Be Transformed This Shavuot!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Leviticus 23:15-17 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord.

The Lord (YHVH) commanded the grain offering on Shavuot, (known as Pentecost among Christians), to be made of the finest flour, baked with yeast, that is, leaven. Leaven, in the Bible, is almost universally, a symbol for "sin", and in the OT is strictly forbidden on the altar of YHVH., yet here, in the Feast of Weeks it is commanded as part of the offering. Just six weeks prior to this festival, Israel had spent a week eating unleavened bread, a clear picture of the connection between the Passover Lamb and the removal of sin from our lives. Now the grain offering for Shavuot contains yeast; two loaves with it. Why? A common interpretation of this for NT believers is that the loaves represent Jews and Gentiles, the two types of redeemed people, who, of course, still contain sin in our lives.

So the sequence of these two spring festivals can be seen to illustrate, on the one hand, our perfect deliverance from sin and death through the Passover Lamb (Yeshua); and subsequently, the reality of our true condition as "leavened loaves" offered to the Lord as "first-fruits". We know that having come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus), cleansed by His shed blood, we stand righteous and perfect in Him; and yet, we constantly struggle with our Adamic nature. In this light, Shavuot begins to emerge as a festival marking and illustrating the opportunity and means for our transformation. The Lord's sending forth of His Holy Spirit at this time awakens and empowers us to change; to be inwardly transformed from the old creation into a new creation.

On the day of Pentecost, 2000 years ago, this transformation process was dynamically accelerated and made accessible to every believer. Baptized with the Holy Spirit of God, and with His fire, our sinful nature with all its impurities and "leaven" takes a back seat to the powerful indwelling of the Spirit of Messiah, so that as we continually pray, walk in obedience, and thus cooperate to be filled with His Spirit, we are sanctified and transformed into His likeness – "from glory to glory", and so become His effective witnesses. Praise God that He works with our issues– and is transforming us into a bride without wrinkle or spot!

Allow the Holy Spirit to burn away the impurity of your sinful nature; to purge out the dross, and deeply penetrate your life. The process can be "firey" and involve some painful sacrifices, but the result is purity and the holiness without which no one will see God. And remember that Yeshua is returning soon, greatly anticipating a bride who is prepared for His arrival!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

Crush, Mutilate, Destroy!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

According to ancient Jewish legend, one day Abraham was shown his father, Terah's room of many idols. Young Abraham, thinking that perhaps he could discover intimacy with them, made some desirable delicacies and placed them before the idols. When nothing happened, he realized that these idols were nothing more than clay — they could do nothing for him or anyone else for that matter. So he proceeded to destroy all the idols, except for one.

When Terah received word of this, he went to Abraham and said, "Son, what did you do to my idols?!" "I brought them delicacies," Abraham replied, "and then the biggest idol became envious of the others, and destroyed them all." Terah, furious with Abraham, said, "You're lying to me! How can idols made by my own hands do such things?" "You're right father." Replied Abraham, "Now tell me, then, why do we worship idols that can not eat, drink or even move?"

This kind of idol worship may sound far removed from us, but we too, have our idols. They may not be made of clay but they are very real! The love of money, possessions, success, leisure, food, sensuality, security and outward beauty — the love of tradition and even our friends and family — the pursuit of our goals and dreams are among some just off the top of my head. Most of these are not bad things in and of themselves, don't get me wrong. But if we are not careful, they can all easily become idols in our lives!

What is the object of our affections today? What takes up the majority of our time, effort, and resources? These are our idols. Anything that we allow to run our life becomes our god.

There is only One God we ought to be worshiping — and He will not have any other god's before Him! Let's crush our idols today. We need to get right with the Lord so that we may be used mightily for His Kingdom!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

Stop your pulling!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly he stopped and pointed to four plants close at hand. The first was just beginning to peep above the ground, the second had rooted itself pretty well into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree. The tutor said to his young companion, 'Pull up the first plant.' The boy did so eagerly, using only his fingers. 'Now pull up the second.' The youth obeyed but found the task more difficult. 'Do the same with the third,' he urged. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it. 'Now,' said the instructor, 'try your hand with the fourth.' The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tall tree and couldn't even shake its leaves. 'This, my son, is just what happens with our bad habits. When they are young, we can remove them readily; but when they are old, it's hard to uproot them, though we try and struggle ever so sincerely.'"

We all have weeds and even enormous Redwoods that need uprooting in our lives. It takes a LOT of effort to get strong enough to move those big ones on our own. Instead, let's take that same effort and start practicing faith in the Lord!

Perhaps you're weary of pulling. God doesn't expect us to pull these bad habits ourselves. Let's ask the Lord to do the uprooting today and watch Him gain the victory!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

So many commitments!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

One of my favorite ministers of the Gospel is D.L. Moody. He tells a story about having heard Pastor Henry Varley once say that, "The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him."

As Moody pondered the pastor's words, He realized something. Pastor Varley did not say that God would use an intelligent person. He didn't say an educated person, nor did he say a person who was ultimately gifted. What the wise pastor said was that the person with whom God will work with and for and through will be the person "who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him".

This radically changed Moody's ministry… and ours too, for that matter. We realized that God isn’t looking for people with amazing minds or hands or voices or computer skills. He’s not looking for those who are wearing the nicest suits or dresses at church. And He’s not looking for the people with the highest grade point averages at the local Christian College. What God is really looking for, are people who are simply sold out for Him!

One of the great secrets to a successful walk with the Lord, is understanding total commitment to Yeshua (Jesus). But being totally committed requires us to daily take up our cross — leave the past behind us — and despite all the obstacles the enemy tries to throw in our path, press forward for the Lord and His work! Let's consecrate ourselves to the Lord again today. There’s so much work to be done!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

How Dedicated are You?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have of God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

As we mentioned a couple of days ago, Chanukah commemorates of the desecration of the holy temple of old, (just another attempt of the enemy to wipe out the Jewish people and the things of God), God's great grace and the rededication of the temple to Him.

While there is no longer a physical temple today, the Bible declares that we, as believers in Yeshua (Jesus), are living temples of God. But we need to recognize that our enemy is constantly at work, trying to erect idols and desecrate our temple in various ways so that we cannot be used to glorify God. How long has it been since we cleansed and rededicated our temple to the Lord? We should really be be doing it daily!

We want to be more holy — more pure — more righteous so that we can be found a peculiar people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, as the scripture says. Let's strive to be a people who shine forth the glory of God today! Let's pull down the strongholds and destroy the idols that pollute us!

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Purity