Be a bold voice for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 52:7-8 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.

In the 4th century lived a Christian named Telemachus, in a remote village, tending his garden, and spending much time in prayer. One day, he believed he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome, so he obeyed, setting out on foot. Some weeks later, weary from his journey, he arrived in Rome about the time of a great festival.The little man followed the crowd surging through the streets into the Colosseum. He saw the gladiators standing before the Emperor and proclaiming, "We who are about to die salute you." Then Telemachus realized that these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the cheering crowd. So he cried out in a loud voice, "In the name of Christ, Stop!" Yet the games began, so he pushed his way through the crowd, climbed over the wall and dropped onto the floor of the arena. The entire Colosseum watched this tiny figure rushing toward the gladiators, crying, "In the name of Christ, STOP !!!" The gladiators thought it was part of the show and began laughing. But in a few moments, they realized it was not part of the show, and then the crowd became angry. Telemachus stood his ground, insistently pleading with the gladiators to stop their bloody show, when one of them plunged a sword into the saint's body. He fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were, "In the name of Christ, STOP!!!"

Then a strange thing happened. The gladiators stood there looking at the tiny Christian lying there dead. A hush fell over the Colosseum. Way up in the upper rows, a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others followed. In dead silence, one by one, everyone left the Colosseum. The year was 404; and that day saw the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. Telemachus' martyrdom initiated an historic ban on gladiator fights by the Roman Emperor Honorius. Never again in the great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd. One tiny man's bold voice — one voice — reshaped Roman history, and saved thousands of lives, by fearlessly proclaiming the truth in God's name!

You may be a little man, or woman, spending time alone with Yeshua (Jesus). And He may be preparing you in the quiet place, for a moment when you will be called to raise your voice in some public square or stadium, to fearlessly stand for His truth, even if it might cost your life. Remember Telemachus, whose voice changed the world because God's word was behind it. Boldness is not bravado, but is rooted in deep conviction based on deep relationship and unswerving obedience. And it's effects resound through history. So cultivate that intimate relationship with Him, and be ready to be launched into the arena of death-dealing humanity. Your lack of fear and your love for others will reveal the Yeshua whom you love, to many souls.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

You were foreknown and foreordained for a purpose!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

These past few days, writing about the will of God, has reminded me of the prophet Jeremiah, and how the Lord knew him – even before he was in his mother's womb, and he was sanctified by God as a prophet to the nations. A similar foreknowledge and ordination of God belongs to us who are under the New Covenant. God's foreknowledge of His people is clearly stated in scripture. We were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless, and created in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) unto good works which He foreordained that we walk in them. It is clear that a life of holiness and good works is an integral part of our destiny in salvation, a fundamental aspect of His original plan for each one of us.

This plan, instilled in us even before the foundation of the world, seems to insure that good works will follow the believers in Yeshua. We could never work our way into heaven, our salvation is wholly an act of God – yet, just as Jeremiah's calling was foreknown and foreordained by God, our ordination unto good works was too. Walking in good works is walking in a manner worthy of our calling, it is powerful evidence for the genuineness of our salvation, and it is walking in the will of God.

From the foundation of the world, according to God's plan, you were created and ordained to live a sanctified life filled with good works. If you walk in His will for you, when your life is over, you may expect to hear these wonderful words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

Trust!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

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

I just came across this story through a friend and thought it significantly appropriate for us today. Maybe it is for you too?

An African king had a long time friend who always looked at everything positively, always saying "This is good!" even in the face of the most difficult situations. Hunting one day, he was preparing the king’s guns. When the king took his first shot, his thumb was blown off. Though the friend realized that it was his grave mistake for not properly setting the gun, and even in the face of this furious, bleeding king, he looked at him and said, "This is good!" The king was LIVID, and ordered that his friend be thrown in jail immediately.

A year later the king was hunting in an area where he should have stayed clear and was suddenly captured by Cannibals. They tied him up and were preparing to cook him when they realized he had no thumb. They didn't eat anyone who was less than whole so they released him. Upon his way home, the king pondered the event that had taken his thumb in the first place. He went straight to the jail, told his friend what happened and apologized in tears for sending him to jail like he did. His enthusiastic friend looked at the King and replied "This is good!"

The king, taken aback once again said "What do you mean 'this is good!' I sent you mercilessly to jail and you’ve been suffering for here for an entire year – how is that good?" His friend responded unwaveringly, "Well, if I had not been in jail, I would have been with you"!

Some of you may be following our plight, as for the last four days we have been trying to get out of Israel on standby tickets to America for our tour. All our luggage sits packed and ready to go. Even the airline is perplexed about how overbooked the fights have been – they say they’ve never seen the likes of it. This morning, the day we are supposed to finally fly, we awoke to a serious sherav (desert windstorm), rain, snow and hail around Israel, trains and even some flights were cancelled. We are shocked but trusting in the God of Israel’s perfect timing.

We hope this has encouraged you to trust in your difficult situation. Let’s leave it in the Lord's hands today, and all say it together in faith…. “This is good”!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

Do you remember when phones were for phone calls?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

When I was growing up in the 1980's we had a rotary dial phone. You put your finger in a numbered spot on a circular dialer which clicked as it returned to its place and registered the 7 or 10 numbers you selected. It took a full 10 to 20 seconds to complete a call and was really annoying if the number had a lot of 8s or 9s! Then came touch-tone phones. You pushed a button, it beeped, and you could make a call in two and a half to three seconds. Back in those days, a phone was simply an instrument to talk with someone voice to voice. Nowadays, phones are "smarter"; they are "smart" phones; and they do everything but make coffee for you in the morning, although soon I think you can program them to start your coffee maker before you wake up. You can send or receive emails, text, Facebook, "Skype", play games, study French, listen to music, record love letters, pay your bills, watch movies…your phone can be the interface for your life, and it is, for many people!

These days when you get a phone — a "smart phone", the first thing you do is to find the best “apps” for it. Thousands and thousands of apps are available, with more being created every 5 minutes. Your apps define the interface of your life. But I had this thought…

…there's God apps… throughout the Scriptures, and they're FREE — thousands of them, every one "GUARANTEED" to be a top-level "interface" for your life! Check out the love app! [Matthew 22:37-39] Or the Spiritual Fruit App! [Galatians 5:22] Or the Unity App! [Ephesians 4:2-6] The Scriptures are just filled with apps to apply to the interface of your life!

Spend some time in God's free "App Store" today, it's just an opened Bible away! Apply God's apps to your life — you'll be dialing into His will, purposes, power, and His infinitely interesting universe!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

Offer Your Body!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Over the past few days, I've been discussing the will of God and how to walk out His will daily in our lives. The Lord's general will involves the development of our character and the ways in which we relate to Him and to our fellow man. Much of this is the same for every believer. But each of us is unique, and each has a potential life vision unlike any other. God has an individual will for every soul that belongs to Him, an individually shaped destiny which varies according to our gifting and calling and purpose in His Body.

Not every believer knows or even desires to walk fully in that vision, calling, or destiny. At times we may try to think about or shape a vision for our lives, but the scripture says that we ought to be able to test and approve what is God's good, pleasing, and perfect will. How do we do this?

First, Paul urges that we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. What does this mean? It means that we make a conscious decision to devote our entire lives to the Lord, holding nothing back, to give ourselves to Him without reservation. The Old Testament sacrifices were animals which were totally offered to God and usually were burned on the altar in fire. Their aroma was pleasing to Him, as their flesh was consumed by the fire. As living sacrifices, we remain alive… but given over, as though we were burning on His altar. Our life is not our own, but is devoted to His purpose and pleasure. This is a conscious decision, a choice which every believer is urged to make. The Lord is then free to shape our lives, our experiences, our discipline, according to His perfect will and purposes for the best possible result.

Paul expands on this decisive act of devotion, saying we must not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. So the act of devoting our life to Him involves a decisive renunciation of the ways of thinking and the values of this present world. (Much could be said about this.) And it also involves a process of renewing our thoughts and values according to the thoughts and values of our Lord. These, then, are the conditions which the apostle gives that we may be able to test and approve what is God's good, pleasing, and perfect will for our lives.

It's often said that "God has a wonderful plan for your life." To me that has always sounded a bit "robotic", as though I were a rat who needed to find His way through the maze of some "Cosmic Scientist". But now I know that God's "plan" for me is anything but mechanical. Rather, it involves the profound realities of my unique individuality; things that He has placed in me and no one else, such that He can beautifully express Himself through my life, my personality, my gifts, relationships, and unique position in the world. Indeed, it is a "wonderful plan". But in order for Him to shape this destiny, He requires my unreserved consent, my offering… of MY BODY, a LIVING SACRIFICE.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Will of God