Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ship's Log  04.12.2015

Ahoy Mateys! I pray that these devotions bless ye in a big way!

SONday Devotions

Pearls From The Sea

Hoist Those Sails!
By MaryLu Tyndall

   Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going (John 12:35 ESV).

   In other words "Keep moving. Keep sailing!" Don't ever stop. Don't lower your sails for one minute. Why? Because darkness is pursuing you. 
   So, what is this darkness? It is anything that is not light. And God is light. Anything that is not of God is darkness. In Romans 13, Paul describes works of darkness as revelry, drunkenness, lewdness, strife and envy. But darkness is not just doing wrong. Darkness is a force. It is evil. 
   Ephesians 6 tells us there are spiritual beings who rule the darkness.
   In Colossians, we discover that the darkness is powerful.
   In 1st Peter, darkness is described as having chains to bind people.
   In 2nd Peter, that darkness is described as total blackness.
   We are told throughout the gospels that outer darkness is equivalent to hell.
   In 1st John, we are told that if you are in the darkness, you can't see the truth or even where the light is. 
   Darkness is Satan himself. And we know from 1 Peter 5 that he is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 
   There is an evil force following us, chasing us in fact. Sounds a bit scary to me. So, what do we do? How do we outrun it? Simple. We keep moving in and with the light.

   Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12 NKJV).

   Christianity is not a spectator sport. You don't say a prayer, get on the ship and then lollygag around and watch other people hoist sails and haul lines. You cannot remain stagnant. You must progress, move forward, learn, grow, allow the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, convict you, change your heart. This involves more than Sunday church and reading a devotional or saying a couple of prayers during the week. This is a lifetime commitment to a deep, abiding relationship with God. It means loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, body and strength.
   If you get lazy in your walk with God, darkness will creep up on you. It is subtle, slow as an insidious cancer. You won't notice it at first; but after a while, you'll see a change in your attitude, in the things you think about and say. Your desires will change. You'll slip back into your old ways. You won't pray as often, think about God very often or read your Bible. And before you know it, you're treading water in the midst of a storm and your ship is sailing away.
   So,hoist those sails, haul those lines, scrub those decks and commune with the Captain of your soul daily. Allow Him to guide your ship, teach you, lead you, love you. That's the only way to stay out of the darkness!

A Direct Route
By Debbie Mitchell

   I don't know about you, but I am glad that, thanks to Christ, we do not have to sacrifice animals for our sins anymore.

   Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the LORD (Exodus 30:10 NIV).

   ...and is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering (Leviticus 5:9 NIV).

   Could you imagine the smell in those days? They were constantly making animal sacrifices, so the air must have smelled like blood and smoke most of the time.
   That being said, my real gladness comes from the fact that we do not have to go through a priest when we want to communicate with God. At least not the kind of priest that you find in some churches. We can now go through Christ, the High Priest. He has given us a direct route to God.

   This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (Romans 3:22-25 NIV).

   He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2 NIV).

   Through Christ's death, our sins are forgiven. Before His death, sins were covered only temporarily through animal sacrifices. That's why the priests had to keep offering sacrifices over and over. 
   Let me use a cake as an example:
   When you bake a cake too long, a crack forms on top. No problem, right? All you have to do is simply take some frosting and cover over crack. Now, the crack may be covered, but you know it's still there. No matter how much frosting you use, the crack will not disappear.

   "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence (Isaiah 43:25-26 NIV).

   Christ has taken that"crack" and filled it in with His forgiveness. He doesn't just temporarily cover our sins, He takes those sins away. So, we have forgiveness of our sins, and we have a direct route to God through Christ. No more animal sacrifices...
                                             ****Jesus died ONCE for ALL***

Have a blessed SONday, Mateys!!!!

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