Let the Light Break Through!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Judges 7:16-19 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a shofar into every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. And he said to them, "Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: When I blow the shofar, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the shofars on every side of the whole camp, and say, 'The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!' " So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the shofars and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.

When God called Gideon to lead Israel against their enemies, He wanted to show that a small army empowered by God was more effective than the largest armies. But notice how they fought – without weapons that an army would normally use. They fought with shofars and lamps! They fought with weapons that the world would consider ineffective, yet triumphed mightily over their enemies. They shouted as loud as they could, sounded the shofar, and broke the vessels that held the fire so that their lamps burst through with brightness.

This breaking of the lamps of clay holds a powerful metaphor for us. If we too are "earthen vessels" holding the fire of God – the Spirit of God within us, then a "breaking" of the outer man is necessary for His inner light to burst through. Victory can come out of brokenness. Our old life of self, often called the "old man", when truly crucified and broken, will give way to the release of the Lord's Spirit of God in our lives. The death of our Lord has broken the power of our self-life, since we were crucified with Him. Walking in that awareness brings light and victory.

Let the love, peace, joy, and all the fruit of the Spirit break through in your life. Your old life of Self has been and is being broken, as Yeshua's victorious light shines through your earthen vessel this Chanukah season.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Be a LIGHT!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

John 10:22-23 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication (Chanukah), and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

Chanukah, a time of celebration and rededication, began tonight in the Land and for Jewish people all over the globe. Those of us who are grafted in through the atoning work of Messiah, we who know God, have an opportunity to see the deeper significance in the Biblical holidays and are not only welcome but encouraged to celebrate as well!

Over 150 years before Yeshua's (Jesus’) birth, a group of Jewish warriors led by Judah Maccabee, defeated Anticochus IV. Though terribly outnumbered by their foes, the Maccabees triumphed over the Grecian Syrian Empire. This led to the establishment of Chanukah — the feast of dedication.

According to an ancient Jewish legend, Judah entered into Jerusalem only to find the Temple desecrated by a sacrificed pig and an idol of Zeus. Upon seeing this, he immediately began to cleanse the Temple. Judah also found that there was only one cruse of undefiled oil which could burn in the Temple Menorah (holy candleabra which had to continually burn). This oil was only enough for one day but it miraclously lasted for eight days, just enough time to get more of this special oil made. So in memory of this miracle and the rededication of the Temple, Chanukah or the Festival of Lights has been celebrated by the Jewish people for over 2000 years and was even celebrated by Yeshua (Jesus) Himself!

Every Chanukah, chanukkiahs (the candleabra of nine candle holders) are lit. Each chanukkia has a special candle, known as the Shamash which is raised above the other eight. The word ‘shamash’ means ‘servant, helper, or minister — so the Shamash candle is the servant candle, or the ministering candle, and is used to light all the other candles. It is the servant who is raised up and lights all the others, symbolizing Messiah, for us who believe.

Yeshua came and proclaimed that ‘He is the Light of the World and whoever follows Him shall have the light of life!’ The one who serves the Lord will be a light! The one who does the will of God will shine! The more we serve the Lord, and earnestly do His will , with all our heart, soul and mind — the more we will shine with the light of God and so ultimately will we be raised up!

Let's strive to serve the Lord with gladness this season and light up the world around us! We may be small but a small light will go a long way in a dark place!

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Rejoice, this is the day that the Lord has made!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Psalm 69:32 (YLT) The humble have seen–they rejoice, Ye who seek God–and your heart liveth.

There is an important lesson here and in other places of God's Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don't look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He's above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn't be rejoicing.

The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice! The prideful, however, are those who think they're above everything else and so they look down on people. The prideful are connected to the others who look down, the cynical, the doubting, the despairing, the depressed, the sorrowful and the hopeless. In the same way that the humble and the joyous go together, so do pride and despair. Humility leads to joy. Pride leads to despair.

Let's get our eyes off ourselves, off of our problems, off of the world around us. Let's fix our eyes on Him, the Redeemer of our souls. Those who look up in humility, also look up in joy! Together, let's fix our eyes on Him and be glad!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Are You At Peace?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Back in the third century Cyprian the Bishop of Carthage wrote to his friend Donatus: "It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered, in the midst of it, a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy, which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians, and I am one of them."

This is the kind of peace that we are supposed to experience as believers. The kind of peace that people notice, especially when we display it through our troubles. The kind of peace we can attain when we're despised — when we're persecuted — when everything is chaotic around us.

Yeah, it's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But we have victory in our Lord. Let's determine to trust God for that victory in a way we haven't before.

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Haven't you forgotten something?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy

Psalms 111:4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

A farmer was showing his visiting citydwelling friend around his farm. "Watch this!" he said. He gave a whistle and his little dog came running from the house, herded the cattle into the corral, then latched the gate with her paw. "Wow, that's some dog — what's her name?" The forgetful farmer thought for a minute and then asked, "What do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?" "A rose?" "That's it!" The farmer turned to his wife. "Hey Rose, what do we call this dog?"

Funny how we forget things, isn't it? But I'm not so sure God finds it all that funny! When we read about the children of Israel and their journeys through the wilderness for forty years, we see how God provided wonderful miracles for them, feeding them daily with manna, guiding them by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, parting the Red Sea!

How is it, then, that they became so very hard hearted toward Him? Over time, I think those miracles just became commonplace and they began to take them for granted!

But then again when I look back on my life, I can't really blame them. It happens to the best of us! God has done miracles in our lives and I'm sure he's done many in each of yours as well! But we still get anxious when things aren't going quite the way we hoped, don't we?

Recall a miracle of God in your life. Remember the joy you felt? We need to relive that joy today! The miracle of God's new birth in us and the many other miracles God has done are not ones to be quickly forgotten. We need to relive them daily!

We never want to become cold toward God! Let's spend some time remembering the miracles He has done in our lives and strive to trust Him for the trials we face today!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Joy