Circumcised a Second Time?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Joshua 5:2, 8-10 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, "Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time."

8 So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed. 9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. 10 Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.

Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Pesach (Passover) celebrates Israel's final departure from Egypt – that's why we read about it in "Exodus!" Leaving their former lives of slavery, the Jewish people now pressed forward looking toward the "Promised Land" and a new way of life. Their purpose was not only departure – it was also arrival to a new destination. Now there was a significant 40 year delay in the wilderness….

…..but Israel finally crossed over the Jordan river into the 'Promised land'. And as they entered the land, Joshua was commanded to circumcise Israel a “second time”. This circumcision of the flesh was required for their passage into the Promised Land, and I believe it is a picture for us. The flesh must be sacrificed for us to enter our inheritance. While the Passover event is a picture of our deliverance from sin and death through the sacrificed Lamb, this "circumcision" of the flesh is required for a fruitful life in the spirit which produces an inheritance. One might also see it as a circumcision of the heart, a removing of flesh which makes our heart alive and sensitive to the Lord and to others producing a life of love and good fruit.

Deliverance from sin and death is a free gift through the sacrifice of Messiah our perfect Lamb. Our response should be to offer our bodies, our flesh, as living sacrifices that we may enter the destiny of love and fruitfulness which is our own personal Promised Land. A life of holiness is the fruit of a circumcised heart which will yield a rich inheritance in the world to come.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

Choose Godspeed!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

By George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

Mark 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Proverbs says the "highway of the upright is to depart from evil". It's a highway — a way of life so to speak. And this proverb coincides with the central teaching of Yeshua (Jesus) — "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." What does it mean to repent? The Greek Word is "metanoia" which simply means to change your mind about sin or to depart from evil.

Repentance is essentially a new attitude about the way I conduct my life. I don't expect perfection while remaining in this mortal body — but a lifestyle of repentance means that I choose to live my life set apart unto the Lord, in communion with His Holy Spirit who lives in me, constantly turning away from and/or confessing my sins. Repentance does not involve rehearsing guilt, regret, or sins of the past, because true repentance and confession removes those from our conscience and the Lord declares them to be as far as the east is from the west!

Choose the highway of the upright and speed your way through life's journey to the Kingdom of Heaven which awaits you. The enemy would love to sidetrack or distract you with the enticement of sin — but even if he succeeds temporarily, you can always repent — and speedily, get back on the right road –the highway of the upright.

Read more Christian Devotions on: Life, Repentance, Sin

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

It's the time for blossoming!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

Isaiah 35:1-2 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

One thing I absolutely love about Israel is that fruit grows everywhere in abundance. Delicious citrus fruit, mango, pomegranate, grapes, cactus fruit, avocado — and much much more! It's common to see people people pick and eat it as they walk by. And it doesn't taste like your average western fruit either. It seems to be especially sweet. It must be because God has blessed the land it's grown upon!

Today marks the Jewish holiday of Tu B' Shvat and the beginning of the new year for trees. It is customary to plant trees and partake of the fruits of the Land to commemorate the occasion. God has declared that fruit shall blossom from the desert of our dry land here in Israel and boy, has it ever!

I love this passage. It reminds me that even the dry desert areas in our lives can come to life! The Lord declares that He will restore the years the locusts have eaten! No matter how desolate we've been, this is the time to blossom!

Our lives are meant to flourish in the Lord! Let's ask Him to touch us in a special way this season. May we spring to life and blossom abundantly. May that which was once dead spring to life and may everyone around us may see the evidence of the glory of God!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

Shock your enemies!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

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 » Life

Follow your Sar Ha'Chaim!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Isaiah 53:8-9 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked– But with the rich at His deaths [plural in the Hebrew], Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Acts 3:15 and killed the Prince of life [in Hebrew, lives], whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

An interesting parallel exists between these two passages of scripture: Isaiah 53:9 and Acts 3:15. Isaiah renders the "death" of the messiah in the plural form, "deaths" ("motav"). Acts renders the life of the Prince of Life as "lives" ("chaim"). Some scholars suggest that the plurality of the word death indicates a violent death this servant would suffer, and that making the noun plural is a way of emphasizing the terrible intensity of his experience. Jewish counter-missionaries suggest that the "death" in plural shows that the suffering servant is not an individual man, but a group of people, specifically the nation of Israel, thus denying that the passage refers to an individual messianic figure.

I like to look at this passage as a reminder that Yeshua suffered death for me, personally, but also for every one else who would believe in Him. Since we all died with Him on the cross as He died to sin, it could be said that He suffered many deaths for all those He loved.

Tracing the parallel to the Acts passage we can understand why it says there that He was the "Prince of Lives". The phrase is "sar ha-chaim" in the Brit Hadashah (Hebrew New Testament), indicating a plurality of life. In His suffering of deaths, He became the Prince of lives! How many lives did He save? How many kinds of life? We'll find out someday….maybe.

Yeshua's death was complete; a finished work of comprehensive grace; totally effective and absolutely personal. His resurrection was equally full, final and personal — through Him we died to sin, and need no longer walk in it; and through Him we live to God, and can walk in newness of life, abundant life — for He truly is the Prince of Life!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Life