You are beloved!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Another interesting correlation we draw from Mashiach Ben Joseph is how Joseph was the object of his father’s (Jacob) love, just as Yeshua (Jesus) was loved of our Heavenly Father. This preference Jacob had for Joseph was unequivocal, and it was also pretty controversial among his brothers. Competition among siblings seemed to infect the family just as it can in many of our own families. But the beauty of Joseph's place in his father's heart emerges when we realize that, as a type of Yeshua (Jesus), Joseph powerfully illustrates the love our Heavenly Father has for all of us, equally and intensely, so there's no need or cause for competition among us.

Now Jacob's love for Joseph was connected with his love for Rachel and the long wait for a son by his beloved wife. Joseph didn't have to do anything to earn Jacob's love. It was not based on his performance, even though it turned out that his character was pretty sterling. Likewise, our Father's love for us is totally based in His love for Yeshua, not on our performance. Our HIGHS do not exalt us, and our LOWS do not depress us in the sight of the Father. Our acceptance is not dependent on us, but rather on Him who sits on the throne, Who never changes!

Rejoice, for your are accepted in the “beloved!” You may say to yourself, "There's nothing good here!" But remember that God the Father is seeing His Son when He looks at you. Your struggle against temptation and sin only proves that you have been lovingly adopted into His family, fully identified with His beloved Son. Realizing this is a source of tremendous freedom, prompting deep gratitude and a growing desire for relationship with God.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

Remember His Sufferings!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 12:36-38 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

The apostle John quotes Isaiah 53:1, saying to whom has the z’roah [arm] of the Lord been revealed? It’s a question that God answers throughout the rest of Isaiah 53, describing in detail the life of Yeshua (Jesus) and the ultimate price He would pay for the sins of the world.

The word translated, "revealed" (in Hebrew: "galah") actually has a more negative connotation. One of its meanings is "to be stripped naked in a disgraceful way". It also means "to be treated like a captive", and "to be carried away into exile", or, "to be shamelessly uncovered". So the Lord is not simply revealed, but stripped, humiliated, and deeply degraded in order to save us. The cost He paid was terrible.

It's never easy for us to remember this or to think much about it, since it's hard enough to imagine an innocent human being suffering so much; but then to realize that I had some part in it… Yet, we should remember; because the reality of the Lord's cross belongs to us in every way, and we may yet be called to endure our own share of suffering with Him and for Him. Remembering His sufferings will prepare us for whatever may lie ahead.

Remember the Lord's sufferings. It will keep you spiritually honest, and prepare you for your own small share in them — His memory will also draw out your love and gratitude, and keep your heart tender toward Him and everyone else.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

Look to the Lord of blessing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 5:3-11 Then He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, nevertheless at Your word I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught such a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Yeshua's (Jesus') feet, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" For he was astonished, and all that were with him, because of the catch of the fish which they had taken, And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Yeshua (Jesus) said to Simon, "Fear not, from now on you will catch men." So when they brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Sukkot is a festival about rejoicing in the blessings that God has provided, but let’s be sure our focus is on the Lord of blessing – instead of the blessings!

We read in Luke that Yeshua (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 start doing business. I mean, think how much they could make!

But God had a different purpose. The disciples' occupation as fishermen was just a vehicle for God to demonstrate His great power and love. He wasn't blessing them with fish so that they would get excited about fishing — He was blessing them with fish so that they could get their eyes off their fishing and on to the greater call He had for them! Thankfully, they left the fishing business and went off with the Lord to do great and mighty things.

Let's make sure we're not getting up wrapped up in fish! We seek the Lord for His blessings, prosperity, and success. But true discipleship is focusing not on the blessings of the Lord, but on the Lord of the blessings!

We can rejoice in our blessings this Sukkot season, but let's not dwell on them! Let's set our eyes on the Lord and the calling He has for us. When He sees that we have pure and willing hearts, He will be faithful to use us to accomplish His glorious plan!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

You are chosen and changed!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Samuel 22:1-2 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Early in his life David was forced to flee from his king and father-in-law, Saul — to flee for his life. During this long season of exile and hiding David began to find himself surrounded by loyal friends who joined themselves to him. But these were friends of an unusual kind: they were men who had all been unhappy, distressed, helpless, or in debt — by and large, the outcasts of the world. But an amazing thing happened to these formerly hapless human beings when they joined with David; they were empowered and became his "mighty men." When David finally became King of Israel, these men were ennobled and raised to be princes and officers in his Kingdom.

As it was with David, so it is with Yeshua (Jesus). Yeshua came to save sinners, the wretched outcasts of this world, discontented, indebted, distressed and helpless … whom He clothes with His righteousness and fills with His Spirit, ennobles and transforms into "mighty men", who will rule and reign with Him in His kingdom!

We have gathered ourselves to Yeshua, the Messiah, the son of David, and He has chosen us as His friends and fellow laborers in His Kingdom, never again to be outcasts, but rather embraced in His love, part of His enormous family, and delegated and empowered to serve with Him in His Kingdom. Let's be encouraged remembering where we came from AND where we are going!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

Adorn yourself in True Treasures!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

The king of the birds was looking in the mirror one day and was disappointed to see that his feathers were not as bright as they were once. "I am getting old," he said, "I think it will soon be time to choose a new king". He decided to announce that on a certain day, all the birds will gather and present themselves before him so that he would be able choose from among them the most beautiful of all to be their next king. The crow got wind of the king's plans and began to fret. "There are so many beautiful birds in the kingdom and I am only a colorless crow. I don't have a chance at becoming king." Suddenly, he had a terrific idea. He began to search through the woods and fields for colorful feathers fallen from the wings of his companions, and stuck them in amongst his own.

When the appointed day arrived and all the birds had assembled before the king, the crow also made his appearance in his array of fine found feathers. When the aging king spotted the crow and all the beauty of his plumage, he immediately chose him to be king. As the crow pranced down the isle with pride to accept his crown, the birds began angrily plucking out their feathers from between his, leaving the crow nothing but an old black crow.

Too often, we try to "improve our worth" by adorning our selves in "pretty" things. Fine clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, friends, money, power, fame among others, top the list. But there is really only one way to improve our appearance. Putting our faith in the Lord and walking wholeheartedly with Him. Despite what the world around us thinks, only He can improve our fallen condition and our search for happiness.

Those feathers we find aren't going to fool anyone — especially our King. Let's come to God as we are today and ask Him to adorn us with the treasures he desires, peace, patience, love, joy and all the fruits of the Spirit.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Gratitude