Happy Thanksgiving!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this."

You see, there is always a way to thank God, even in the worst of circumstances. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Let's experience a true happy thanks giving today — let's will to thank God, and do it happily! As we draw near to Him with our thanks, He will draw near to us and bring victory!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

Counting the Omer — and Your blessings!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Leviticus 23:15-17 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

In the Tenach (Old Testament), the Lord commanded Israel to count the Omer (the Barley Harvest) beginning the day after the sabbath during Passover, 50 days to the Biblical Festival of Shavuot (Pentecost).

A remarkable fact is that for nearly 2000 years the Jewish people had no homeland, and no harvest to count – yet they continued to count the Omer, counting a harvest that did not exist. Then, about 130 years ago a historical miracle began as the Lord drew the Jewish people back to their ancient homeland, the land of Israel. The land was revived from dusty desert, and the barley harvest was restored, (as well a multitude of other crops), so that now, the Omer is counted as it was in ancient times, with an actual harvest!

Now, if the Jews in diaspora (dispersion) could count the days of a non-existent harvest, in expectation of a divine blessing which they earnestly hoped for, then they set an excellent example for us who trust in the Messiah they gave to the world. Since faith is the conviction of things NOT seen, we, also, can begin to give thanks for blessings we're praying for, but have yet to receive. Our unsaved loved-one, chronic illness, broken relationship, financial disaster, loss of vision…..all these are trials which are testing and maturing our faith.

We can rejoice in them, even as we give thanks in the expectation of victory, restoration, and a harvest of righteousness which is on the way. And may these come to many of us by Shavuot, this year (June 3rd).

Thank the Lord for the blessings you're about to receive — they're on the way!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

Go tell it on the mountain!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

We came across this quote in our search for devotional material and thought we'd share it with you in light of the holiday season. The author is not known but he or she is surely wise.

"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer….. but our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."

Yes, God sent us a Savior — that we might know His forgiveness. But not only that we might know it. God sent us a Savior so that we, who have been given the privilege of this knowledge, might go and share the good news of His forgiveness with all the world!

Let's cherish His forgiveness today. Let's revel in it and let all who don't know that they can have the same!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

Happy Todanukah!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 10:22-23 At that time the Feast of Dedication (Chanukah) took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.

John 10:28-31 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.

For the first time in over a 100 years, Thanksgiving and Chanukah will fall on the same day, November 28th, 2013. Some have termed it "Thanksgivukkah", however my wife calls it, "Todanukah". (The Hebrew word for "thanks", is "toda".) According to one calculation, the next time that Thanksgiving and Chanukah will align perfectly will be 79,043 years from now! I expect we will all have gone to our reward by then.

Many people don't realize that Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated Chanukah. In the gospel of John, it was during the feast of Chanukah that He was questioned as to whether He was the Messiah or not, and His amazing responses provoked His questioners to threaten to stone Him. But one of His statements contains a promise which ought to motivate us to the deepest dedication, and most profound gratitude:

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."

What an amazing assurance we have there!

As this "Todanukah" holiday combines the themes of dedication and gratitude, remember these precious words of Yeshua, and rededicate your life with thanksgiving. You've been given eternal life that no one can take from you. The Lord Himself said it on Chanukah. That is certainly something to be thankful for!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

Be thankful — in the end God will work it out!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Most of you know the story an Indian named Squanto and his first thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrims. However, you might not know that over a decade before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, English traders were trading with the Indians throughout the region. Squanto’s amazing story really originated then.

An Englishman named Captain Hunter had kidnapped several Indians and sold them into slavery, one of whom was Squanto, sold into slavery in Malaga, Spain. There, Squanto was bought by a Spanish monk, who treated him well, freed him from slavery, and taught him about Christianity. Eventually, Squanto made it back to England, and worked in the stables of a man named John Slaney. It was there that Squanto learned English.

Upon Squanto’s return home in 1618, he learned that his tribe had been wiped out from an epidemic, probably smallpox brought by early English colonists. As you might imagine, he was devastated and couldn’t understand how God could allow this to happen.

Shortly afterward, a friend named Samoset introduced him to the Pilgrims. Because of Squanto’s history and understanding of English, Squanto was able to communicate with them. He also taught them how to survive there, how to fish, hunt, and how to plant corn. As a result, Governor William Bradford asked him to serve as his ambassador to the Indian tribes. Bradford accredited Squanto for the survival of the Pilgrim colony and saw that without God's providential hand in providing Squanto — the colony would not have survived.

When I first heard the story of Squanto, it reminded me of the story of Joseph and the providence of God, even in the worst of situations. Joseph was sold into slavery, thrown into prison, accused and abused…. but all of these things were worked out for the purpose of saving the Jewish people. The story of the survival of the Plymouth colony rested on an Indian who was kidnapped, sold into slavery, returned home to see his tribe wiped out, and yet through these events was used by God to preserve the Pilgrims who came to America with this purpose, "for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith". (Mayflower Compact, November 11, 1620)

We have so much to be thankful for this thanksgiving season – even despite the tough times in which we live. In Israel, we’re thankful there’s a lull so that we can celebrate thanksgiving without the noise of sirens sounding. While times are hard, we’re thankful to be alive for such a time as this! So we’re entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise today, knowing that our God is providentially in control of everything that is going on around us. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends in the States — we’re celebrating with you in the Negev!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Thanksgiving