by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions Jeremiah 31:31-33 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand [...]
Whew! What must the disciples have felt back then as they saw the waves crashing against their boat? They we’re being swayed from side to side in the deep dark sea. They were afraid for their lives! But our Lord was there all along. He just wanted them to trust.
Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Jesus told His disciples to go into the deep waters and let down their nets for fish. When they did, their nets were filled up with fish to the point of breaking. Being fishermen and businessmen, they may have been tempted to [...]
We often develop strategies, game-plans, life-plans – and then, at some obstacle or critical point, we say – "Just stick to the plan!" It's usually good advice.
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. His contractor was sorry to see such a good employee go, and asked him if he would build just one last house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed but his heart was not in it. He resorted to bad workmanship and using cheap materials.
A reader asked a pointed question, "How do we claim the promises of God?" Sometimes the most difficult questions are best answered by men of faith, in this case, by a man who made a lifestyle of claiming the promises of God. I learned the answer to this question early in my walk when I read the autobiography of George Mueller.
In a traditional Jewish marriage, a contract known as the 'ketubah',(which means 'that which is written', in Hebrew) is signed be both the bride and groom. Originally, it included the price of the bride, the promises that the groom must keep and the rights to which the bride is entitled.
In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. "Your Majesty," said Prior Richard, "do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king." "I understand," said Henry. "The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you." "Then I will tell you what to do," said Prior Richard. "Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you." When King Henry died, a statement was written: "The King learned to rule by being obedient."
The testing of Abraham's faith was repeated by YHVH throughout the patriarch's entire life. The tests grew greater as his life advanced, and through every one, whether Abraham passed or not, YHVH proved Himself to be his friend over and over again. Every test or "trial" involved a serious challenge or threat in which Abraham had to trust that the LORD knew what He was doing, asking, or requiring, and that His goodness and faithfulness were unquestionably reliable.
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.
A careful reading through the life of the Apostle Paul will yield insight concerning those who surrounded him. In this brief devotion, I want to focus on two of Paul's friends — Luke and Demas.
One of the more beautiful ceremonies of the Jewish faith is called "Tashlich". Tashlich means to cast away. Every year between Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur, Jewish people around the world journey to a nearby river or stream and cast in bread crumbs as they confess their sins. As the bread crumbs are swept downstream soon to be out of sight, so they believe God will sweep away their sins.
Have you ever felt uneasy, unsettled or unstable? Or maybe a better question is — who hasn’t? How do we overcome these feelings?
It was a stormy night in Birmingham, England, and Hudson Taylor was to speak at a meeting at the Severn Street schoolroom. His hostess assured him that nobody would attend on such a stormy night, but Taylor insisted on going. "I must go even if there is no one but the doorkeeper." Less than a dozen people showed up, but the meeting was marked with unusual spiritual power.
In the early 1800's a preacher gave a message to call men to join him on the mission field in Africa. In the audience were only a few women along with a boy. The pastor knew that few women were expected to volunteer to face harsh African jungle conditions. However, he gave the message; and no one responded. What he didn't realize was that he had touched the heart of a little boy whose name was David Livingstone. This boy would grow up to spend the rest of his life ministering to Africa's unreached tribes.
In Israel, the celebration of Shavuot took place yesterday. Most Christians would recognize this as the celebration of Pentecost in Acts 2. However, the very first Shavuot took place fifty days after the Israel crossed the Red Sea. It was on this day according to Jewish tradition that the law was given on tablets of stone.
In the mid 1850's a troubled teenager from Northfield, Massachusetts moved to Boston to try to find work. He hadn't gone to school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, his grammar was awful and his manners were brash and crude. Thankfully, an uncle took him on as a shoe salesman–on condition that he be obedient and that he attend church.
Long ago, the shepherds of Israel learned to find grass where most people wouldn't think to look. Here, green pastures are created as the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea brings moisture into our arid climate. It is from this moisture that a kind of dew settles upon the sides of certain hills creating little tufts of grass — just enough for one day's feeding for a flock of sheep.
One of my favorite and most admired men of faith is a man named George Mueller. George Mueller (1805-1898) did many great works for the Lord in his lifetime, among them building several orphanages.
Over the past few weeks, rockets have been landing roughly 30 miles from where we live in southern Israel, and we've been overwhelmed with the number of emails from people who are praying for us– which we so appreciate!… more than you could imagine! We're living in a unique time in history, as once again Israel finds herself surrounded by enemies with few friends willing to stand with her. So often we are asked, and we wonder, how things will turn out here…we've found it's usually foolish to try and predict; but one thing is absolutely certain; the God of Israel is watching over this tiny nation!