Live your life in Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 21:14-15, 22 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."

Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."

After Yeshua’s (Jesus) resurrection, He showed himself to the apostles several times. Once, they were fishing, and Yeshua met them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter was there, back at his craft, but swirling with inward emotions. The anguish of his recent denial, three times, exactly as Yeshua had predicted, mixed with the amazement and perplexity at the empty tomb, and finally the astounding relief and joy witnessing the risen Lord. Peter was on an emotional roller coaster for days, but the issue of his denial remained unresolved.

The Lord's encounter with Peter on the Sea of Galilee was to fully restore him. Three times Yeshua probes His beloved disciple “Do you love me?” But this is more than just a quantitative restoration. The Lord is penetrating the apostle's heart in this amazing conversation, because He really knows how much Peter loves Him and He wants Peter to know that He trusts him completely even after his awful failure. So Yeshua gives Peter his lifelong commission– “Feed my lambs!”; "Feed my sheep." Yeshua knew that He could entrust Peter with this responsibility, and He told him so. Peter was restored.

Yet Peter still wobbles, even as he receives his restoration, when he asks about his fellow apostle, John. Yeshua's response, “what is that to you, you follow me!” settles the matter. The Lord is saying, "stop the competition, Peter. Those days are over, yet you're still comparing…I have work for you; I have a life for you; live it!"

The enemy would love to dig up your past, thrust it in your face, and leave you comparing yourself with others for the rest of your life – but the Lord has a life for you and He wants you to live it. Your life, not someone else's. He loves you and He trusts you to be who He made you to be. So don't allow your past failures or your present jealousies to prevent you from the life you’re called to live for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

Take shelter in Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalm 143:8-9 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter.

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves.

Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen."

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one.."

Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave. "Ha," he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."

As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on.

Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. "Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web are stronger than a brick wall."

God's resources to protect you are vast. When you pray for protection, believe that He hears you and is able to manage it with great skill, and even perhaps a stroke of humor.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

Don't get too comfortable!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Exodus 5:18-23 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks." The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, "You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day." When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, "May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us." Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O LORD, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."

The story of the Exodus is a story of miracles – yet in the beginning when Moses first appeared before Pharaoh to deliver the children of Israel from 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were severely tempted and became angry because of the initial hardships that were laid upon them.

They leveled their anger at Moses because suddenly they were told that they would have to gather their own straw for making bricks. They were concerned about offending their slave-masters, fearing that they would slay them.

The Israelites were so accustomed to their slavery that they didn’t want their lives disrupted despite the fact that freedom was at hand. Resigned to this miserable life, they utterly failed to apprehend or appreciate the freedom that was soon approaching. Yes, there was a temporary price: increased hardship and great pressure would set the stage for their final deliverance.

The same can happen to us. It has often been said "The darkest night is just before the dawn"…

Perhaps the enemy senses his impending defeat and pulls out all the stops to prevent it. Perhaps the Lord loves a good story with a really dramatic and climactic ending and great glory for His Name…in any case —

Don't let yourself remain accustomed to any form of bondage – seek and believe for the freedom that God has given us through His Son. Expect a life of great victory over sin and demonic oppression – Why? Because that is His promise to us!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

Liberty, Freedom and Deliverance are on the way!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy  Devotions.

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

When the Torah was given on Shavuot in the days of Moses, the sin of the golden calf resulted in the death of 3,000 men. Some 1500 years later at the same season the Holy Spirit descended causing 3,000 men to be saved! The Lord has never changed; His mercy and His holiness are the same throughout all ages. But the contrast of these two historical events during the same Holy Day may be seen as a powerful illustration of this principle: “the letter [of the Law] kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated fifty days from the feast of first fruits. The number 50 recalls the Jubilee cycle described in the book of Leviticus; a number which is associated with liberty, freedom and deliverance, since each jubilee cycle required that slaves and captives be set free and every debt cancelled. As such, the number 50 and its significance as a "Jubilee" speaks to us of freedom, deliverance, and salvation from our spiritual debt and the bondage of sin. The first "Pentecost" emphatically revealed this significance with 3000 saved souls.

So for us as believers, Shavuot / Pentecost recalls, on the one hand, our freedom from the power of sin, which is the law [1 Cor. 15:56], our cancelled debt, our deliverance from the slavery of the old nature; and on the other, reminds us of the source of our life and the power of our witness and service, the Holy Spirit: "not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit."

Remember, you have been freed from the bondage of sin and dead works, and cannot please the Lord apart from His own empowering of your life and service. His Holy Spirit was given because apart from Him we can do nothing. Shavuot ought to be a powerful reminder of this amazing reality.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

Circumcised a Second Time?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Joshua 5:2, 8-10 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, "Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time."

8 So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed. 9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. 10 Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.

Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Pesach (Passover) celebrates Israel's final departure from Egypt – that's why we read about it in "Exodus!" Leaving their former lives of slavery, the Jewish people now pressed forward looking toward the "Promised Land" and a new way of life. Their purpose was not only departure – it was also arrival to a new destination. Now there was a significant 40 year delay in the wilderness….

…..but Israel finally crossed over the Jordan river into the 'Promised land'. And as they entered the land, Joshua was commanded to circumcise Israel a “second time”. This circumcision of the flesh was required for their passage into the Promised Land, and I believe it is a picture for us. The flesh must be sacrificed for us to enter our inheritance. While the Passover event is a picture of our deliverance from sin and death through the sacrificed Lamb, this "circumcision" of the flesh is required for a fruitful life in the spirit which produces an inheritance. One might also see it as a circumcision of the heart, a removing of flesh which makes our heart alive and sensitive to the Lord and to others producing a life of love and good fruit.

Deliverance from sin and death is a free gift through the sacrifice of Messiah our perfect Lamb. Our response should be to offer our bodies, our flesh, as living sacrifices that we may enter the destiny of love and fruitfulness which is our own personal Promised Land. A life of holiness is the fruit of a circumcised heart which will yield a rich inheritance in the world to come.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Deliverance