From the Pit to Rule!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

Ephesian 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

When Joseph was thrown into prison, his life was thought to be over. How could anyone escape an Egyptian prison? But then, in one day, according to God's perfect timing, he was instantly promoted to reign over all Egypt with only the Pharoah, ("god on earth") as his Lord. Could there be a transformation more sudden, astounding and dramatic! So it was for Yeshua (Jesus) as He fulfilled the identity of Mashiach ben Yosef, suffering to death for our sins, but then, on one day, supernaturally resurrected and now seated at the right hand of the Father (God in Heaven). Such an amazing parallel!

Now we need to come fully to this realization: that the moment we came to faith in Yeshua, the Father instantly and supernaturally delivered us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son He loves. In one moment we were regenerated as sons and daughters of the Most High and spiritually seated with Him in heavenly places. Even as we remain in our flesh awaiting our incorruptible bodies, our Spirit has been born into a Holy Family and a Royal Priesthood.

So, we are called to be overcomers; to war and to win, to exercise authority in Yeshua's name…

…but are you still "in the pit"? Then please take this realization to heart: the resurrection life of Yeshua remains within you, enabling you to endure. And that too, is a kind of victory. As you submit to His discipline in faith, your day will come to exercise greater authority in His Name, just as it did for Joseph. He patiently endured his trial of faith, and was raised up; so you also can, through Yeshua's indwelling Presence, arrive at a new day of release and victory…maybe tomorrow, maybe even today! Amen.

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

We are the "bikoreem" of creation!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

by George Whitten, editor of Worthy Devotions

Leviticus 23:10-12 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.

This season of the Resurrection also occurs during a significant Old Testament feast day, the feast of “Firstfruits” (Hebrew, “bikoreem”). When Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the dead he was the firstfruit of the resurrection. On that day the keys of Hell and Death were obtained by our Lord. The apostle Paul connected the resurrection with the feast of Firstfruits in his letter to the congregation at Corinith. "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

Remember in the Garden of Gethsemane that all the disciples had fled in terror because of their connection with Yeshua. Yet not much later they experienced an astounding tranformation which empowered them to preach the gospel fearlessly and face all kinds of suffering and martyrdom. What inspired this transformation? The resurrection… the living, breathing Lord who appeared to them in a glorious resurrected body. No longer were they concerned about this life, having experienced the reality that death's power had been absolutely overcome and there was nothing remaining in this world to threaten or shake their complete confidence in eternal life.

The letter of James identifies believers in Jesus as "a kind of firstfruits of all He created"; [James 1:18]. Through our faith In the Lord's resurrection we have received His Holy Spirit and gained His resurrection life and power. It is a power over the fear of death, an overcoming power which enables us to endure and triumph over every kind of threat, problem, affliction, every trial or test involving suffering, pain, even the greatest anguish this life can bring. It's the same power that filled the Lord's disciples and transformed them from terrified men into fearless witnesses.

We are no longer bound by the circumstances of our lives – but, as "firstfruits" who share in the resurrection life of our Lord, are empowered to endure, be transformed by, and ultimately overcome everything we face. Paul exults in this wondrous triumph, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." And then he offers this exhortation, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

We are the “bikoreem”, the "firstfruits" of the resurrection and we are no longer bound by the troubles and problems of this world. We can "count them all joy" as "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" we know that our labor is not in vain!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

Know Him and the Power of the Resurrection!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Philippians 3:8-11 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

In today's world of Smart Phones, tablets and instant Internet access, there are many things that we can "know." "How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?" Pop out your iPhone, ask "Siri", the golden-voiced digital encyclopedic genius, and you'll have the factual answer in seconds.

But there's more to the Golden Gate than just length; truly another "dimension" of knowledge and understanding of the bridge over San Francisco Bay, which might be acquired from the 95-year-old retired construction worker who spent 2 years of his life building it. The knowledge you'll glean from his salt-parched lips will hold you spell bound as he describes wrestling with massive cables in stormy bay weather, or nearly losing his balance leaning over to paint an inaccessible bolt.

There are facts — head knowledge, and there is the knowing of and from experience. We all know this, and it's why we prefer the mechanic who has been fixing cars for 35 years over the novice who just graduated from vocational training school.

The apostle Paul wanted experiential knowledge of the Lord Jesus. He wanted fellowship with His sufferings, experiential resurrection power, even, if it were possible, the absolute death of his sin nature. Paul wanted the actual reality of the living Messiah manifested in his life, and he knew and believed this to be his inheritance in the death and resurrection of the Lord. Paul wanted to know Yeshua intimately and personally and share in the Lord's own experiences. This Passover Resurrection Day season as we celebrate and meditate on the factual reality of what happened in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, we might also join the apostle Paul in his own sincere passion; "that I may know Him…."

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

Embrace the Power of the Resurrection and the Life!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 2:6-7 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Acts 13:33-34 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

The central fact of the gospel message is the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), declared in Psalm 2, the begotten Son of God. In 1952, Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in Cave 4 called the "Messianic Apocalypse". The Messiah's ministry of resurrection is reiterated in these ancient documents with an obvious reference to Isaiah 61:1-3. The scroll identifies someone who "… will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor." It is clear that at least some of the authors of these documents clearly understood the central nature and ministry of the coming Messiah, most certainly based on their intimate knowledge of the prophetic writings in the Tenach (OT)…that ministry, resurrection of the dead.

This reality of the resurrection of Yeshua and His power to raise the dead cannot be overestimated. Death is the inevitable result of sin. Yeshua became sin, bearing all of it in His body, and then was raised from death to eternal immortal glory. This wonderful fact has proliferated throughout the world, the most important and powerful message ever delivered to mankind.

An illustration from our own time reveals the pervasive hope of Messiah's resurrection and victory over death. D.L. Moody the great 19th century revivalist was called on early in his ministry to deliver a funeral message. Searching the Gospels to find a funeral sermon given by Yeshua, he quickly discovered his search was in vain. Instead of ministering at funerals, Yeshua broke up every funeral he ever attended! Death could not exist where He was. And when the dead heard His voice they sprang to life, for He truly is "the resurrection and the life."

Are you feeling dead and worn out today? Then be reminded that your Savior is Life and that He brings it abundantly wherever He is, and that death is overcome in His Presence. So GET IN HIS PRESENCE! Repent, pray, worship, read, dance, delight, intercede, seek Him with all your heart and soul. His Life is waiting to refresh, restore, and revive you.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

Drink from the Fountain of Youth!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

From the moment we were conceived we began aging, growing older by the day. We may slow down the physical aging process by exercising, eating right and other natural techniques – but we cannot ultimately stop it. This mortal flesh, our outer man, is "wasting away" and moving toward decay as we await the immortal bodies promised us in the Resurrection.

Yet this scripture offers us a renewal of our youth. And we see some remarkable examples of this, especially in the Old Testament. It is said of Moses at the age of a hundred and twenty that "his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone." [Deuteronomy 34:7] His successor Joshua had this testimony: "So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then." [Joshua 14:10-11]. Even after the flood of Noah's day, it seems we have some access to longevity and vigor.

We have all heard of the "Fountain of Youth". You can still drink from a spring in St. Augustine Florida, commemorating the Spanish explorer, Ponce De Leon's legendary search for it. Ponce's body is long gone. And however long he survived, I suggest he was looking for the wrong "Fountain". Our Spring of Living Water, our source of youth and vigor is our God, our Father in Heaven, His Son Yeshua (Jesus), and His Presence and His indwelling Holy Spirit. The Way, the Truth, and THE LIFE, lives within every born again believer. Dwelling in His Presence, as did Moses and Joshua, is the fountain of renewed youth for us.

Both Moses and Joshua spent great amounts of time in and near the Presence of God. Check it out for yourself. Moses even glowed from it, once, and it clearly affected his physical constitution. Spending time with God, in His Presence, in His Word, will renew your youth; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Are you feeling old today? Get into His Presence; get into His Word, and be renewed once again!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Resurrection