Follow in the footsteps of Messiah!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Continuing this study of Mashiach Ben Yosef (Messiah "Son of Joseph"), I want to focus on another aspect of the rabbis' understanding; that Mashiach ben Yosef will come first, and prepare the world for the Kingdom of the Lord. According to their teaching he will do this by fighting God’s wars against "Edom", which is collectively understood as the enemies of Israel in the time preceding the restoration of the Messianic Kingdom by Mashiach "Ben David" . This preparation is known as Ikvot Mashiach – the Footsteps of Messiah. Their expectation was that the entire world would be thus readied for the arrival of Mashiach Ben David, the glorious King.

Messianic and Christian believers understand that Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of Mashiach Ben Yosef in His first coming, and we anxiously await His return to fulfill the role of Mashiach Ben David. During this long interval, we who know Mashiach "Ben Yosef", the Suffering Servant, Yeshua, (Jesus) also "walk in His footsteps", preparing the world for His return.

This "walk" also engages us in a war. "Edom" represents the earthly man, the man of flesh, an enemy against whom we struggle daily, facing many battles and obstacles as we prepare ourselves and our brethren in holy living for our expected Bridegroom's arrival. Walking in His Footsteps means living a life of expectant preparation, and calling others to this walk as we preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom to all the nations.

Let us follow faithfully in His footsteps, fighting in the spirit, the battle with "Edom", our sinful nature, and winning souls through holy living and sharing the gospel of salvation at every opportunity.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

Watch the Wheelbarrows!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this, the authorities put guards up around the factories.

At a timber-works in Leningrad, one guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich with a wheelbarrow containing a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. "All right, Petrovich," said the guard, "What have you got there?" "Oh, just sawdust and shavings," Petrovich replied. "Come on," the guard said, "I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out."

The worker tipped and nothing came out but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. "Petrovich," he said, "I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go."

"Wheelbarrows, my friend, " said Petrovich, "wheelbarrows."

Is your attention being diverted? Think about it. Are you (allowing yourself to be) preoccupied with something that seems innocent, while the real, significant, substantial matter is slipping by every day, unnoticed? The strategies of Satan to divert our eyes onto “sawdust” and miss "wheelbarrows" are many. What is the "sawdust" in your life, in mine? For some of us, it might even be a fascinated preoccupation with Last Days events, which diverts us from the mandate to make disciples…for others it might be neglecting our children for the sake of "ministry". If we take the time to look, each of us really knows how we miss the "wheelbarrows" for the "sawdust". But just like that savvy guard, we ought to wise up quickly and identify the problem. Right?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

Learn a lesson from the balloon!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

In today's news, Bloomberg reported that according to a recent study, Americans can add as many as two years to the nation's life expectancy if they stand up more often and watch fewer hours of television. What a concept — move around and you'll live longer! Watching the report reminded me of an incident which happened during a party that we threw for our daughter Elianna. Her little one-year-old brother Obadiah was playing with a left over balloon which suddenly popped in his face. Obi was startled, and about to burst into tears. Thinking fast, I grabbed an uninflated balloon from the table, blew it up real big and then let it go. Boy did he love that! He laughed hysterically as he watched this balloon zipping around the room until it ran out of air and plopped down on the floor. Obi was fine, and as we played this new balloon game, a funny analogy floated into my mind.

I was thinking… we need to be like these balloons, filled to the max with God's breath, and then….. let go, to experience the ride of our lives! And…equally important, we need to recognize when we're running out of air — when we're deflated and depleted of His power and anointing. Then we need to run back to Him for more, because receiving the infilling of the Spirit is not a single event, but a lifetime of repeated refillings, so that we aren't living or serving in our own strength.

The Lord hasn't entrusted us with His power to sit around and watch TV — but to activate us for the work of the Gospel, and the blessing of the saints; to do great things for Him in the power of His Spirit wherever He may take us. Let's be filled again today! Ask, seek, knock, read, worship, meditate on His promises, get FILLED — you don't want to sit idly watching life pass you by…. do you?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

Be a glimmer of hope!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Most people have never heard of the first overseas missionary from America to Burma, Adoniram Judson. Judson was a brilliant man who learned to read when he was only 3. He went to college when he was just 16. He graduated valedictorian of his class at the age of 19. He was the son of a pastor, having been raised with Godly values, however while in college, he met a student named Jacob Eames, a deist who denied the miracles of the Bible. By the time Judson finished college he had turned completely from the Lord. For a short while, he lived a vagabond and reckless life, until a series of God-incidences turned his life inside out.

During this time, he left to visit his uncle, but instead, unexpectedly encountered a pious young man who amazed him by his strong Christian convictions, yet without being austere or dictatorial. The Lord placed this young man in the path of Judson to recapture the heart of the prodigal.

The very next night, he stayed at a small village inn where he had never been before. The innkeeper apologized that his sleep might be interrupted because a critically ill man was staying in the next room. The following day, as Judson was leaving, he asked the innkeeper about the sick man, and was informed that the man had passed during the night. Judson then asked the innkeeper, “Do you know who he was?” The man replied, “Oh yes. Young man from the college in Providence. Name was Eames, Jacob Eames.”

Upon hearing it was his old friend that just passed, Judson could hardly move. He stayed there for hours pondering death and eternity. He thought, if Jacob Eames was right, then his death was just a meaningless event. Judson could not believe it, and said, “That hell should open in that country inn and snatch Jacob Eames, his dearest friend and guide, from the next bed-this could not, simply could not, be pure coincidence.”

From that moment forward, Judson knew God was real. He rededicated his life and became a missionary in Burma for nearly 40 years. Before he died, he translated the Bible into Burmese, and planted over 100 churches.

Perhaps God will place someone in your path today because He wants you to be a light so that his or her life might be turned around! With the greatest harvest fast approaching, each of us is called to the mission field – the one right outside our door!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

He Opens the Doors No Man Can Shut!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Revelation 3:7-9 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

The book of Isaiah, often called the Old Testament Gospel, reveals that a child was to be born and his name called "The Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father". We know that this Child was Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, that He is the unique Son of God, the express image of the invisible God. The throne of David was to be given to Him and He now holds its "key", a symbol of the right and authority of His reign, which will be consummated when He returns to this world and restores the Kingdom to Israel [Acts 1:6-7].

The glorified Yeshua, speaking to the church at Philadelphia, mentions this "key of David", reminding them of His authority, and expressing His approval of their deeds, patience and faithfulness to His word, and His love for them. The Lord's approval comes with a mandate. Knowing that they have but a little strength, notwithstanding, He sets before them an open door that no man can shut. They are to move out, through this "door", having been approved, and now equipped to represent Him.

"Philadelphia" means "brotherly love". Can it be coincidence that this church is encouraged with a reminder that the beloved psalmist/King David's key and authority are now held by Yeshua, who sends them on a mission of love?

Those of us whose patience has been tested, will also receive His approval, His protection, and His mandate, just as the church of Philadelphia did. Since God is love, and love is patient, our preparation of patience will equip us with His power to fulfill His mandate, and to go through His "open door". So doing, we will hasten the coming of His glorious Kingdom. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Soul Winning