Look to the Lord of blessing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

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 » Provision

He's Providing — so Rejoice!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

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 » Provision

Don't forget your passport!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Here in Israel, I have to carry my passport everywhere. It's always in my pocket where ever I go. It's my source of American identity here in the Land, should anyone ever question it.

There have been times when it's been through the washer a few times — at one point all the stamps in it were dulled and faded. As a matter of fact, this a few years ago when I was entering Israel, the airport clerk alerted me that they would not accept my passport in this condition – and that I had better replace it before I travel again. Gulp!

E.M. Bounds wrote in his book, Purpose in Prayer: "Christ taught us… to approach the Father in His name. That is our passport! It is in His name that we are to make our petitions known… There is no limit to the power of that name. "Whatsoever ye shall ask." That is the divine declaration, and it opens up to every praying child a vista of infinite resource and possibility … and that is our heritage. All that Christ has may become ours if we obey the conditions."

We need our prayers to reach the throne of God! And in order for them to travel, they need a good passport!

When we pray in the mighty Name of Jesus (Yeshua, in Hebrew) today, our requests are transported right to God's holy throne room! Let's petition the Father according to His will and expect GREAT things to happen!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

Let it go!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

My wife has had an interesting life. Here, she shares a small portion of her past:

I was born in Israel. My parents divorced when I was a toddler and my mother met and married a hippie American tourist who was searching his roots in Israel at the time. Later, we went back to the States with him. Little did we realize that he was heavily addicted to drugs and this among other things made for a very unhappy family and little on which to live.

Every once in a while my father in Israel would send money for my mother to buy an airline ticket for me to visit him and the rest of my family. One particular year when I about eleven or twelve, he gave me a nice chunk of spending money for the duration of my trip, the equivalence of two hundred and fifty dollars or so. When my time in Israel that summer was coming to an end and I realized I had hardly touched that money, I decided keep it and not tell him or anyone else. I mean, my dad had assumed I'd spent it, right? No one would have to know, "I reasoned." I'd take it back with me and have lots of money to spend when I returned to Israel the next time.

When I got back to America, I put that stash away in a little jewelry box on my dresser. No matter how poor we were, I always secretly felt rich knowing that stash was there. The next summer, my father sent for me again. Before I left, I was sure not to forget to put my saved shekels deep in my pocket, as not to lose them. I was the richest girl in the world!

But when I reached Israel this time, my father gave me money unlike the kind I had in my pocket. It looked funny — not at all like my long-awaited spending stash. It was different in color and had a different design. "That's strange," I thought, "How could this be?"

To my great dismay, the currency had changed to the New Israeli Shekel while I was away. The money I had was absolutely worthless now. I was sick to my stomach.

What a waste! And worse, I couldn't even tell my dad.

A wise man once said, "Greed is the logical result of the belief that there is no life after death. We grab what we can while we can however we can and then hold on to it hard."

Our Father has given us some spending money, hasn't He? And sadly, it is our tendency as human beings to want to keep it to ourselves. Let's not hoard what He has freely given us. Let's freely bless people around us in need, whether it is with our finances, our possessions, our time and energy or comfort. There is a lot more where those came from. And we can't take it with us anyway — the currency is different in heaven!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

Multiply Your Talents!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Provision

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 » Provision