Give the Lord your best!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” Isaiah 29:13-14

An ancient story is told of a King of Spain who was to visit a poor country village. Upon hearing of his plan to visit them, the people seemed excited to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and love for their king. But the villagers didn’t have much to offer.

In the midst of their quandary someone proposed that, since so many villagers made their own wines, they might each choose his best wine, and combine them in a barrel to present to the king as a gift from the village. So they did, each wine-maker bringing a flagon with which to fill the barrel. Then, they anxiously awaited the arrival of their sovereign.

When the King arrived, he was ceremoniously presented with a silver cup and invited to draw wine from the barrel. As he filled his silver chalice, he was surprised when he tasted only water. Where was the wine? Each villager had reasoned, “I’ll withhold my best wine and give water. There will be so many cups of excellent wine poured into the barrel that mine will never be missed.

Here was a town full of people whose private greed completely overcame their public enthusiasm. The indictment of Isaiah the prophet suited them perfectly: “these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me..

Yet our God looks at the heart, and He knows well when we are going through the motions of showing love and admiration for him, without any truth or sincerity.

Hypocrisy is a serious offense to our God. He would rather we honestly withhold then pretend to be generous. How often do we act publicly to be seen by men in a certain light, while in fact, our motive is self-seeking? So God will have to do another marvellous work to expose our hypocrisy, because of His love for us, for He knows when our “wine” is really “water“. But wouldn’t we rather offer our very best wine right from the start?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

Coming Through the Storm as a Worshipper

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

“So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians … Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying, ‘I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously!’” (Exodus 14:30; 15:1).

God wants you to come out of your storm a worshiper! He had made a way for you in your dark night and he has a plan to bring you out as a shining example to the world of his faithfulness to his people.

Most Christians are familiar with what happened to Israel at the Red Sea and how God miraculously delivered his chosen people. Yet, you may wonder what this incident has to do with making you a worshiper.

Here’s the scene: Israel encamped by the sea and the people were rejoicing in their newfound freedom. After four hundred years of bondage, God had led them out of the iron furnace of Egypt. As they reveled at their first taste of freedom, they were filled with the hope that freedom brings, singing and crying, “We’re free at last!” They were so excited by the promises God had given them.

This scene poignantly represents the Christian who has been delivered from sin — he rejoices in his newfound freedom from past bondages and he has a holy melody in his heart because he’s living out God’s promises. But then an attack comes! In the case of the Israelites, Pharaoh’s army attacked suddenly and unexpectedly, sending shockwaves throughout the camp. At the hour of Israel’s greatest peace, the enemy sought to devour them; at the very height of their freedom, during their hour of greatest hope, Satan tried to take them out.

The children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold … they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord” (Exodus 14:10). In spite of their fear, the Lord supernaturally protected Israel and brought them through in victory (see Exodus 14:31).

When Satan comes at you and tries to defeat you, just as Moses told the Israelites, the Lord would say to you, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today … The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (14:13-14). And like Israel, you can come forth as a worshiper and sing aloud in triumph!

by David Wilkerson