Come As You Are!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

An artist went searching the streets of New York City for a model to pose for a portrait he wanted to call — 'The Prodigal'. One day was passing Central Park and saw an impoverished beggar lying on a bench and thought: 'He's perfect! That man would represent the prodigal son beautifully in my painting.' He asked the beggar if he would be willing to sit for his painting and he would gladly pay him for his time. Naturally, the beggar agreed.

On the day and time appointed, a man knocked on the door of the artist's small Brooklyn studio. Excitedly, he answered his door only to find a clean-shaven young man dressed in a suit and tie standing before him. Disappointed, he said, "You must have the wrong door sir, the law office is down the hall". "But you made an appointment with me," the man replied, "No," said the artist, "I don't believe I've ever seen you before. I made an appointment to meet with a beggar here at this hour." "Well," said the man, "I am the beggar." "You?" said the artist, "You're the beggar?" "Yes, he replied. After you left me last week, I found some money and thought I would get a new suit of clothes before you painted me." "Oh," replied the artist, "Well, you're just not right for the job."

The beggar wanted to show himself a masterpiece before the artist — but the artist wasn't looking for that. He wanted to create the masterpiece himself! Likewise, when we come to God, we must not come in our own garments of self-righteousness. We must come before him transparent, with no inhibitions, or worries, or pride. God has already seen our weaknesses and faults. We're not hiding anything from Him anyway.

The Master Artist has an appointment with us today. Let's not come disguised as someone else. Let's come as we are so that He can make a priceless masterpiece.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

Beware of the explosion!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

by George Whitten, Director of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 6:27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

On Monday, two volcanoes erupted in Indonesia which forced air flights to be rerouted. It reminded me of another volcano that erupted in 1991.

Mount Pinatubo, dormant for over 500 years, began to erupt on June 12, 1991, and three days later exploded with twice the power of the 1980 Mount St. Helen's eruption. The release of power blasted a cubic mile off the mountaintop and the earth shook for eight hours. The eruption produced an ash cloud that rose over 50,000 feet into the atmosphere. If that wasn't enough, Typhoon Yunga then struck the island nation with fierce winds and torrential rains which mixed with the ash creating what the locals called "Black Saturday!"

The United States was forced to abandon and eventually close Clark Air Force base, located just a few miles from Mount Pinatubo, due to the devastating blanket of fallen ash. When a vulcanologist was asked to account for the widespread damage which sent thousands of American soldiers and Filipinos fleeing, he replied, "When a volcano is silent for many years, people forget it's a volcano and begin to treat it like a mountain."

Now here's a lesson from nature. We should always be aware of how our sinful nature has the potential to erupt. It would be a big mistake to ignore this possibility simply because it has lain dormant for a season…even a seemingly long one.

Solomon writes a profound statement in his book of Proverbs, which, when paraphrased goes something like this; "Can someone play with fire in his lap without incinerating his clothes?"

The enemy of our souls would love for us to believe that we can somehow play with sin, without it negatively affecting our spirit and our walk with the Lord — oh how deceptive Satan can be!

D.L. Moody was a fairly simple man and I love the way he dealt with sin. He said, "When you're thinking sin, think scripture!"

Let's be on guard! Sin is a dormant volcano which can erupt at ANY moment and set our house on fire. How do we prepare? First, by being aware of the possibility…then…;"Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee". [Psalm 119:11] Let's meditate upon His Word, allowing it to sink deep into our minds and our hearts, so that the only fire which burns there…is the fire of God's Holy Spirit. Amen.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

Confound the Wise of this World!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

If He was a man of the world, Yeshua (Jesus) would have chosen the elite of His day to accomplish His mission — however He used simple fishermen. These men were considered uneducated, lacking "social status", wealth or worldly distinction of any kind — yet these "simple" men were the ones the Lord selected to build the Kingdom of God.

When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, God didn't send an army to deliver them, He sent a single man. But a single man of God was shown to be greater than the most powerful kingdom on Earth.

Throughout the Bible, we read of the Lord choosing and using the weak things of the world to confound and shame the wise and powerful. God seems to love revealing His awesome power through humble vessels, so that no flesh can glory in His presence.

Don't allow the enemy to convince you that God cannot use you because you are "flawed", weak, or seemingly inconsequential. No, instead, remember that He uses the base, despised, nonentities of this world, ordinary, often broken, people…to do extraordinary things. Our God is not looking at your wealth, your social status or your education — He's looking at your heart! If your heart is willing and your life is available, then He is more than able to perform miraculous work through you for His Kingdom's sake. With so much work to be done, don't allow the enemy to stifle or steal the Lord's vision for your life –- He has a plan to use you to confound the wise of this world, and to bring to naught the things that are!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

No matter how you feel — you can always be a light!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

D. L. Moody told the story of a man who was crossing the Atlantic by ship. He was terribly seasick and confined to his cabin. One night he heard the cry "Man overboard!" But he felt that there was nothing he could do to help. Then he said to himself, "I can at least put my lantern in the porthole." He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it would shine out into the darkness.

The next day he learned that the person who was rescued said, "I was going down in the dark night for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. As it shone on my hand, a sailor in a lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in."

All of us have weaknesses — and times of weakness. The fact of the matter is, though, that weak or not, we need to muster up the strength to put our lights in our portholes for the sake of the dying and the lost among us. It's so tempting to sulk in our weaknesses, and stay in our cabins — but God expects more of us. He has given us the strength to do all things — even move mountains! There are so many people around us sinking in despair. God has chosen us to reach out and light up their lives!

Let's do something extraordinary for the Lord today. Be bold, speak up, let's get beyond our weaknesses!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

Beware of your thoughts!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Picture this — you come home from a long day of work — you walk into your living room — plop down on your couch in exhaustion — and there in the corner of the room — your eyes are drawn to something moving — it's a rattlesnake! Do you say to yourself, "Oh, I'm too tired to worry about that now, I'll deal with it later?" Of course not! You'd jump up right away, find a bat or something of the like, alert your family, call the neighbors, call 911, call the fire department and who knows what else! It's a life-threatening situation!

In the same way, we need to consider it an emergency when a negative thought enters our minds! We immediately need to jump up, put our armor on, alert others and ask for help if needed and take cover in the promises of God! When those unrighteous thoughts enter our minds, we must deal with them immediately — lest they linger and fester — and before we know it, poison our entirety.

Sadly this is a battle that continuously rages on. We must renew our minds daily — and even hourly in order to remain in a place of peace. Let's not wait 'till the enemy has us in his grip! Let's put him in his place at the first sign of attack!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Weakness