You were foreknown and foreordained for a purpose!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

These past few days, writing about the will of God, has reminded me of the prophet Jeremiah, and how the Lord knew him – even before he was in his mother's womb, and he was sanctified by God as a prophet to the nations. A similar foreknowledge and ordination of God belongs to us who are under the New Covenant. God's foreknowledge of His people is clearly stated in scripture. We were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless, and created in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) unto good works which He foreordained that we walk in them. It is clear that a life of holiness and good works is an integral part of our destiny in salvation, a fundamental aspect of His original plan for each one of us.

This plan, instilled in us even before the foundation of the world, seems to insure that good works will follow the believers in Yeshua. We could never work our way into heaven, our salvation is wholly an act of God – yet, just as Jeremiah's calling was foreknown and foreordained by God, our ordination unto good works was too. Walking in good works is walking in a manner worthy of our calling, it is powerful evidence for the genuineness of our salvation, and it is walking in the will of God.

From the foundation of the world, according to God's plan, you were created and ordained to live a sanctified life filled with good works. If you walk in His will for you, when your life is over, you may expect to hear these wonderful words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

How do you know God's will?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Many people ask us "How do I know what is God's will for my life?" Well, here's your answer above — right here in Romans! When I was reading the passage, it was as if the words just jumped off the page.

Do these things… 1. Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God… and 2. Be not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of your mind… that you may prove what is that good acceptable and perfect will of God — and other versions say "then" you may prove.

There you have it. Plain and clear — we have some things to work on. Let's focus on doing these important things so that we may know what His good acceptable and PERFECT will for our lives.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

The Lord's Gifts and Callings are Irrevocable!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

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 » Direction

Stay in Faith, No Matter What!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

James 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

During the Biblical festival of Shavuot, the book of Ruth is read. It's a powerful story of faith, restoration and redemption. The book opens with a famine in all the land surrounding Bethlehem, forcing a difficult decision upon Naomi's husband, Elimelech. Now, Bethlehem (beth: "house", lechem: "bread") literally means “house of bread”, so the irony of Elimelech's departure from his home, "house of bread", during a famine, is lost on English speaking readers, but reveals that every detail in the word of God can be meaningful, especially the meanings of names.

Now the name "Elimelech" literally means, “My God is King” — so immediately, another irony appears: a man whose name expresses the personal testimony of God's authority over every circumstance and His complete trustworthiness, decides to leave the Promised Land, and settle in Moab, across the Jordan — a land that had become alien territory for the Israelites because of the Moabites' inhospitable treatment of Israel during the sojourn from Egypt. Elimelech either forgot or ignored the example of the patriarch, Isaac and failed to apply the same faith as his forefather had, and to remain true to his own name!

Genesis 26 recounts how that Issac had thought of leaving Gerar (modern day Gaza) to go to Egypt in hope of finding food in the midst of a famine, but instead, he stood firm in faith and remained in the Promised Land. The Lord's response was to bless Issac a hundred fold that same year! [Genesis 26:12] However, we also read in Genesis 12 how Abraham had left the land during a famine and had encountered problems in Egypt that were as frightening or worse than the famine. So Elimelech had these two illustrations, one positive, one negative, both of which might have moved him to choose to persevere through this difficult time, and remain in the place of his inheritance.

Whatever the immediate cause, it seems that Elimelech's departure from the Promised Land was not to be reversed. He died in Moab, leaving a discouraged widow, and eventually, two widowed daughters-in-law. We might ask, what would have been Elimelech's legacy had he stayed and prayed through this extremely difficult and frightening trial in Caanan? What might have been his "hundred-fold" blessing?

Our world today is experiencing famine in various places, and there are recent predictions of the increase of food shortages even in the prosperous West. Yet famine has many faces, and the various trials and afflictions in our lives can have the same frightening effect to test the metal of our faith. Many of us are being severely tested these days with trials that are shaking us to the core. There are examples of the faithful who have persevered through to victory and received tremendous blessings from the Lord for their stand of unswerving faith. Yet there are also examples of those who somehow did not live up to their own testimony, for failure to stick it out through tough situations. We have these two paths before us.

Yeshua (Jesus) asked this question; "Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?"? And in another place He spoke directly to Satan these timeless words; "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God." If there was ever a time to believe these words, it is now, even as the world stands on the brink, and the earth groans in the travail of childbirth. Some of us have the opportunity of a lifetime to get through our particular trial, in faith. The Lord Yeshua will be faithful to us, and He will abundantly reward our faith in Him. Let's stay the course.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

Stop the Madness!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 73:24-28 You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all Your works.

We’re back in Israel and still dealiing with jetlag. After completing a six-month tour of over 30,000 miles of driving across the United States, we can honestly say – we’re happy to be home — phew!

During the past six months of travelling with our two young children, we found it easier to drive through the night while the kids slept. We would often find ourselves arriving at our next destination in the middle of the night, only to update the news before sleeping a few short hours before sunrise. We were pretty exhausted most of the time, as you might imagine and many of your calls and emails went unanswered. Please forgive us, as we are trying to catch up.

But this made me think about whether the Lord was calling us during that time and we neglected to hear and answer, in the midst of our busyness. Hmmm. I hope not. There is one important thing, even in the midst of our hectic schedules, that cannot ever be neglected — it is spending time in God’s word and in prayer, asking for His direction and listening to His voice!

Let's strive to take a break from our craziness and make sure we’re spending ample time with the Lord. It sounds funny to say but, yeah, even full time ministers need to spend some time with the Lord…DUH!!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Direction