Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 24, 2012

"Noah did everything just as God commanded him." Genesis 6:22

What can you expect from God?

You can expect Him to keep His promises! All of them.

When you believe that it strengthens you! It strengthened Noah!

How do I know?

I read the story! You read it! You think about it.

God asked Noah to build something he had never built (a boat) and maybe something he had never even seen before. And it was not just a boat, it was a big one!

And Noah was asked to build this big boat to save himself and his family from something no one had ever seen before (a flood) caused by something no one had ever seen (rain). How hard is that? Would you do it?

What would motivate a farmer to become a boat builder who prepared for an unprecedented catastrophy and do it for 120 years while his neighbors ridiculed him on a daily basis? Faith! Faith in a promise of salvation for his family. Obviously, he expected God to keep His promises!

Imagine a day in the life of Noah. He is up early each day to do his farm chores so he can feed his family and then out to the building site to begin sawing wood and pounding nails and pitching tar. As he does these physically demanding tasks a neighbor stops by and the conversation begins:

"Noah, what are you doing?"

"I am building an ark as the Lord has commanded."

"Oh. What's an ark?"

"An ark is a large boat."

"But why build a boat here? There is no water anywhere near."

"There will be!"

"What? What are you talking about? Everyone says you're nuts and I am beginning to believe it! There is not enough water around here to float a boat that big!"

"There will be!'

"Say, what? How?"

"There is going to be a flood!"

"What is a flood?"

"It is a lot of water caused by a whole lot of rain."

"What is rain?"

Can you imagine how tired you would get of having that conversation day after day after day for 12 decades? I can't.

What gave Noah that much strength? How did he do it that faithfully and patiently and persistently for that long?

Noah found strength by trusting in the promises of God! He believed that God would deliver him and his family if he did would build the ark.

Guess what? He was right!

Do you need spiritual strength? Are you running low on patience?

Find strength in the promises of God!

May 23, 2012

"This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.  Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.  Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.  So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.  Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark —you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”  Noah did everything just as God commanded him."  Genesis 6:9-22
Do you remember the first time you heard the captivating story of Noah and the ark? I do!

I will tell you why.

The reason I will never forget is because it was the night I accepted Christ as my Savior! I had gone forward at the end of a Sunday night when the pastor gave the invitation to a couple of dozen people at the Bourbon Bible Church in Bourbon, Indiana. The year was 1957.

Being a shy seven-year old I asked my mother to go with me and, of course she did! When we got to the front of the church the pastor seemed a little surprised that someone had responded and was fumbling for a way to explain salvation to a child.

He made a quick recovery and regained his wits. Asking us to come into an office off the side of the church platform he asked me if I knew the story of Noah's Ark, to which I replied, "No" and he proceeded to tell me. I liked it!

Having explained the story to me he then explained that salvation was like the ark and if I would accept Jesus as my Savior it would be like coming into the ark and I would be safe. That made sense to me - so I prayed the sinners prayer with the pastor and became a Christian.

Over the 55 years since that night, I have enjoyed the safety of the Ark of Salvation and learned to trust God's promises like Noah did. And like Noah, I have sailed safely through numerous storms.

One of the great themes of this amazing epoch is that God's promises can be trusted - always!

As I close our my HIMpossibility series this week I will be drawing from this story based on this expectation of God: YOU CAN EXPECT GOD TO KEEP HIS PROMISES.

In fact, not only did He keep His promises to Noah, but He also placed a rainbow in the sky as a reminder!

If you will flee to the ark of His salvation, and stay there, you will ride out every storm of life and enjoy many rainbows!