You're Helping to Build the Army of God!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Chronicles 12:21-22 And they helped David against the bands of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and they were captains in the army. For at that time they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

A program by National Geographic gives a powerful illustration for us. In the great annual wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park in Africa a giant herd, thousands of wildebeest, slowly move in groups across the plain. They are invariably followed by stalking lions. But the lions never attack the herd – they simply watch carefully for the stray wildebeest, either careless or seeking greener grass, who separates himself from the larger groups of animals. The isolated wildebeest will become the sudden prey of the lions who attack with lightening speed and ferocity.

In spiritual warfare isolation is equally dangerous, as our enemy roams like a roaring lion looking for separated brethren to prey upon. We all need real relationship and spiritual community for protection against our enemy who is constantly stalking vulnerable prey. It's not enough to simply "go to church". We need to be the community of believers, actively participating in loving, serving, praying, counseling, encouraging, admonishing, eating, rejoicing, weeping, and forgiving as the family of God.

Far too may believers are isolated, and seriously vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. Are you one of them? Do you know someone who is in this dangerous condition? David's army was successful and safe because they were together in mind heart and purpose. Wildebeest, as well, survive when they stick together. Find your spiritual community and be faithful to it. It should not be a formality, but a family reality with a warfare mentality.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

Stand Alongside Your Brother!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Christian Devotions

1 Chronicles 12:16-18 Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold. And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, "If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgment." Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said: "We are yours, O David; We are on your side, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, And peace to your helpers! For your God helps you." So David received them, and made them captains of the troop.

Mark 6:7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.

As David grew in stature those who stood by him increased in number, devoting themselves to fight with him. Though it was a time of adversity for David, and a time of warfare, he found that there were many willing to join their lives to his; "…a brother is born for adversity"; and "there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother". Again we note that David's anointing and his character made him a friend to many…and many became his loyal friends.

When Yeshua (Jesus) sent his disciples out, He never sent them alone — He sent them two by two; and no doubt these pairs of disciples developed deep loyalty, unity and friendship as they proclaimed the kingdom and faced the powers of darkness together.

How would you describe your friendships in the Body of Messiah? Do you feel isolated, fighting battles alone? Do you know others who are in that condition? With the battles now raging, it's more important than ever to be a friend, and to really know who your friends are. May the Lord grant each one of us loyal and faithful friendships as we fight the good fight.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

Be Faithful to the End!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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.

Luke was a true and faithful friend to Paul, staying with and supporting him to the very end of his life, even through the worst adversities (2 Timothy 4:11). Then, there was another friend, whose name was Demas, about whom Paul wrote positively at first, (Col. 4:14; Philemon 1:24) but who did not remain faithful to the end. Paul records that Demas forsook him because he "loved this present world." (2 Timothy 4:10)

As the end of the age approaches, we also will be tested as to where our love lies; with the Father, or with the world. The apostle John writes, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)  I do not believe that Demas lost his salvation, but he did lose his capacity to sense and express the love of the Father, which damaged his testimony, his spiritual relationships, and undoubtedly cost him heavenly rewards. What kind of friend will we be to God? Will we be faithful, or will we allow the love of this world to quench our fire, and compromise our relationships?

My encouragement to you is to be faithful until the end. Don't forget that Yeshua gave a warning to end-time saints, saying, "because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall grow cold." Become a friend like Luke, and learn from the life of Demas — do not allow love for the world to quench your love for God.  Don't forget, a true friend loves…at all times!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

He’s Melech Ha Olam!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Revelation 17:14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."

Just about every Hebrew prayer begins by saying, “Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha Olam” which, translated, means, Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe. Now think about it, King of the Universe! Wikipedia defines "universe" as, "the composition of all the planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, and all matter and energy". Hmm…that’s a lot to be king over!

So He’s the King over hundreds of billions of stars, and hundreds of millions of galaxies – the King of everything! Now this might make this King seem somewhat "out of reach" for you and me. But He's not. Because this King decided to walk into His universe as a little human being so that He could relate to us better. He's big. Bigger than you can imagine. But He's also accessible because He made Himself small too.

So, don't worry. The distance and size of God are not a problem for Him or for you. He knows and understands all your thoughts, worries, your fears, your anxieties and your troubles! And “If God is for us, who can be against us?” So be at peace my friend, and let Him take care of it all. He truly is “Melech Ha Olam” – the King of the Universe, but He's also your best and closest friend.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

Be His Friend!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

James 2:20-23 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;  and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"—and he was called a friend of God.

Looking at the relationship between “love and affection” ("chiba" in Hebrew) and “obligation” ("chova" in Hebrew), we find another closely related word, “chaver”, one of the Hebrew words for “friend”. Friends are people with whom we share love and affection and also a sense of obligation. Our God and Father wants us to be His friends, to share love and affection with Him and to carry the sense of responsibility and obligation which friendship requires.

Abraham was a friend to God. He believed and trusted His Friend, but he also came to share the awesome responsibility of that friendship. Abraham's Friend, the Lord Himself, asked Abraham to become a living picture of His relationship with His own Son, Yeshua, (Jesus), by offering his own beloved son Isaac on an altar at Mount Moriah. Abraham's response to his Friend's request expressed a level of commitment to the friendship which was probably unprecedented in all human history since the time of Adam.

As we consider these Hebrew words and their common roots, we begin to see that Biblical language expresses profound realities, and carries meanings which resound through history. And we find that the God of all creation desires an intimate friendship with human beings He created and loves. But that friendship involves degrees of commitment which test the very frontiers of relationship. If you are on one of those frontiers, you may count yourself blessed. Not everyone is called "a friend of God."

Worthy Christian Devotions » Friendship