The Volcano Waiting to Erupt!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Timothy 6:6-10 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

As I write, it seems the prevailing concern among people everywhere is -– what's going on with the economy? Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse. Even the kings of wall street are reportedly dumping their shares in U.S. companies. People are watching their wealth dissipating and dwindling away. Reflecting on these material losses reminds me of a story about a lady who perished in Pompeii in the first century.

Pompeii was a flourishing city in Southern Italy until 79 AD. Suddenly, for two days Mt. Vesuvius erupted and completely destroyed Pompeii in all its pomp. The city was covered in meters of ash and pumice for 1700 years until it was accidentally discovered in 1748. When archaeologists began excavations in 1910 they uncovered a petrified woman clutching some of the finest jewelry ever recovered from the ancient world. She was apparently attempting to flee the doomed city, and in her haste, holding desperately onto her valuable possessions –- she lost her life.

During its time Pompeii was a magnificent city, yet it's destiny was destruction by a nearby volcano –- and so it is with our world today. There's so much beauty on our planet earth –- yet its destiny is certain! The day is soon coming when it's elements will be destroyed with fire, the earth and everything in it, laid bare, [2 Peter 3:10] –- and our earthly possessions will not come with us into glory, (only what we have done with them).

As the Apostle Paul said, we came into this world with nothing – and when we leave this world, we take nothing with us. We can make the mistake of holding too dearly onto our earthly possessions, making them our "treasure", (rather than storing treasure where moth and rust do not corrode etc.) – but this is a costly error, as illustrated by our "petrified lady". Instead, let's remind ourselves that we are stewards of God's possessions, responsible to use them with His interests in mind, to further His Kingdom with the things He has entrusted to us. With so much work to be done, let's never allow our earthly possessions to petrify us with greed or fear thus preventing the eternal work we were preordained for, and stealing our eternal rewards.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

What's its Worth?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Zechariah 11:12-13 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was valued by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

In Matthew, we read that Judas betrayed Yeshua (Jesus) to the Sanhedrin for thirty pieces of silver, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah. Zechariah foretold that the Messiah's price would be measured at a pittance; thirty pieces of silver. Can we imagine valuing a human life in terms of silver? Unthinkable enough…but then this is no ordinary life; it's the life of God's only Son.

What value do you place on His life? How do you express the value Yeshua has for you? Has relationship with Him cost you anything? The Father valued us very highly. The price He paid for our redemption was His most precious Son's human life. Perhaps we need to re-evaluate our evaluation of our Savior.

Perhaps this weekend, reflect upon the Lord's evaluation of you – and then, your evaluation of Him….thirty pieces of silver!!!!!?????

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

Look to the Lord of blessing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

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 » Materialism

He's Providing — so Rejoice!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Deut 16:15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.

Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) started last night throughout the world. The feast of Sukkot commemorates the time in which God led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years, providing them with every need on a daily basis – shelter, food, water and clothing. Interestingly, during Sukkot, the book of Ecclesiastes is read in the synagogues– but Ecclesiastes speaks of the vanity of materialism.

How can we find a balance between feasting in God’s provision and wallowing in worldly materialism? The answer is simple.

If our focus lies on all of our abundance without acknowledging the Provider, then it is all vanity! But if our focus is on the Lord and His desire for our lives, then He provides us with all that is pure and holy.

Feast in the Lord for all that He has provided and enter into the season of Sukkot!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

Multiply Your Talents!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 25:26-29 But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. Then you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, and on my coming I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Reading this parable, we are struck by the serious consequences of failing to produce Kingdom fruit. But there's something I want to particularly point out. Many of the great heroes of the faith — people like Moses and David, were not given great responsibilities immediately. Each of these men first served as a lowly shepherd, tending sheep. Having tested them first in this humble vocation, God then felt confident to elevate them to positions of greatness — but it all started with a small step!

God is testing his saints in the little things — as we pass our early tests, the Lord will promote us to greater things. Don't despise the day of small things — a single talent invested wisely can produce a bountiful harvest! And remember that it begins with faithful stewardship of whatever gift or talent that God has allocated to you.

Let's be wise stewards in these last days, using our divinely given abilities for His glory and purposes so that we can produce an abundant return on the Lord's investment in our lives. Let's heed the warning and the encouragement that Yeshua (Jesus) gives us in this parable, multiplying, rather than hiding our talent. Amen!

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Materialism