Stay Warm!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 24:12-14 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

I'm not sure how much I enjoy the freezing weather here as we're traveling across the United States, but I certainly can't wait till Spring comes! On the Hebrew calendar Nisan is the month that transitions from winter to Spring. The ice finally starts melting and new life springs forth during this month. Doesn't it make sense that Yeshua (Jesus) died and rose again from the dead during this month; the month of the transition from that which is frozen to that which is alive?!

The power of God melts through thick ice, and infuses life into all things! Is your love growing cold and frigid? Then allow the Lord to thaw you out! The world is cold to the things of God — but as Saints, we need to be sure that we're not allowing the world to numb us with its coldness; rather, we ought to be melting the frozen world around us!

Let's not get iced over with the snow, and freezing winter weather, (for those of us who are shivering through it just now), or even worse, the cold hard world around us. The Lord our God is a sun and shield. His warmth will fill us and will radiate out into the lives of others, if we will abide in His loving Presence.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

Be a LIGHT!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

John 10:22-23 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication (Chanukah), and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

Chanukah, a time of celebration and rededication, began tonight in the Land and for Jewish people all over the globe. Those of us who are grafted in through the atoning work of Messiah, we who know God, have an opportunity to see the deeper significance in the Biblical holidays and are not only welcome but encouraged to celebrate as well!

Over 150 years before Yeshua's (Jesus’) birth, a group of Jewish warriors led by Judah Maccabee, defeated Anticochus IV. Though terribly outnumbered by their foes, the Maccabees triumphed over the Grecian Syrian Empire. This led to the establishment of Chanukah — the feast of dedication.

According to an ancient Jewish legend, Judah entered into Jerusalem only to find the Temple desecrated by a sacrificed pig and an idol of Zeus. Upon seeing this, he immediately began to cleanse the Temple. Judah also found that there was only one cruse of undefiled oil which could burn in the Temple Menorah (holy candleabra which had to continually burn). This oil was only enough for one day but it miraclously lasted for eight days, just enough time to get more of this special oil made. So in memory of this miracle and the rededication of the Temple, Chanukah or the Festival of Lights has been celebrated by the Jewish people for over 2000 years and was even celebrated by Yeshua (Jesus) Himself!

Every Chanukah, chanukkiahs (the candleabra of nine candle holders) are lit. Each chanukkia has a special candle, known as the Shamash which is raised above the other eight. The word ‘shamash’ means ‘servant, helper, or minister — so the Shamash candle is the servant candle, or the ministering candle, and is used to light all the other candles. It is the servant who is raised up and lights all the others, symbolizing Messiah, for us who believe.

Yeshua came and proclaimed that ‘He is the Light of the World and whoever follows Him shall have the light of life!’ The one who serves the Lord will be a light! The one who does the will of God will shine! The more we serve the Lord, and earnestly do His will , with all our heart, soul and mind — the more we will shine with the light of God and so ultimately will we be raised up!

Let's strive to serve the Lord with gladness this season and light up the world around us! We may be small but a small light will go a long way in a dark place!

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

Be Courageous!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid nor be dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Some of you may be celebrating the holiday of Chanukah with us — this will be the fourth night of this beautiful Festival of Lights.

While Chanukah is not a Biblical feast, it is an important one. Chanukah commemorates the story of small group of men with much courage — enough courage to defeat even the greatest of the world’s empires.

The Greek-Syrian Emperor Anticochus Epiphanes defiled the Temple by erecting an idol within it, and commanded all of Israel to worship it. If that wasn’t enough, he made it illegal to follow God's laws and anyone caught observing them would be put to death. Yeshua (Jesus) pointed out in Matthew 24 — when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel — flee! This was a foreshadow of a future event which He was referring to.

So what happened? A few men, the Macabees, decided to fight an entire empire on their own! They had a miraculous victory, restoring and rededicating the Temple, and relighting the menorah — a victory which we celebrate tonight.

In these dark days approaching, we're going to be called to a deeper walk with the Lord, to stand up for His truth and be a light to the dying world around us! Let's get restored, rededicated and rekindled so that we can be strong for Him! There's so much to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

It happened to the best of them!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?

The answer is simple but profound: God did not regard David according to the actions of his sinful nature, but according to the deepest motivations and disposition of his heart and will; and these were revealed by David's response to the conviction which Nathan the prophet brought upon him; a conviction which brought immediate total confession and repentance, and a broken and contrite heart. This response exemplified the shepherd king's walk with God throughout the entire journey of his life .

If, after David had fallen he made excuses, rationalized, or resisted the clear message of his sinfulness it would have been a totally different story. His heart would have revealed a self-justifying, self-righteous attitude with no realization of his absolute need for God's mercy. This would have defeated and defined him as a man after his own heart. But the immediacy and completeness of David's confession qualified him for the Lord's forgiveness and mercy, saving him from death and restoring him to that most treasured relationship of his life, his relationship with YHVH.

The consequences of his sin were very serious and followed David all the days of his life. But he demonstrated the genuineness of his repentance by never railing against God for the troubles which followed him as a consequence of his sin with Batsheva. David always rose up, submitted, and humbly praised God, writing wonderful psalms and pouring out his heart before the Lord. He served God and worshiped Him all his life. So the Lord God didn't reckon David’s life by his fall – but by his walk, and by his heart.

We all stumble in many ways, but God does not define us by our failures. It's our love for Him and our honesty before Him that reveals a true walk of faith! So if you fell, you messed up, your sin got the best of you, then come clean. Make your confession. Accept the consequences without complaining, allow the Lord to forgive and restore you completely, and continue on your journey with Him. That was David's heart. His example is worthy to follow. May you also be one of those that lived their life “after God’s own heart!”

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

What's its Worth?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Rededication

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 » Rededication