Ahoy Mateys! I pray that these devotions bless ye in a big way!
|Pearls From The Sea|
The Rainbow after the Storm--God's Covenant
By MaryLu Tyndall
All of us deal with storms in life. However, have you ever considered the storms that God has to deal with? He has an entire planet full of rebellious children who are wreaking all kinds of havoc, mayhem, and destruction. I imagine, like any Father, He is terrible grieved by what He sees, perhaps even to the point of wanting to wipe out His creation and start over again. He did just that in Genesis.
Yet after Noah and his family survive the flood and walk out of the ark on dry land, God makes a covenant with them, as well as with every living creature:
I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with ever living creature that was with you--the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you--every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth (Genesis 9:10-11 NIV).
Now, a covenant is a promise, a vow or a pledge, sort of like a legal binding contract, and it's important to note that God never breaks His covenant.
God also uses symbols as signs of His covenants with man, Circumcision symbolizes the covenant God made with the Israelites. Water baptism symbolizes the death of sin and the resurrection to new life for all who believe in Jesus. In God's covenant with Noah, he uses a rainbow.
Now, here's the interesting part: "Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind."
I always thought the rainbow was placed in the sky for us to remember God's promise, but in truth, God says it's so He will remember! But why would God need to remember anything? He's God, after all. I believe it's because God knew that in the future, He would once again look upon the earth and see nothing but violence and evil and be sorry for what He had made. And when in His anguish He would desire to wipe us all out with a flood, He would pull the contrct He made with Noah from the heavenly files and fling it into the sky so that He wouldn't follow through with His desire.
So, the next time you see a rainbow, don't just stop and admire its beauty, stop and give praise to God for withholding His hand of judgment and instead, extending His hand of love, patience and mercy to a wicked world--because I have a feeling things are far worse today than they were in Noah's day.
By Debbie Mitchell
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV).
Christ will return one day, and we need to be prepared. Our faith needs to be strong enough to withstand any and all attacks. To be brave and strong not only means that we need to be physically fit, it also means that we need to be mature in our walk with God. The more we study God's Word, the braver and stronger we will become.
Verse 14 says to "Do everything in love." Which means, no matter what life throws your way, never let your anger speak for you.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44 NIV).
But knowledge puffs up while love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1 NIV).
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV).
Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV).
...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,...(Ephesians 3:17 NIV).
These verses show how important 1 Corinthians 16:14 truly is to God.
Can you show love, no matter what?
Are you courageous enough to stand until the Lord returns?
Are you one of God's "Captains Courageous"?
Have a blessed SONday, Mateys!!!!