Are you shining?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

It was a stormy night in Birmingham, England, and Hudson Taylor was to speak at a meeting at the Severn Street schoolroom. His hostess assured him that nobody would attend on such a stormy night, but Taylor insisted on going. "I must go even if there is no one but the doorkeeper." Less than a dozen people showed up, but the meeting was marked with unusual spiritual power. Half of those present either became missionaries or gave their children as missionaries; and the rest were faithful supporters of the China Inland Mission for years to come. Hudson Taylor was going to be faithful to speak even if it was to only one person. Today, God may be calling you to speak to that one person.

D.L. Moody once said: “God has called us to shine, just as much as Daniel was sent into Babylon to shine. Let no one say that he cannot shine because he has not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have. Daniel probably did not have much influence down in Babylon at first, but God soon gave him more because he was faithful and used what he had."

God is looking for those who are willing to be faithful! He wants to use us in ways we could never or would never have imagined – but in order for that to transpire we need to be faithful in the little things and we need to be available when He calls!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

Start living on the Edge!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

Psalm 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The first thirty years of my life were spent in Baltimore Maryland and I have many fond memories there. One of these is a trail in the woods by the Patapsco River. I used to go fishing there with my dad and spent many a weekend hanging out with my friends, wading in the water.

Jogging down that same trail yesterday, I noticed for the first time an enormous oak tree growing right along the riverbank and the Lord reminded me of this passage. Each of us is a tree and the river is the Word of God. How big and fruitful we become depends on our proximity to the river.

It's encouraging to know that despite the spiritual drought around us — we don't have to wither! Everything we do can prosper but we must sink our roots deep down at the very edge — as close as we can get — to the living river of God's Word.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

Let's get serious!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Years ago, I heard an anointed missionary and personal friend speaking on the consequences of sin. He told a story about a pair of brothers he knew quite well.

In his teenage years, the older brother went through a time of rebellion against his Christian upbringing. He went to a few parties, drank a little alcahol, tried a few drugs and quickly felt convicted of his behavior and repented before the Lord. While it was only a short few weeks of rebellion, it made a real impression on his younger brother. You see, he was looking up to his big brother. And in those few months of watching him rebel, he decided that trying out a worldly thing or two himself was okay to do.

The older brother readily overcame that time of rebellion. He went on to Christian college and grew to be a wonderful man of God. He traveled all over the world teaching, reviving and leading many to the Lord.

As he came to this part of the story, my anointed missionary friend began to quiver.

"That older brother was me," he said, tears rolling down his cheeks. And my younger brother, he whimpered, is dying of drug addiction today…and it all started during my time of rebellion."

"I would give just about anything to take back that few weeks of backsliding just to see my little brother living for the Lord today, but I can't. I can only pray that you who are listening today will realize that the consequences of sin are no joke".

What a painful example of the consequences of sin. We never know who's watching and how they may be affected by our actions.

The job we have as Christians is no small one — whether you realize it or not, there are so many who are observing our lives to see where our faith will lead us. There are many who are hungry for Him and so much work to be done! Let's strive to get serious about God and influence many for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

Come As You Are!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

An artist went searching the streets of New York City for a model to pose for a portrait he wanted to call — 'The Prodigal'. One day was passing Central Park and saw an impoverished beggar lying on a bench and thought: 'He's perfect! That man would represent the prodigal son beautifully in my painting.' He asked the beggar if he would be willing to sit for his painting and he would gladly pay him for his time. Naturally, the beggar agreed.

On the day and time appointed, a man knocked on the door of the artist's small Brooklyn studio. Excitedly, he answered his door only to find a clean-shaven young man dressed in a suit and tie standing before him. Disappointed, he said, "You must have the wrong door sir, the law office is down the hall". "But you made an appointment with me," the man replied, "No," said the artist, "I don't believe I've ever seen you before. I made an appointment to meet with a beggar here at this hour." "Well," said the man, "I am the beggar." "You?" said the artist, "You're the beggar?" "Yes, he replied. After you left me last week, I found some money and thought I would get a new suit of clothes before you painted me." "Oh," replied the artist, "Well, you're just not right for the job."

The beggar wanted to show himself a masterpiece before the artist — but the artist wasn't looking for that. He wanted to create the masterpiece himself! Likewise, when we come to God, we must not come in our own garments of self-righteousness. We must come before him transparent, with no inhibitions, or worries, or pride. God has already seen our weaknesses and faults. We're not hiding anything from Him anyway.

The Master Artist has an appointment with us today. Let's not come disguised as someone else. Let's come as we are so that He can make a priceless masterpiece.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

More Fruit!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness

Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

A friend of ours sent us this very interesting anecdote and it really touched us.

"You know, I never understood why Jesus cursed the fig tree in Matthew 21. As I was reading this week it hit me. The fig tree, they say, is supposed to have fruit at the same time as it has its leaves. Jesus came to the fig tree expecting to find figs and found nothing; the tree was merely offering the "appearance" of fruitfulness. It was saying, 'come eat' when it had no food to offer. It was being deceptive.

That is the same reason why Jesus called the Pharisees white-washed tombs full of dead men's bones. They had only the "appearance" of righteousness. They were saying 'come to us for life and righteousness' but they had no life to give. They were bound up in legalism.

The fig tree is symbolic of the Pharisees and all of us Christians if we have only the appearance of Christianity but have not the Spirit of life as the fruit of God flowing from us. Jesus said they have a form of Godliness but deny the power. If we don't have the power then we are being deceptive; we have leaves but no fruit; we have religion but no life; we have on the fancy robes and pray fancy prayers – we look good and sound good but it is all show".

Hmmm. Good one, eh? We need the fruit! We can't go on without it! Let's give our hearts to the Lord once again ask for the sweet fruit of His Spirit to grow in us in a new way today. There's so much work to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Self-Righteousness