing prisoners to live in kennels like dogs. Ancient records from Assyria boast of this kind of cruelty as a badge of courage and power. Sad to say, the saying – "History repeats itself", truly fits in this case!

So we ought to remember this context when we consider God's command to Jonah, and the prophet's response. Suppose God spoke to you today, "Go and preach against the city of Mosul!" Think you might respond, "Ahem God – they're terrorists! Let's nuke 'em; send 'em right where they belong!" But the heart of God is merciful. He wants to bring people to repentance so He can forgive, rather than bring judgment. He desires to save…even the most wicked and hardened individuals!

So here's what I think: There’s a little Jonah in all of us and a whole lot of Jonah in most of us. We're praying for the Christians fleeing Iraq – but what about the wicked terrorists who are killing, torturing, and persecuting them? Do you have an "Assyrian" in your life? Someone truly worthy of your hatred? Rather than pray for him, you'd be glad for him to meet God face to face today? Our Heavenly Father rebuked Jonah the prophet for his own hardness of heart and lack of compassion. So the story of Jonah is about the heart of God, who desires all men to be saved. He wants us to have the same heart.

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