Faces Reflect; Reflect on Faces, and Behold His Beauty!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.

The Hebrew word for "face" is "panim", (the Hebrew letters, peh-nun-yud-mem), literally "faces", a plural word. Normally, when we think about God, we focus only upon one of His "faces” at a time. God is "love" – or He is "holy"– or He is "just"— or He's a God of "wrath". Yet, of course, ALL these "faces" are His at once; and so the word "panim" accurately reflects the truth of God's multifaceted being. As we get to know Him better we begin to appreciate the complexity of His nature and the fact that our focus on one "face" is a very limited view, since there's so much more going on in His amazing "Personality".

Now the same four Hebrew letters which form the word "face", (peh-nun-yud-mem), also form the Hebrew word for "inside" or "interior". * This would seem to contradict the first meaning, "face", since "face" is the external part of a person or thing, not the inside. Yet here, as with many Hebrew words and concepts lies a deep truth, a paradox which expresses two sides of reality. The "face" is intimately connected with the "interior", and may accurately reveal the true "interior" of someone. There's even a science (or perhaps you might call it an art) of reading peoples' true attitudes and character by looking carefully at their facial expressions. So while we don't "judge a book by it's cover", we may begin to know a person better by carefully looking at her face…because it is true that the face often says something real about the inside of a person. Yeshua (Jesus) said, "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light." Inside and out, we're connected.

And this is something God wants us to do with Him; to meditate, or gaze upon His "panim", His "faces", and so to receive from His interior depths. Someday, we will see Him "face to face", and begin to know Him in ways which are unimaginable. Yet it is possible, by His Spirit within us, to begin now.

God desires us to look deeper into who He is, even as we only look or meditate on one of His "faces". King David expressed his own unique desire in these words: "One thing I have asked from YHVH, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of YHVH all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the YHVH and to meditate in His temple." God's faces and His "interior" are one continuous eternal wonder. Let us spend time simply beholding Him!

* In Israel, the Ministry of the "Interior" is the first "face" you meet when interacting with the State on visa issues which determine your internal status in the Land. In Hebrew it's called the "Misrad HaPanim" (Office of the INTERIOR), literally, "Office of the Faces"!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Have a heart after God!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 89:3-4 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. [Selah in Hebrew means “pause and ponder this!”]
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David [in the Hebrew New Testament it’s written – Yeshua HaMashiach ben David], the son of Abraham.

New Testament genealogies of Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Christ) all identify Him as the son of king David. It was universally understood from the Tenach (OT) that the messiah would be descended from David and that he would restore the Davidic monarchy to its ultimate and most universal expression, even that this king would reign and sit on the throne forever.

Why was Yeshua's identification with David so significant? One reason is that David is the only man in the Bible about whom the Lord said, this is “a man after My own heart”. Yet we know well David's imperfections … adultery and murder — so why would God say this about him? I believe it was David's lifelong love for and abandoned worship of the Lord, and also his contrite heart (Ps. 51) and the depth of his sorrow and repentance which showed this relationship to be the most important and precious in his life.

God isn’t expecting perfection from us — His Son has provided that. Yeshua alone is the Man whose heart and actions are flawless. But David exemplified a man whose love and respect for his God were constant, if imperfect, a man after God's own heart. And this is the heart that God is seeking today, contrite, worshipful, and filled with respect and love for our God.

David provides a wonderful example for us who are as imperfect as he was. We may fall and fail miserably – but its how we get up that makes the difference. Our constant desire to preserve this most precious of all relationships will show that we too have a heart after God. I know I want to hear Him say, "Yes, you are truly someone after my own heart!"

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Enter into His rest!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

In Israel, Shabbat (the Sabbath) is an extraordinary day. People spend much effort to get everything perfectly prepared for this special season that lasts from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. For those of you who have ever visited Israel, you'd know that Friday morning is the time that everyone here is rushing around doing errands before everything closes. The shook (outdoor market) is packed, the buses are full, everyone is doing last minute shopping, cleaning, cooking and preparing for sundown, when all will be closed, the streets will be empty, the shops will be shut down and there is nothing to do for the next 24 hours but rest.

There is a Shabbat for the people of God and we must be diligent to enter into it. We do not labor to be justified, for our justification is only in Yeshua (Jesus) and in Him all the work for our salvation has already been accomplished. But it does take some labor to enter in. We must spend time preparing ourselves in worship and prayer and meditation on His word! But praise God! He has given us the ability to enter into His Shabbat rest, peace, joy and all the fullness of His blessings every day of the week if we will only prepare ourselves to receive it!

Let's prepare to enter into His perfect peace today. Shabbat Shalom!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Abide!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

How do we produce much fruit? What is the Lord saying?

In the modern world, the work ethic is, achieve and produce by working longer and harder! The focus is on getting results through human effort — we've become product oriented and the bottom line is……the bottom line! But God's way runs contrary to this approach — His way is much more oriented toward process and relationship rather than performance and production. He IS interested in results which He calls "fruit"; but not by pushing or egging us on to work harder or longer.

The Lord's way is to work with and through us so that every result or product comes out of our abiding in Him, since without Him WE CAN DO NOTHING.

This is opposed to of the culture we live in today, and to human nature in general. Think about it — we're constantly bombarded with self-help books promoting self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-control — our society is all about SELF! But God's way of success produces the results which He values; results which are not produced by self-effort, but which grow out of an intimate relationship with Him, in which we seek to constantly abide.

The only way we can become abundantly fruitful is to understand the Lord's fruit-bearing process. As we lay down self-effort, our natural human independence, and seek communion with Him, abiding in the Vine, then His power, His will, and His desires will be realized in our lives, which then, will bear fruit that remains throughout eternity!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

Go tell it on the mountain!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

We came across this quote in our search for devotional material and thought we'd share it with you in light of the holiday season. The author is not known but he or she is surely wise.

"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer….. but our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."

Yes, God sent us a Savior — that we might know His forgiveness. But not only that we might know it. God sent us a Savior so that we, who have been given the privilege of this knowledge, might go and share the good news of His forgiveness with all the world!

Let's cherish His forgiveness today. Let's revel in it and let all who don't know that they can have the same!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Worship