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Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy News

Psalms 105:3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

As we close out the fall feasts here in Israel I’m meditating on the deeper significance of this season. I’m realizing how God’s ordering of the festivals contains a deeper meaning than one might see at first glance. It’s not just about apples and honey and building tabernacles. The Lord gave the Jewish people these feasts as a beautiful picture of His ultimate plan; repentance, faith, atonement, forgiveness and joy. He carefully ordered these feasts to call us to a profound internal reflection designed to lead us from sin and alienation to reconciliation, fellowship, freedom and great joy.

Beginning with Rosh HaShannah and the days immediately following, (commonly called the Days of Awe) we are invited to a season of deep self examination and repentance, culminating at Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This highest holy day reveals the way in which God forgives our sins through the offering of a spotless lamb, which lays the foundation for the joy of reconciliation with God and one another experienced at Sukkot.

As we can see, this entire sequence is a precise picture of the Lord’s New Covenant redemptive plan. We cannot enter the joy of the Lord except through repentance, faith and redemption through His Son.

Enter the joy of the Lord! Let’s examine ourselves today, confess our sins, trust in the absolute forgiveness of God through faith in His Son — and REJOICE!!!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

Rejoice — the Celebration Awaits Us!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Zechariah 14:16-17 And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.

The God-ordained Feast of Tabernacles is a prophetic feast, and one which will be kept by all the people of the world in the coming age. In resurrected bodies, we will be celebrating this feast, year to year in Jerusalem during the millennial reign of Yeshua (Jesus)! Can you imagine it — celebrating with the King of Kings! If that's not something to anticipate, I'm not sure what is!

Right now, there's quite a bit of turmoil in the world, which is producing a level of uncertainty and anxiety that I've not witnessed as a believer. Yet despite all of these scary situations, we have something wonderful to look forward to — and if you're like me, you can't wait!

Don't let the times we’re living in control your life; instead, use these turbulent times as an opportunity to display the goodness and grace of God in your life! As Yeshua (Jesus) said, when you see these things begin to take place — lift your heads high because your redemption draws near!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

Get Your Lamps Lit!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Matthew 25:1-10 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

During the feast of Tabernacles in Yeshua's (Jesus') day, the temple priests would set up four great lampstands with golden lampholders, which they would light with the aid of enormous ladders in the Temple courtyard. The lighting of these lamps began the celebration of the "Great Hosannah" (Hoshannah Rabbah, in Hebrew). The celebration went on in to the wee hours — with music and dancing and rejoicing, while the beautiful lights lit up the night. Jerusalem was a breathtaking, illuminated city on a hill.

The following morning the Jewish people would recite the prayer for the eighth day of the feast — "Be thou praised, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who makest light and causes darkness, who makest peace and createst all: the light of the world as the treasure of life…" Yeshua said, "I am the Light of the world.".

God is Light, He loves light, He creates light, He sheds light, He desires light. Lamps with oil produce light, both for those who carry them and for those who see the light bearers. "You are the light of the world", He said. So the Lord also expects light from and His people. The light of God in our lives comes from His Holy Spirit, and oil has always been associated with the Spirit's ministry in the lives of believers. Burning oil produces light. If we are spiritual "virgins"because we are betrothed to one Heavenly Husband, we ought to bear His light in this dark world. Yet He has told us that some virgins will not have the wisdom to do it, so it is a warning to us; a warning not to quench the Spirit, but be filled with Him and be the light of the world.

Some of us, though virgins, have been walking in darkness. This could change. The choice to light our lamps belongs to us. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been given to all true virgins. The wise among us will "buy oil" and maintain our lamps thoroughly filled. To "buy oil" means to "spend time" with the One who supplies it, asking Him to fill us up, and to clean out the impurities in our "lamps". You know what this means for you personally, and I know what it means for me. We ought to think about the joy of the wedding, and prepare our hearts with His light… illuminated beautifully for all the world to see, and to be ready! At midnight, when the Bridegroom suddenly appears, our joy will be unspeakable.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

Fill your lamps!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Matthew 25:1-10 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

During the feast of Tabernacles in Yeshua's (Jesus') day, the temple priests would set up four great lampstands with golden lampholders, which they would light with the aid of enormous ladders in the Temple courtyard. The lighting of these lamps began the celebration of the "Great Hosannah" (Hoshannah Rabbah, in Hebrew). The celebration went on in to the wee hours — with music and dancing and rejoicing, while the beautiful lights lit up the night. Jerusalem was a breathtaking, illuminated city on a hill.

The following morning the Jewish people would recite the prayer for the eighth day of the feast — "Be thou praised, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who makest light and causes darkness, who makest peace and createst all: the light of the world as the treasure of life…" Yeshua said, "I am the Light of the world.".

God is Light, He loves light, He creates light, He sheds light, He desires light. Lamps with oil produce light, both for those who carry them and for those who see the light bearers. "You are the light of the world", He said. So the Lord also expects light from and His people. The light of God in our lives comes from His Holy Spirit, and oil has always been associated with the Spirit's ministry in the lives of believers. Burning oil produces light. If we are spiritual "virgins"because we are betrothed to one Heavenly Husband, we ought to bear His light in this dark world. Yet He has told us that some virgins will not have the wisdom to do it, so it is a warning to us; a warning not to quench the Spirit, but be filled with Him and be the light of the world.

Some of us, though virgins, have been walking in darkness. This could change. The choice to light our lamps belongs to us. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been given to all true virgins. The wise among us will "buy oil" and maintain our lamps thoroughly filled. To "buy oil" means to "spend time" with the One who supplies it, asking Him to fill us up, and to clean out the impurities in our "lamps". You know what this means for you personally, and I know what it means for me. We ought to think about the joy of the wedding, and prepare our hearts with His light… illuminated beautifully for all the world to see, and to be ready! At midnight, when the Bridegroom suddenly appears, our joy will be unspeakable.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

Look to the Lord of blessing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 5:3-11 Then He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, nevertheless at Your word I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught such a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Yeshua's (Jesus') feet, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" For he was astonished, and all that were with him, because of the catch of the fish which they had taken, And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Yeshua (Jesus) said to Simon, "Fear not, from now on you will catch men." So when they brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Sukkot is a festival about rejoicing in the blessings that God has provided, but let’s be sure our focus is on the Lord of blessing – instead of the blessings!

We read in Luke that Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples to go into the deep waters and let down their nets for fish. When they did, their nets were filled up with fish to the point of breaking. Being fishermen and businessmen, they may have been tempted to start doing business. I mean, think how much they could make!

But God had a different purpose. The disciples' occupation as fishermen was just a vehicle for God to demonstrate His great power and love. He wasn't blessing them with fish so that they would get excited about fishing — He was blessing them with fish so that they could get their eyes off their fishing and on to the greater call He had for them! Thankfully, they left the fishing business and went off with the Lord to do great and mighty things.

Let's make sure we're not getting up wrapped up in fish! We seek the Lord for His blessings, prosperity, and success. But true discipleship is focusing not on the blessings of the Lord, but on the Lord of the blessings!

We can rejoice in our blessings this Sukkot season, but let's not dwell on them! Let's set our eyes on the Lord and the calling He has for us. When He sees that we have pure and willing hearts, He will be faithful to use us to accomplish His glorious plan!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Sukkot