God's purposes are not always as they seem!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Acts 16:26-30 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

At first glance, it would seem that God allowed this earthquake to take place in order that Paul and Silas would be set free. The earthquake came and their bands were loosed. There was nothing holding them back. They could have fled immediately — wouldn't have you?

But no — Paul and Silas waited…and as a result, the jailer and his entire family were saved!

Many times we assume God's reasoning for doing the things He does. The Lord may have released us to walk through a door that He has clearly opened — but He may also have other purposes in mind. Let's not be so quick to assume. There's no hurry. God won't shut a door if it is His divine will for it to be open!!

Let's be patient and be sure to be led by the Spirit of God. These are amazing times we're living in. We don't want to miss out on God's perfect will!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

Remember His Sufferings!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 12:36-38 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

The apostle John quotes Isaiah 53:1, saying to whom has the z’roah [arm] of the Lord been revealed? It’s a question that God answers throughout the rest of Isaiah 53, describing in detail the life of Yeshua (Jesus) and the ultimate price He would pay for the sins of the world.

The word translated, "revealed" (in Hebrew: "galah") actually has a more negative connotation. One of its meanings is "to be stripped naked in a disgraceful way". It also means "to be treated like a captive", and "to be carried away into exile", or, "to be shamelessly uncovered". So the Lord is not simply revealed, but stripped, humiliated, and deeply degraded in order to save us. The cost He paid was terrible.

It's never easy for us to remember this or to think much about it, since it's hard enough to imagine an innocent human being suffering so much; but then to realize that I had some part in it… Yet, we should remember; because the reality of the Lord's cross belongs to us in every way, and we may yet be called to endure our own share of suffering with Him and for Him. Remembering His sufferings will prepare us for whatever may lie ahead.

Remember the Lord's sufferings. It will keep you spiritually honest, and prepare you for your own small share in them — His memory will also draw out your love and gratitude, and keep your heart tender toward Him and everyone else.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

He's coming as Judge, Are You Ready?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Isaiah 51:5 My righteousness is near; My salvation is gone forth, and My arm [z’roah in Hebrew] shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on My arm [z’roah] they will trust.

John 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

Revelation 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

On December 25, 1908, a newspaper in Messina, Silicy dared God to make Himself known by sending an earthquake. Three days later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake that killed over 84,000 people.

Do we really believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is returning soon? He is – He's coming back to judge this world and no one will escape His wrath except those whose sins are forgiven through living faith in His atoning sacrifice. The world in its increasing sinfulness, rejecting His Son, seems to be daring God to bring judgment. This historical event in Messina speaks with shocking clarity that the God of Creation is real, that He listens carefully to the statements we make about Him and the communications we express toward Him, (as individuals, cities, and nations), and that He is a powerful Sovereign King whose judgments are imminent and totally righteous.

Because of sin, we are all born destined to die. Every one of those 84,000+ people were corrupt from the womb and fated for death, so that when this dare came before the Lord in Heaven, He chose the moment to take them and reveal this serious and dramatic testimony of His judgment to all the world. By revealing His judgment as a warning, God shows His mercy to those who remain alive, that we all may seek the eternal safety He offers. Yeshua's sacrificial death provides eternal life for all who are destined to die from sin…that is, all that come to Him in faith.

God is the true, righteous, and final Judge of us all. Will you be found in Him when He judges? If clothed in His righteousness, the Lord Yeshua, we will escape His judgment for sin. Trust in Him completely and know He is not only a just judge, but a "merciful, gracious, longsuffering" God who "abounds in goodness and truth". [Exodus 34:6] With judgment looming — let's also be about His business today!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

Take Us Into the Holy of Holies!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Most Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is upon us. Beginning tomorrow evening, Yom Kippur marks the holiest of all holy days on the Hebrew calendar. It is the anniversary of the fall of man and it is the climax of the time of Teshuvah (repentance). Starting tonight night and into Saturday, all around the world, the religious will fast from food and water and read prayers in the synagogue, as will the majority of traditional Jews.

Atonement means "covering". On this day, according to the Scriptures, the High Priest would slay a goat and sprinkle its blood on the Ark of the Covenant so that the sins of the people might be cleansed and they could have favor in the sight of God. This act was clearly a foreshadowing of the covering that would come when Messiah would die for our sins, our perfect and innocent Lamb.

Today, there are no more sacrifices and no more Temple. Yet the religious are convinced that their sins will be atoned for by doing their best to keep the law and doing good works. Sadly, there is only one recipe for true atonement — trusting in the One of whom was prophesied long, long ago — Yeshua haMashiach, Jesus the Messiah. His blood has covered over all of us who believe so that our sins might be washed away, that we might have favor in the sight of God and that we might have our names inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Let's take some time to repent and get right with the Lord, ourselves — allow the Lord to reveal our sins, both known and unknown. Perhaps God will call you to fast and pray along with us for Israel as well. We look forward to the wonderful day when ALL Israel shall be saved!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

Shana tova oo-metukah!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Tonight begins one of the highest holy days of all the feasts of the Bible, Rosh ha Shana (Head of the Year). According to Jewish tradition, Rosh haShana is the Day of Judgment, the day when the righteous have their names inscribed in the Book of Life and the wicked are judged for their transgressions. It is a day to commemorate the creation of the world, the creation of mankind, and the Akeida, the binding of Isaac to the altar. On this day only the ram’s horn (or the shofar) is blown in synagogues all over the world to commemorate the ram that was provided in lieu of Isaac’s life and call us to repentance.

After the sound of the Shofar, many eat apples dipped in honey and say “shana tova oo-metuka” (to a good and sweet new year)!

For those of us who know Jesus, this is a day to remember our sweet redemption in Him. Every portion of Scripture that is read and remembered in this service paints a beautiful portrait of our salvation in Jesus our Messiah, Yeshua haMashiach.

This is a time of conception of goals and aspirations of things we desire to attain for His Kingdom during the next year. It is a time to pray for the world to unite and press forward under the banner of Messiah. It is a day of salvation for all mankind both Jew and Gentile alike.

Let’s take this opportunity to crown Him as King of our lives once again and determine to live every breath, every moment, every day for His honor and glory in this new year of 5775!!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Salvation