It's Washed Away!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to me on that day: and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

As Scotland was declaring its independence from England in the 1300's, the English were hunting for Robert Bruce of Scotland in an attempt to prevent his accession to the Scottish throne. In the search, the English put Bruce's own bloodhounds on his trail. As they grew closer to apprehending him, Robert the Bruce found a small river, and he said to his foster-brother who was with him, "Let us wade down this stream for a great way, instead of going straight across, and so these unhappy hounds will lose the scent; for if we were once clear of them, I should not be afraid of getting away from the pursuers."

Robert the Bruce escaped his pursuers by entering a river, and not long afterward, the crown of Scotland rested on his head.

The devil uses our own "sin-hounds" to hunt us relentlessly — past and present sins, he uses, to keep us from our crown, our position with Yeshua (Jesus), and the rewards which will follow a life of abiding in Him. But we also have a way of escape! Entering into the river of God which flows with the blood of Yeshua, being totally cleansed, the "hounds of sin" cannot touch us, and we too, can come out on the other side, free, and ready to reign with Him!

Allow your sins to be washed away — swept into eternity by the cleansing flow of the blood of Christ, and walk in the freedom that Yeshua provided 2000 years ago. Let your past with all its sins be washed downstream, realizing that a crown of righteousness awaits you, and every other saint who loves His appearing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

It's Time to Cut Down the Trees!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Colossians 3:13-14 Bear with each other, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against anyone: even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love (agape), which is the bond of perfection.

After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a once beautiful old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it."

The enemy is constantly attacking the body of Messiah. Some of his most effective tactics are anger, bitterness and unforgiveness, which are often based on real, sometimes deep, wounds we have received from others in the faith. Paul wrote that we should not be ignorant of the enemy's schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness give him an opportunity to quench the Holy Spirit and destroy our fellowship with God and one another. So the apostle urged forbearance, forgiveness, and above all else, the kind of love which Yeshua (Jesus) showed to us; a love which covered our sins against Him, forgiving and restoring relationship. This is not a love which is natural to us. Our nature is to hold on to offenses, to desire justice, recompense, or even revenge. Do we realize that the love we need to truly forgive is from another Source?

The beautiful old tree in the woman's front yard might symbolize something very dear, beloved and precious in your life….something which was terribly damaged by an enemy you feel justified to hate.

Whatever is left of that "tree" in your life or in your memory is a constant temptation to nurture hate and unforgiveness. Is this how you want to live? Will this "tree" become a memorial unto hatred and revenge, or hardness of heart and a never-ending cry for "justice"? If so, you will find yourself bound to that tree, as if you were chained to it. General Lee's words apply here: "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it." "Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord, I will repay." So, not only can you afford to forgive and leave justice in His hands, but the freedom and joy of loving the way God loves, will also be yours.

Yeshua (Jesus) has forgiven us. We should forgive others as we've been forgiven. Let's cut down the battered trees in our lives, choose forgiveness, in the Spirit of Jesus, and put on (agape) love.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

Shock your enemies!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Romans 12:20-21 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Between the years 1861-1865 the United States found itself in the midst of a bitter civil war over the issue of slavery, and several other serious disagreements. By the time the North won the war nearly 620,000 soldiers had perished. There were many in the North who were so embittered that the South had dragged them into such a deadly conflict that they wanted the South to pay dearly.

At the end of the war, a group of Southerners gained an audience with President Abraham Lincoln. His gentle, kind and friendly personality quickly softened the hearts of his once-hardened foes and the Southerners left the interview with a deep respect for the man who had been their bitter enemy. Not long afterward, a northern congressman criticized Lincoln for "befriending the enemy!" He suggested that he should have had them shot for being traitors instead of welcoming them!

I love Lincoln's response. He said, simply , "Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?"

If you're serving the Lord –- you can expect your share of enemies. Don't let a root of bitterness grow up because of them –- but rather, seek to win them over with gentleness, kindness, and even love. Show your enemies the Lord's grace and His peace through your Spirit-controlled response…and in so doing, you'll "heap coals" upon their heads! Satan wants to provoke you through their hatred and opposition. Don't let him! Instead, shock your enemies –- not with angry retaliation…but with Spirit empowered LOVE! Win them over; with so much work to be done, we need all the help we can get.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

…and liberty and deliverance for all!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance (aphesis) to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty (aphesis) them that are bruised,

The Greek word 'aphesis' means forgiveness. But in this particular verse it’s translated as both deliverance and liberty. Isn’t it interesting that deliverance and liberty are directly tied together with forgiveness?

One of the most effective tools the enemy uses to steal our joy is unforgiveness. With just a little foothold of unforgiveness in our lives, we can easily become bound with chains of bitterness, resentment, anger and rage. If we let that foothold linger without dealing with it, eventually it will lead to our own self-destruction.

Let's not let the unrighteous actions of others toward us become a stumbling block in our walk. We have been forgiven much and in the same way, we must release those who've hurt us to the Lord. But when we release them, I think we'll find that the person we'll really be releasing is ourselves!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

Enter in!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy News

Psalms 105:3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

As we close out the fall feasts here in Israel I’m meditating on the deeper significance of this season. I’m realizing how God’s ordering of the festivals contains a deeper meaning than one might see at first glance. It’s not just about apples and honey and building tabernacles. The Lord gave the Jewish people these feasts as a beautiful picture of His ultimate plan; repentance, faith, atonement, forgiveness and joy. He carefully ordered these feasts to call us to a profound internal reflection designed to lead us from sin and alienation to reconciliation, fellowship, freedom and great joy.

Beginning with Rosh HaShannah and the days immediately following, (commonly called the Days of Awe) we are invited to a season of deep self examination and repentance, culminating at Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This highest holy day reveals the way in which God forgives our sins through the offering of a spotless lamb, which lays the foundation for the joy of reconciliation with God and one another experienced at Sukkot.

As we can see, this entire sequence is a precise picture of the Lord’s New Covenant redemptive plan. We cannot enter the joy of the Lord except through repentance, faith and redemption through His Son.

Enter the joy of the Lord! Let’s examine ourselves today, confess our sins, trust in the absolute forgiveness of God through faith in His Son — and REJOICE!!!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Forgiveness