Beware of Snakes!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

The legendary preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”

Often the question is whether something is "right" or "wrong”, and may be answered quickly and easily. But sometimes we are faced with a much more difficult discernment: the difference between “right" and "almost right”. I love to take the kids to the zoo, and whenever we go we always go into the snake house to look at all those beautiful slithering reptiles– but more often than not they are so well camouflaged that they aren't easy to find. Once you've spotted one, however, and recognized its markings, it becomes much easier. So George, why are you telling me about your trips to the zoo?

The Bible identifies our enemy as a serpent, and just like the ones at the zoo he camouflages himself extremely well. Satan knows that the Lord has given us authority over him, so he has to seek ways in which we fail to recognize him. He knows that defending ourselves would be much easier if he came out and said, "I'm here and I hate you!" So he lurks in the background, in unsuspected places waiting for an opportunity to steal, kill or destroy— and much of the time we don't realize he's there until we find ourselves in the thick of an attack. And what is his "camouflage" ? Looking as much like a good guy as he can, so we would never suspect his true nature and intentions. That's why Spurgeon gives us the advice about discernment between "right" and "almost right"; and why the Lord Himself told us to be "wise as serpents"!

Pray to become skilled in discerning your enemy's camouflage, remembering he comes as a "minister of righteousness" or an "angel of light" who knows how to blend into your world, and to look and talk like a friend. Don't go by feelings alone, be careful about flattery, know your Lord through prayer and let God's Word dwell richly in you being filled with His spirit. You want to be well defended against the subtlety of the Serpent, especially these days!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

Let your mourning be turned to Joy!

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by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Failure is never a pleasant feeling. It isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned to joy if we look at it the right way!

Thomas Edison was busy working in his laboratory at 2 o’clock one morning when an assistant came into the room and noticed that the inventor was smiling broadly.

“Have you solved the problem?” he asked. “No,” replied Edison, “that experiment didn’t work at all. Now I can start over again.” Edison could have such a confident attitude because he knew that the road to success is often paved with disappointments that serve to extend the road — not to block it. Each failure brought him a little closer to success.

Living a life of victory is not about being perfect — because we are human — and will always make mistakes. The key is learning how to get up after we have fallen. It’s natural to make mistakes — but it’s supernatural to learn from those mistakes and move forward!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

Be "His Beachhead!"

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 37:37-40 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.

A "beachhead" is the first objective, the primary location for a military force landing on an enemy shore, which, when secured can be used to gain further advancement.

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces landed on the beach at Normandy during the height of World War 2. It was an extremely dangerous mission. Failing to secure the beachhead at Normandy would have led to a major defeat on that day. While the allies did succeed in securing the beachhead the cost was very high as many soldiers lost their lives.

The enemy knows the significance of the beachhead, that it is a place of breaking through with great potential for further losses on his part, and he defends it with great intensity. At Normandy, brave, committed and valiant soldiers stormed the beach and opened the way for far greater victory for the allies.

The "beachhead" is a powerful metaphor for us believers in Yeshua (Jesus), who are involved in a spiritual war. Each one of us is called to be a "beachhead" for the Lord's love and truth, His influence, the breaking through of His light into this dark world.

Yet to be effective, our own lives must be increasingly secured by the Lord. For those of us who are serious and involved in the battle, the Lord will be shining His light into our own dark places and gaining ground and influence in our lives, characters, and actions. We ourselves will be His "beachhead" for breakthrough into the lives of others. But realize, it won't be easy or without cost!

Is God taking more and more control of your life? Is the battle for your heart and soul raging and seeming to become more and more costly? Remember D-Day and the lives laid down there for the sake of freedom; and remember both the cost and the incredible significance of the allied victory. Your sacrifices will reap eternal rewards, when Yeshua, Himself will say to you – "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" — "for you were 'my beachhead!'"

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

Take a Break!

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Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Leonardo da Vinci, who excelled at many things — as a painter, sculptor, poet, architect, engineer, city planner, scientist, inventor, anatomist, military genius, and philosopher said a wise thing:

"Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment…Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen."

Have you found this to be the truth? We have! Any time we step back from a situation or project and take some time away, we undoubtedly gain new perspective and insight about it. Now, I know not all of us can take a week-long vacation at a luxurious resort to take time away from our difficulties, but we can, and must take a retreat with the Lord (which by the way, can be much more restful)! The Word says He makes me to lie down and green pastures — It doesn't say He'd like us to, if we could try to take some time from our busy schedules — it says He makes us!

It's time to take a rest from all the things that make us weary today — ministry work included. Let's take some time out with the Lord and get quiet before Him. He has so many things He wants to reveal, if we would only give Him a chance to show us! He's has so many ways He wants to refresh us and refill our empty places, if we would only be obedient to His call!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

Have you been blind?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Although it is fictional, it is meaningful, nonetheless.

There once was a girl who hated herself. You see, she had become blind in her early teens from a rare disease. Not only did she hate herself but she hated everyone else too. She was angry at the world, angry at God, angry at everyone.

There was one person, however, who had known her for years and stood by her side through all this. It was her childhood friend, who loved her ever since grade school. Now in their 20’s, he wanted to marry her.

One day he worked up the nerve to ask her for her hand in marriage. Her reply was that if she could only see the world, she would marry him.

Soon after, someone donated a pair of eyes and she went to surgery to have her malfunctioning ones replaced. It was a miracle. After a few weeks, she took off her bandages and she could see once again. And who was standing by her side, as always? Of course, it was the man who loved her.

"Now that you can see the world, he said, “Will you marry me?" The girl was shocked to discover that he too was blind, and sadly, still refused his hand in marriage. Undeniably, he was devastated.

Sometime later, she received a letter from him, sharing his undying love for her. He signed it, "Please, my love, just take care of my eyes."

Hmmm. A sweet story. But few of us remember what life was like when we were yet blind to the truth of our salvation in Jesus — and who to thank for their labor in love and prayer and boldness in sharing that truth with us, no?

Let’s never forget where we came from and those who gave of themselves so willingly for the opening of our eyes. And let’s also strive to be the kind of people who are willing to lay down our life for a friend.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Truth