Your Reward is Before You!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm (z’roah in Hebrew) shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.

Revelation 22:12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."

Isaiah tells us that the LORD'S Arm shall rule for Him and that He is coming with reward — and a similar passage in Revelation declares that the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) is coming to reward His saints.

We live this earthly life recognizing that we are “strangers and pilgrims” [Hebrews 11:13] in this world — but are working now in full expectation of a heavenly future. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world!"

We know we were made for another world, where the treasure we have stored while working here will neither rust nor corrode, nor be stolen. If you're looking for a pat on the back now [not that praises shouldn't be given or received], you've missed the point of ministry.

This reminds me of a story. There was a husband and wife who served many years in the ministry as missionaries in a far away land. As they returned to the States, the arriving ship was greeted by a brass band. Their initial thought was that this was an arranged greeting to honor them — but soon discovered that a dignitary was also on the ship. They collected their luggage and booked a cheap motel room. While sitting on the bed, the husband started to cry and said, "We've served God for many years. We've got no money, no house, and when we've returned home, there's not even anyone to meet us!" His wife looked at him and said, "Hon, we're not home yet!"

We're not home yet! Don't believe for a minute that your work in this world is going unseen in Heaven. "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which ye showed toward his name, in that ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister." [Hebrews 6:10] Let's be earnestly seeking His praise that when we see Him face to face, He may say to all of us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!" A true homecoming…and a true reward!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

In Times of Extreme Drought — Find Your Treasure!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 33:6 Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, And the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure.

As California enters its third year of an intense drought, with nearly 60 percent of the state now in an "exceptional drought", it reminded me of a story that happened in Israel.

It was 1986, in the midst of a three year drought, when two brothers who lived in a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee made an incredible discovery. As these two fisherman monitored their equipment on the lake, they noticed something glistening in the sun covered in mud. It was a fishing boat. Upon deeper examination, archaeologists determined that these two brothers had discovered an ancient boat from the time of Yeshua (Jesus). It's was called the "Jesus boat" and is now located in a museum next to the Sea of Galilee.

Hidden under water for centuries, the only reason it was discovered was that the severe drought had lowered the lake surface so drastically; so that even when no one was looking for it — this treasure was discovered totally unexpectedly.

You may have noticed — it's becoming more and more spiritually dry in this world and sometimes I wonder, will anything good ever come out of this mess? Yet I think the same thing can happen for us as happened to those two fisherman. When things get low, and dry, and sparse, suddenly when we least expect it, God can reveal treasure that we couldn't see or know about because everything was abundantly okay. Maybe it's a friendship that blossoms because of the pressure or need … or, maybe just a new and deeper insight into the Lord's own sufferings; or maybe a new spiritual gift of encouragement … there are many possibilities, and I think we ought to be looking for them, though they might appear when we least expect it. 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

Another Pearl of Wisdom For You!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

Matthew 13:45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Some time ago, we wrote about pearl harvesting as an illustration of how the Lord takes us into His "shell" like an irritating grain of sand, and over time, covers us with His beautiful covering, forming us into polished and precious gems for his glory and delight. This image of sanctification takes the metaphor in one direction: but here is another interesting thought. The beautiful pearl inside the oyster cannot be seen or enjoyed without a great price being paid. The oyster must die. It must be torn open in order to find the treasure within. This speaks to me of the original foundation and source of our beauty. Yeshua (Jesus) our Messiah had to be bruised, afflicted, torn and killed so that the beautiful treasures God intended us to be from the beginning, could be discovered and released from the darkness of sin.

Each one of us is a treasure in the Lord's sight. We are His pearls of great value for which He paid the highest price! What a great honor — even the greatest honor — to be called sons and daughters of the Living God! Through His sacrifice, we become holy, and obtain the beauty and glory of eternal life.

We so bless the Lord when we radiate the polished beauty He alone can give us. Our works shine forth before men, glorifying our Father in Heaven and preparing the way for his coming Kingdom. Let's remember who we are and walk with this beautiful radiance. There are so many people who need to see, and know Him.

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

Remain Faithful!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

In the early 1800's a preacher gave a message to call men to join him on the mission field in Africa. In the audience were only a few women along with a boy. The pastor knew that few women were expected to volunteer to face harsh African jungle conditions. However, he gave the message; and no one responded. What he didn't realize was that he had touched the heart of a little boy whose name was David Livingstone. This boy would grow up to spend the rest of his life ministering to Africa's unreached tribes.

David Livingstone was touched by the faithfulness of a pastor who gave his message when there seemed to be no obvious fruit from its delivery – and that made all the difference! The lesson is this: we are not in charge of results, but only responsible to be faithful to what God has given us to do. You may not be seeing any fruit from your obedient labor at the moment – it may appear next week, next year or a century from now, but in its time the fruit will appear, and may be greater than you could have ever imagined. Heaven will, one day, reveal the fruit of lives we have touched by our faithfulness!

Be encouraged – and don't give up. Your faithful stewardship will produce its true harvest which will never fade or pass away!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

Bring Forth Treasure!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.

When the apostle Paul compared our lives to clay pots, he focused not on the earthen vessels, but rather the contents of those vessels. Jars of clay deteriorate over time, become chipped, cracked, and eventually broken. However, the real value of those ancient pots was not in the clay containers themselves, but in what they contained.

We human beings tend to focus on the frailties and imperfections of our decaying "vessels", looking, characteristically, on the outward form rather than the substance within. But the inward reality is what matters to God, and ultimately, to us as well, since that reality is His living Presence within us; a treasure of wisdom, power and love with inestimable value.

The Lord's evaluation of us is not by outward appearance, which is corruptible and deteriorates with time. His indwelling Spirit, His Living Word, and the dynamic intimate relationship into which He invites us— are where the real treasure lies!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Treasure