Rejected? Relax…

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 118:22-23 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.

John 15:18 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

These first two scriptures are speaking of the same "Stone", the prophesied Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), the "head of the corner" or "rosh pina", in Hebrew. This stone is laid in Zion, a common synonym for Jerusalem, where mount Zion rests. The stone is "tried", that is, tested in every way that a stone can be; the stone is precious and excellent to be set as a sure, reliable, accurate, even everlasting foundation, and a stone which is prepared and set in place by God, Himself. Can you think of a "Stone" more perfect or beautiful than our Messiah?

Yet this same "stone" is rejected by the "builders"; but also believed in by others, who will not act hastily. The Hebrew word for "rejected", “ma-as”, carries even stronger meaning; "to abhor", "cast away", "despise", "disdain", and "be loathsome" are also denoted by it. So the "Rosh Pinah", the "Chief Cornerstone" of God is spurned, abhorred, held in contempt, and rejected.

Now the builders are the ones who ought to know a good stone for building when they see one. They're responsible for the quality of the building. But this precious cornerstone is abhorred and cast away by them; very sad and irresponsible. Yet the prophet clearly predicts this stone will become the "Chief Cornerstone", even though rejected by the builders — and that it will be marvelous in the eyes of some…and these will not "make haste"; the Hebrew "chuwsh" means to hurry, or even "to flee in alarm". Apparently these, who believe, will be at peace, they will be relaxed.

The Lord Yeshua (Jesus) said that our identification with Him would cause us to be hated and rejected too. And in this world there are quite a few modern "builders" who have also rejected the "Chief Cornerstone", so we can expect that they will reject and abhor us who belong to Him. But the prophet said that believers in this Precious Cornerstone will not make haste, or flee in terror; instead, their belief, their faith, their trust will make them relaxed. Is that you?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

Peace is Powerful!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

During World War I, in the winter of 1914, on the battlefields of Flanders, one of the most unusual events in history took place. The Germans had been in a fierce battle with the British and French. Both sides were dug in, safe in muddy man-made trenches six to eight feet deep that seemed to stretch forever… but it was Christmas, and what happened next was astonishing, writes Stanley Weintraub, author of the book, Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce.

“The Germans set trees on trench parapets and lit the candles. Then, they began singing carols, and though their language was unfamiliar to their enemies, the tunes were not. After a few trees were shot at, the British became more curious than belligerent and crawled forward to watch and listen. And after a while, they began to sing.

By Christmas morning, the "no man's land" between the trenches was filled with fraternizing soldiers, sharing rations and gifts, singing and (more solemnly) burying their dead between the lines. Soon they were even playing soccer, mostly with improvised balls.”

Though the war had to continue, as commanders on both sides ordered their troops to restart hostilities, this interval of peace during war was extraordinary and unprecedented.

This is the season of peace. And the Prince of Peace has commanded us to be peacemakers. May we become known for initiating peace — in our homes, in our families, in our workplaces, in every which situation. And never forget to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

Let the Light Break Through!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

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 » Peace

Lay it down!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

One of my favorite heroes of the faith is Hudson Taylor. For those who are unfamiliar with him, Hudson Taylor led a great awakening in China which continues to this day.

At one point during his ministry, he was deeply distressed by many burdens. As he prayed for strength to carry on, he came across Psalm 55:22 — "Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain thee."

Suddenly this truth entered his heart and he sprung to his feet and cried, "This fear-allaying truth has evaded me too long! I see it all now. If we are obeying the Lord and still run into difficulty, the heavy responsibility rests with HIM, not with us!" Then he prayed, "Lord, you shall carry all the burden! At your bidding I will go forward, leaving the results with You!"

With the burden lifted from his shoulders, Hudson Taylor went on to establish a great work in China.

Are you burdened today? Whatever your burden may be — cast it upon the Lord — He will carry it, and free you to serve Him with His peace and power!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

How do we achieve peace?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

As we enter into day 16 of Operation Protective Shield, we read how a "ceasefire" is proposed by different countries in order to settle the conflict. However, it's not a 'true' peace they want to achieve, but just a pause in the violence. A ceasefire in the eyes of Islam is called a 'hudna', which is understood as a time to regroup and rearm before rising to its ultimate victory. So how does one truly achieve peace?

The solution is hidden inside the deeper understanding of the Hebrew word, Shalom, and in ancient Hebrew provides the solution for true peace — one that applies not only in the real world, but in our personal lives.

The Hebrew word "shalom" has meaning that is deep and rich. Peace, completeness, prosperity, safety, contentment, health, blessing, and rest are all apportioned to the meaning of this remarkable word.. The ancient Hebrew spelling of "shalom" is interesting because it speaks only indirectly about these multiple meanings, but reveals something very profound about apprehending "shalom".

The composition of Shalom at approximately 1000 B.C.

"Shalom" is comprised of four Hebrew letters: "Sheen", "Lamed", "Vav" and "Mem". The letter "Sheen", represented as teeth, illustrates destruction. "Lamed" portrays a staff and illustrates authority. "Vav", illustrated as a nail or a tent peg, carries the ideas of fastening, securing, or establishing. And finally, "Mem" is displayed as water, and illustrates chaos. So the Hebrew word picture for "shalom" communicates this message – "destroying the authority that establishes chaos"!

While the world calls on Israel to cease on attacking Hamas, in reality, it brings more chaos because the authority is not destroyed. While we mourn for the lost lives of innocents, as any believer would, we also realize that the root cause of chaos must be destroyed in order to bring true peace.

Do you want "shalom" in your life? You will need to deal with the roots and causes of chaos. The one and only successful way to do that is through faith in and identity with Yeshua (Jesus) your Sar Shalom – your prince of Peace – because He has already disarmed the authorities which establish chaos and will soon destroy them completely. He said, These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”[John 16:33]

Worthy Christian Devotions » Peace