Which would you choose?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

We came across this story, about a man who was slowly losing his memory. After a lengthy examination, the doctor said that a risky operation on his brain might reverse his condition and restore his memory. However, the surgery would be so delicate that a nerve could be severed, causing total blindness.

The surgeon asked, "So, which would you rather have, your sight or your memory?" The man pondered the question for a while and replied, "My sight, because I would rather see where I am going than remember where I have been."

Our enemy is always trying to dig up the past and keep us all bound up in our failures. But be encouraged! Today is a new day! Today and every day we have a choice to make! Like Paul, we must choose to press forward and put aside our past. We must purpose to keep our eyes on the Lord, not on our successes or failures, but upon on what can we do for Him today!

Be free from the shackles of the past! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

Our Goel Lives!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer (Goel) lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;

As we continue our study in Ruth during this Shavout season, the theme of redemption is prevalent. We read that Boaz became Naomi and Ruth's "kinsman redeemer", or "goel" – from the Hebrew, "lig'ol", to redeem, receive or buy back. In the Torah, a provision had been made for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or even himself (into slavery). This man's nearest of kin could step in and "buy back" or "redeem" what his relative had been forced to sell. [Leviticus 25:25] A slave could be redeemed from his bondage by his "goel" who literally purchased his relative's freedom.

In the story of Ruth, we read that Boaz became Naomi and Ruth's "goel", their kinsman "redeemer". First, Boaz was qualified as kin to Naomi's deceased husband Elimelech [Ruth 2:1]. Secondly, he needed to be able to redeem by paying the price of redemption. [Ruth 4:2-3]. And finally, he was willing to redeem the land which had belonged to Elimelech.[Ruth 4:4].

Naomi's losses had been devastating in Moab. Her husband and two sons had passed away and she had returned to her ancestral homeland a desolate woman, with no inheritance. Her only solace was Ruth, whose love and loyalty were legendary. But Ruth's character of devotion apparently inspired Boaz to love her, and even to ignore her Moabite ancestry; for when Boaz decided to redeem Elimelech's property, he also agreed to marry Ruth. Naomi's life, her inheritance and her destiny were also redeemed in this sweeping transaction. She had returned to Israel in deep bitterness, yet through this beautiful and unexpected redemption her friends exclaim "Blessed be the LORD, which has not left thee this day without a 'goel'. [Ruth 4:14]

The marriage of Ruth and Boaz produced a son named Obed, and a grandson named Jesse, who was the father of King David; four generations of the lineage of Yeshua the Messiah. And through his redemption of Ruth and Naomi, Boaz became a picture of Yeshua (Jesus) our Kinsman-Redeemer, who redeemed us for Himself, out of desolation and slavery to sin, and made us His own beloved bride!

Isn't it amazing how a tiny slice of human history can be filled with such significance and typological meaning? Only God could invest a beautiful human love story with an eternal redemptive purpose. Can we do any less than to fall-or rather rise-hopelessly in love with such a Redeemer?!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

It's Washed Away!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

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 » Liberty

Liberty, Freedom and Deliverance are on the way!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy  Devotions.

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

When the Torah was given on Shavuot in the days of Moses, the sin of the golden calf resulted in the death of 3,000 men. Some 1500 years later at the same season the Holy Spirit descended causing 3,000 men to be saved! The Lord has never changed; His mercy and His holiness are the same throughout all ages. But the contrast of these two historical events during the same Holy Day may be seen as a powerful illustration of this principle: “the letter [of the Law] kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated fifty days from the feast of first fruits. The number 50 recalls the Jubilee cycle described in the book of Leviticus; a number which is associated with liberty, freedom and deliverance, since each jubilee cycle required that slaves and captives be set free and every debt cancelled. As such, the number 50 and its significance as a "Jubilee" speaks to us of freedom, deliverance, and salvation from our spiritual debt and the bondage of sin. The first "Pentecost" emphatically revealed this significance with 3000 saved souls.

So for us as believers, Shavuot / Pentecost recalls, on the one hand, our freedom from the power of sin, which is the law [1 Cor. 15:56], our cancelled debt, our deliverance from the slavery of the old nature; and on the other, reminds us of the source of our life and the power of our witness and service, the Holy Spirit: "not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit."

Remember, you have been freed from the bondage of sin and dead works, and cannot please the Lord apart from His own empowering of your life and service. His Holy Spirit was given because apart from Him we can do nothing. Shavuot ought to be a powerful reminder of this amazing reality.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

…and liberty and deliverance for all!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Liberty

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 » Liberty