Choose the better part!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

So often in ministry, the Lord deals with my own spirit, saying – "You need to step back and get refocused!" And we all know how hard it is at times when we get so busy with the normal every day stresses of life tugging at our limited time.

This morning I was re-reading the story of Mary and Martha, and how Mary chose the better part, while Martha was doing the housework. Now let's not deny the real importance of housework and practical matters; let's face it, with nobody doing that stuff, what would get done? Life would be a mess! But according to Jesus, something was wrong, and Martha had her priorities out of line. And He made it very clear, Mary had chosen the better part! Mary preferred and chose relationship and intimacy with the Lord over the physical preparations and housework associated with His visit. And Jesus blessed and protected her choice.

And so the Lord has had to remind me, over and again of the importance of intimacy with Him…before getting down to the work!

It's a constant temptation to slip into an emphasis on DOING the work at hand; and even in our own personal prayer time, to be mainly focused on those "urgent ministry needs"…and completely forgetting the most important thing, the "better part"- intimacy, personal communication, just BEING with Him.

Let's resolve to choose intimacy with Jesus! Let's choose the better part! Let's resolve to spend time with the Lord and develop that intimate relationship He so wants with us. That way we will constantly experience how deep and awesome His love for us is. And it will make the work we're called to do — so much easier!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

The Lord's Gifts and Callings are Irrevocable!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jonah 1:2-3 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Romans 11:29 …for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Jonah the prophet ran from what he considered a difficult and abhorrent assignment from God, thinking he could escape to a place where he couldn't be found. He refused to obey the Lord and he boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction. But YHVH's irrevocable gifts and callings were faithfully resting upon His servant Jonah, and He provided the drama needed to bring his man around. He sent a great storm which rocked Jonah's boat and then a large fish which ate him! These persuasions changed Jonah's attitude.

Sometimes the Lord needs to put us in a difficult position so that we can be restored to Him and remain faithful to our calling. In Jonah's case, the belly of a great fish prompted him to look up again to His Creator and begin renewing the broken communication. The reluctant prophet learned finally that he couldn't run from his destiny or his calling, and that YHVH's faithfulness could necessarily involve him in work that was not to his own liking.

Has God gifted and called you to something difficult and even onerous to you? If so, remember Jonah. He was the Lord's prophet even when he didn't want to be. You might as well rejoice in your calling even if your flesh is screaming "Nooooo!!!" You will be glad to have avoided God's "gentle reminder" of who you are and you will save Him a lot of trouble going after you.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

Unify, Around Our King

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

1 Chronicles 12:38 All these men of war, who could keep ranks, came to Hebron with a loyal heart, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest of Israel were of one mind to make David king.

The mighty men that followed David were of one mind and heart to make him King. Their recognition of David's anointing may have been the most significant quality of these Mighty Men. What was it in David that drew out this deep loyalty? I believe it was God's Holy Spirit which David received when Samuel anointed him king.[1 Samuel 16:13].

"Mashiach" literally means "anointed"; so David was a "mashiach". "Yeshua ha Mashiach" translated literally into English is, "Jesus the Anointed". David received the Holy Spirit from the moment of his anointing by Samuel as future king of Israel. As the anointed Son of David, and Son of God, Yeshua is our eternal king.

The anointing on David's life, and the unity of his mighty men and their devotion to make him king, inspired all of Israel. The entire nation was inspired to crown him their king. What a picture of spiritual unity for us as lovers of our King/Messiah! If we love our King the way they loved David, we will also be drawn into great unity of heart and mind, as they were.

Now, as the storms gather, as our enemies plot our destruction, we must realize and recognize our oneness in Yeshua. Whatever disagreements we may nurture, they must pale in comparison to the love and loyalty we share toward our beloved King. Just as Israel loved and was utterly devoted to David, so, even more, can we be drawn together by the magnificent anointing of our Messiah, King of the Universe.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

Understand the Times!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Among the mighty men of David were those of the tribe of Issachar whose special gift was their understanding of the times, a gift of prophetic insight; and this was such a precious gift because included in their discernment was the ability to know how to apply it. In our time prophecy is everywhere. Yeshua (Jesus) warned us that there would be false prophets in the last days, especially approaching His second coming, and He said the prophecy would be so subtle and the false signs so powerful that even the elect might be deceived if that were possible; [Mt. 24:24] While it's clear to many of us that we're living in prophetic days, there are also millions who have no clue of the current times and seasons.

So we're faced with a challenge and a profound, multi-faceted responsibility: to acknowledge the significance of our times, to awaken others to this reality, to rightly discern true from false prophecy, and to know what to do about the things we rightly discern. Wow! Not an easy task. How do we even begin?

I believe that we have a prophetic "anchor"…a fundamental sign, missing throughout all of Church history, until our day. This sign is the rebirth of Israel as a nation. Many of the OT prophets foresaw the ingathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland in the latter days. [Jeremiah 30; Isaiah 43:5-6; Amos 9:14-15; and many others]. Isaiah prophesied the nation's rebirth in a single rhetorical question, "Can a nation be born in a day?" [ Isaiah 66:8]. One hundred years ago Israel, (then called "Palestine" by the Romans, as an insult to the Jews), was a barren, sparsely inhabited province in the Ottoman empire, and Jerusalem was hardly ever mentioned in conversation unless someone was reading scripture. Today, Israel is a thriving resurrected nation, reclaimed from desolation, established in one single day, (May 14, 1948), and Jerusalem is in virtually every daily newspaper, the subject of intense controversy throughout the civilized world. This one sign assures me, personally, that we are really and truly living at the end of the age.

I believe we must acknowledge this, share it, WATCH very carefully, and PRAY as the developments in the Middle East conform themselves to the Word of God. The prophetic clock is ticking toward the final hours of this age when the Lord Yeshua will return in power and great glory to judge the entire world of men.

The sons of Issachar understood their times, and knew what to do. Watching and praying, we can too. Preparing ourselves with holy living for the Lord's return, we must also warn those who live in ignorance of these amazing days by showing them the prophetic sign of Israel's resurrection, and warning them to repent, believe the gospel, and be accounted worthy to escape all these things and to stand before the Son of Man!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

Don't Procrastinate!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Anointing

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 » Anointing