Choose the better part!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

So often in ministry, the Lord deals with my own spirit, saying – "You need to step back and get refocused!" And we all know how hard it is at times when we get so busy with the normal every day stresses of life tugging at our limited time.

This morning I was re-reading the story of Mary and Martha, and how Mary chose the better part, while Martha was doing the housework. Now let's not deny the real importance of housework and practical matters; let's face it, with nobody doing that stuff, what would get done? Life would be a mess! But according to Jesus, something was wrong, and Martha had her priorities out of line. And He made it very clear, Mary had chosen the better part! Mary preferred and chose relationship and intimacy with the Lord over the physical preparations and housework associated with His visit. And Jesus blessed and protected her choice.

And so the Lord has had to remind me, over and again of the importance of intimacy with Him…before getting down to the work!

It's a constant temptation to slip into an emphasis on DOING the work at hand; and even in our own personal prayer time, to be mainly focused on those "urgent ministry needs"…and completely forgetting the most important thing, the "better part"- intimacy, personal communication, just BEING with Him.

Let's resolve to choose intimacy with Jesus! Let's choose the better part! Let's resolve to spend time with the Lord and develop that intimate relationship He so wants with us. That way we will constantly experience how deep and awesome His love for us is. And it will make the work we're called to do — so much easier!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Learn to Wait!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Today, Europeans are bracing for electrical outages today as a solar eclipse visible today will disrupt solar generated power straining its electrical grid and teens in Europe are preparing to live without any electricity, and (can you even imagine) – without a cell phone! For the first time in their lives they enjoyed the privilege of experiencing what life was like decades ago.  Forced to slow down, unable to text or "Facebook", everyone who lost power entered a "moment" of technological communication silence, and they waited anxiously for the powers that be to restore their normal life patterns. How many actually enjoyed this, or found some kind of relief from the tyranny of communication technology, I wonder? How many actually took any time out to “wait on the Lord”? I have to wonder if the Almighty had much more company than He was used to during this time. I kind of hope so…

The above passage speaks of "losing heart" except for the expectation of faith in the goodness of YHVH. How long could you go without electrical power before you might begin to "lose heart"? At what point would "waiting on the Lord" become your only source of hope or encouragement? How much, really, do we depend on earthly power? And how much on the power of God? Webster’s definition of "wait", is “to stay or rest in". It's a quiet place of abiding. And this kind of waiting is expectant, because in it you are awakening your conscious relationship with the God of Creation, and you have every reason to expect His comfort, love, and restorative power to flow from your communion with Him.

But for many of us, it's hard to enter silence, isn't it? So when the power goes off, we fidget until it's restored.

Is your heart weak and your earthly strength just about dried up? The word says, "Be of good courage, and wait on the Lord"; there is power and courage to be received simply by waiting on Him. Having experienced it countless times I can tell you confidently, He will renew your strength, encourage and prepare you for whatever comes next. So I say, again, “Wait on the Lord!”

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Excuse me, could you direct me to the promised land?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

It is among popular "Christian" belief that an abundance of material and other blessings follow those whose hearts are truly after God and that those who seem to consistently struggle to that end, cannot possibly be in God's perfect will. I want to submit to you a realization I had about this very thing. I think we might have it all backwards.

Almost all the great men of faith I've read about in the Bible had to spend some time in the wilderness. Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, just to name a few.

God had to make them desperate. He had to cause them to be quiet and undistracted enough to hear His still, small voice. He had to make them hungry and thirsty enough to cry out for a miracle.

Interestingly, the word for wilderness, in Hebrew, is "meed-bahr". And meed-bahr comes from the word "leh-da-behr", which means to speak. Hmmm.

Some of us are walking through the desert right now. It's hot by day — there is only rugged, thorny, sandy terrain for miles and miles and there seems no end. By night, the wind is unbearably cold and we stumble over things we can barely see. Snakes and scorpions live here. It seems like a lonely place.

But this is actually a place of blessing! It is for our growth, and ultimately for our prosperity that God has brought us here! Like it or not, the wilderness is where He can speak to us most effectively. It is the place He can most easily get our attention. It is the place we will cry out to God and truly listen for His voice.

Know that God is with you today! He is walking along with us through this wilderness and longing to comfort us! If we would only cry out to Him and heed His voice! The promised land awaits! And there's so much work to be done!!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Embrace the Power of the Resurrection and the Life!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 2:6-7 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Acts 13:33-34 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

The central fact of the gospel message is the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), declared in Psalm 2, the begotten Son of God. In 1952, Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in Cave 4 called the "Messianic Apocalypse". The Messiah's ministry of resurrection is reiterated in these ancient documents with an obvious reference to Isaiah 61:1-3. The scroll identifies someone who "… will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor." It is clear that at least some of the authors of these documents clearly understood the central nature and ministry of the coming Messiah, most certainly based on their intimate knowledge of the prophetic writings in the Tenach (OT)…that ministry, resurrection of the dead.

This reality of the resurrection of Yeshua and His power to raise the dead cannot be overestimated. Death is the inevitable result of sin. Yeshua became sin, bearing all of it in His body, and then was raised from death to eternal immortal glory. This wonderful fact has proliferated throughout the world, the most important and powerful message ever delivered to mankind.

An illustration from our own time reveals the pervasive hope of Messiah's resurrection and victory over death. D.L. Moody the great 19th century revivalist was called on early in his ministry to deliver a funeral message. Searching the Gospels to find a funeral sermon given by Yeshua, he quickly discovered his search was in vain. Instead of ministering at funerals, Yeshua broke up every funeral he ever attended! Death could not exist where He was. And when the dead heard His voice they sprang to life, for He truly is "the resurrection and the life."

Are you feeling dead and worn out today? Then be reminded that your Savior is Life and that He brings it abundantly wherever He is, and that death is overcome in His Presence. So GET IN HIS PRESENCE! Repent, pray, worship, read, dance, delight, intercede, seek Him with all your heart and soul. His Life is waiting to refresh, restore, and revive you.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Hello? Can you hear me now?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Here in Israel, cell phones are all the rage. You wouldn't believe it but parents even buy cell phones for their kids and send them to school with them in their schoolbags. I'm talking about six and seven year old kids! While it is true that part of the reason for this cell phone craze stems from the fact that violence goes on here daily and people want to be able to contact one another in the event of an emergency, I would still say that it's somewhat excessive.

Mark Twain was once asked to record a Christmas message on an early gramophone. This is what he said, "It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, and admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage–every man and woman of us all throughout the whole earth–may eventually be gathered in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone."

Not that technology is a bad thing, but I think we have become entirely too dependent on it! Telephones, cell phones, televisions, computers, X-Boxes, MP3's. what's next?!

Sometimes I feel like we just need to go back to the basics. Put all those things away in a closet somewhere and just sit down with the Word and with our Father. He wants to whisper in our ears sweet words of encouragement and wisdom. He wants to tell us of His wonderful plans for our lives and reveal to us the extraordinary mysteries of His Kingdom. But we're too busy taking calls!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship