There is a process going on in us believers. Since the day the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us He has been at work with perfect wisdom and supernatural power to renew and transform our character, to some extent, our personality, and even our physical body. Our outward man, this mortal body with it's natural weakness and sinful ways was doomed to death and is "wasting away" even now.
The central fact of the gospel message is the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), declared in Psalm 2, the begotten Son of God. In 1952, Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in Cave 4 called the "Messianic Apocalypse". The Messiah's ministry of resurrection is reiterated in these ancient documents with an obvious reference to Isaiah 61:1-3. The scroll identifies someone who "… will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor." It is clear that at least some of the authors of these documents clearly understood the central nature and ministry of the coming Messiah, most certainly based on their intimate knowledge of the prophetic writings in the Tenach (OT)…that ministry, resurrection of the dead.
During the Great Depression, poverty swept across America like a whirling tornado, ripping up dreams and scattering hopes to the wind. One such poverty twister hit a small part of Texas where a man named Yates ran a sheep ranch. Struggling even to keep food on the table, Yates and his wife did all they could to survive. Finally, they had to accept a government subsidy or lose their home and land to the creditors.
From the moment we were conceived we began aging, growing older by the day. We may slow down the physical aging process by exercising, eating right and other natural techniques – but we cannot ultimately stop it. This mortal flesh, our outer man, is "wasting away" and moving toward decay as we await the immortal bodies promised us in the Resurrection.
The Lord gave us His promise to send us a helper — the Holy Spirit. The word for "helper" in the NT Greek is "paraclete". This word has more meaning then simply "helper" — it was also an ancient term used in warfare. When Greek warriors went onto the battle field, they went out in pairs, so when the enemy attacked they could stand back-to-back, covering each other's blind side. The battle partner in Greek was called a "paraclete" — he was there to watch your back!
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. When the apostle Paul compared our lives to clay pots, he focused not on the earthen vessels, but rather the contents of those […]
A "second time." Jonah's repentance gave him a second chance to obey the Lord and to fulfill his ministry. And he did it successfully. The apostle Paul tells us that "the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable" [Romans 11:29]. Jonah's disobedience did not take away his calling as a prophet. The discipline of the Lord was fruitful in his life. But compare King Saul. He also got a second chance after failing to wait for Samuel [1 Samuel 13] and he disobeyed again, and lost his kingship [1 Samuel 15]. But even that took many years to transpire after David was anointed.
The world loves the extraordinary, the spectacular. It relishes on the big, bright, grand and expensive. I remember when we traveled through Las Vegas years ago, to speak at a church in Carson City. Uyy! The lights, the size of everything — crazy! But all I could think as we rolled down Sunset Strip was how sad it is that this is what the world finds extraordinary. The bigger, the brighter, the more expensive — the more the world worships it.
As we celebrate Shavuout, we're looking at the promise given 2000 years ago: that normal people will lead extraordinary lives; that disciples, who were terrified on the night of Yeshua's (Jesus) death, were transformed into bold saints of God; and that fishermen, tax collectors, and housewives – normal everyday people – became empowered, and turned the Roman Empire inside out and upside down!
En Gedi is a nature reserve about 40 minutes from our home. Surrounded by dry, barren, rocky ground, except to the east where the Dead Sea lies, it is an oasis, fed year round by springs of fresh water, and home to some of the most unique wild and botanical life in the world.
Most people have never heard of "Auntie Cooke", but I guarantee you that you'll get to know her in glory! She arrived in Chicago in 1868 as a perfect stranger, but she immediately became involved in D.L. Moody's church when he was just thirty-one years old. She described him years later, as a 'diamond in the rough', and someone who needed the divine unction and power.
As we celebrate Shavuot (Pentecost) in a few weeks, my spirit is anxiously awaiting what God will do! Each Shavuot season during the counting of the omer, I love to study past revivals and in studying them, there's two recurring themes that stand out.
Shortly after WWI, Lawrence of Arabia was entertaining some of his Arab friends in Paris. He showed them the sights of the city: the Arc d'Triomph, the Louvre, the Champs Elysees. It was a remarkable irony to Lawrence that these amazing sights were not what most impressed his Arab friends — but rather the bathtub faucet of their hotel room. They were completely astonished that someone could turn a handle…and get all the water he wanted.
Throughout the United States today believers are gathering for the National Day of Prayer. Since the founding of the country there have been over 100 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving issued by the President of the United States.
This touching story of how Yeshua (Jesus) was anointed before His crucifixion carries a beautiful illustration that has ministered to me time and again. I have wondered why the alabaster box needed to be broken when Mary could have simply opened it and poured out the nard; (extremely expensive and precious perfume which might have been Mary's dowry). One commentator said that she refused to use that box for any other purpose after anointing Him. That would make sense if it was Mary's dowry because it would be an expression of a bridal vow to Yeshua and no one else. But whatever the motive in her heart, Mary's example speaks powerfully of the total devotion and commitment her soul had for Yeshua, her will to give the best of everything she had; and it speaks of brokenness followed by anointing and its beautiful fragrance. So I believe this act is an illustration meant to encourage every devoted soul whose offering of herself brings circumstances which "break" her. The fragrance of perfume following the breaking "fills the room".
There are times in our lives that we are going through a spiritual valley and we want to get victory — we want to have answers — we want God's power to flow through us again.
Judges 6 begins with an angel talking to Gideon saying, "thou mighty man of valour!" However, in this passage Gideon isn't feeling very valiant — he's consumed with his circumstances — how poor his family is and how he's the least of his fathers' house. He doesn't feel he's done anything worthy of being called valiant, yet the angel still addresses him "mighty man of valour!"
Just a few weeks prior to this incident, the disciples were trembling for their lives as their Lord was arrested and then crucified. They had all fled in the Garden of Gethsemane and then Peter, whose boldness was legendary, had denied him three times. The fact that they had been serving with Yeshua (Jesus) for three years, witnessing many miracles, including Peter's amazing walk on the water…
Here in Israel we have an interesting geographical phenomenon – there are two landlocked seas. One is alive and one is dead. The sea full of life is the Kinneret, better known as the Sea of Galilee. The dead sea is…….you guessed it, the Dead Sea. Now the Kinneret is constantly emptying as it flows through the Jordan River valley…. into the Dead Sea. But the Dead Sea does not empty its water at all. Instead, the Dead Sea is continually shrinking, because the intense heat at this lowest place on Earth actually evaporates more water than is flowing in. Do you see a parable here?
The prophet Elijah, through his dramatic demonstration of the LORD's authority and power, inspired repentance in the people of Israel, calling them to exercise His judgment on idolaters by slaying 450 prophets of Ba'al and 400 prophets of Asherah on Mount Carmel. Yet this spiritual victory was followed by a severe demonic reprisal through the woman Jezebel.