Ahoy Mateys! I pray that these devotions bless ye in a big way!
|Pearls From The Sea|
Beware the Shoals!
By MaryLu Tyndall
Lighthouses were erected to warn passing ships about the location of dangerous shoals, reefs and the close proximity of land. If the captain of a ship ignored the warning lights, he could strike a shoal or run his ship aground. If he did so during a storm, his ship would be lost.
Everyone knows the story of the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt and the ten plagues God sent on the Egyptians. Every time Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to demand that he let the people of Israel go, Pharaoh would not agree. So, God sent plagues to convince him. But each time, Pharaoh refused Moses' request-or as Scripture says, he hardened his heart. In fact, he did so seven times before God finally gave up on him. After that, it was God who hardened Pharaoh's heart for him. If you read the text, starting in Exodus chapter 5, you'll see phrases like "Pharaoh's heart grew hard" or "Pharaoh hardened his heart" seven times, then after the sixth plague, it says, "But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh." And from then on, it is the Lord who forbids Pharaoh to comply with Moses.
When you think about it, this is a frightening prospect. We like to think of God as loving and merciful and patient and filled with grace. And He is! But as we can see from Scripture, He doesn't wait forever. God gives us chance after chance after chance throughout the course of our lives to accept Him, to seek Him, to do His will; but there may come a time that God will remove His hand from a person who continually rejects Him, and He will leave that person to navigate the waters in the darkness.
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
(2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 NIV).
So, don't be hard-hearted toward God. Don't steer your ship into the shoals. The good news is, it takes only one glance in His direction, and He'll open his arms wide to receive you.
Rock of Ages
By Debbie Mitchell
Sirens are female creatures from Greek mythology whose singing lured men to their destruction. All these sailors had to hear was the sound of the sirens' voices and they would sail to their deaths.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock (Isaiah 26:4 ESV).
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song(Psalm 95:2 NIV).
Whenever I listen to modern Christian music, I can't help but compare it to the hymns of past generations. Even though the music is drastically different, the messages are always the same. The important thing to do, while listening to "new" music, is to really listen to the words. The song may have a great beat, yet the words may land flat. Or, in the case of some old hymns, the beat may be outdated, yet the words speak to you in a wonderful way. I always try to make out the words, and if I cannot understand them (which I find in a lot of today's music), I look up the songs online and read the lyrics. Too many young people today (and some old) are too wrapped up in singing a song without really knowing what they are actually singing about.
My children love to sing, and they have beautiful voices. I've told them on several occasions that when they sing a Christian song, make sure they are singing to the Lord and not just singing to hear themselves sing.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me;
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
No matter what age we are living in, God has not changed. He is and always shall be our Rock of Ages. No matter how old we become, I pray we never forget that. Whether we listen to new age Christian music, gospel or old hymns, we need to listen to the words, not just to the music. Some songs may carry the label "Christian", but it's the lyrics that tell the truth.
In the Greek mythology of the sirens, if the sailors had actually listened to the words of the sirens' songs, they would have realized it was a trap, and their lives would have been saved.
Have a blessed SONday, Mateys!!!!