Just before a recent sermon, I realized that I was not right with the Lord. I had let this situation pierce my heart and I was not giving my situation to the Lord. Once I became aware of my need to confess, I quietly knelt before the Lord; confessed my sin; and I asked for His forgiveness. Also, I prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In a split second, the Presence of the Lord engulfed me; and I knew I was right with God.
The most important relationship that we have is our relationship with the Lord. Sometimes that relationship gets off-track because of sin in our life or just plain ignorance about the ways of the Lord. The essence of Christianity is not religion but our relationship with God. Keeping our relationship vital and strong is crucial to our life of faith.
We begin our relationship with the Lord by inviting Jesus into our life. In John 1:12 (ESV), the Apostle John says it this way: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” All humans are sons of Adam or daughters of Eve; but when we receive Jesus, we become a child of God. A simple way to receive the Lord into your life is the ABC approach: A – Acknowledge Jesus as the Lord. B – Believe that his death on the cross will atone for your sins. C – Confess your sins to the Lord asking for His forgiveness and for His Presence in your life.
If we have a personal relationship with the Lord, it is important to nurture our relationship to deepen and grow it. Spending time with the Lord is one of the best ways we can nurture our relationship with Him. Prayer, Bible reading and study, and worship are helpful ways to spend time with Him. I often find that silence is an important part of nurturing my relationship with the Lord – that is, being still and quiet and listening to what He might have to say to me. Oftentimes, the Lord will make me aware of some sin in my life or some person with whom He wants me to connect.
In the busy, noisy, techno, demanding world in which we live, it is easy to allow the busyness of life to push our relationship with the Lord to the background of our lives. I find I must make a constant effort to keep moment by moment fellowship with Him. This fellowship is where our relationship with Him can be most meaningful and powerful. Involving Him in all the decisions, discussions, and duties of the day brings God’s wisdom, counsel, and Presence into my everyday life. Get right with the Lord and stay right with Him. Psalm 46:10 (ESV)– “Be still, and know that I am God. . .”
We have a God that loves us so much, and God’s love for us is expressed to us through His “covenants”. Also, God’s “covenants” reveal to us His grace and faithfulness. In today’s message, we will discuss God’s Covenant with Noah. A “covenant” can be defined as an “oath or promise of God”. In a Biblical covenant: 1) God establishes the Covenant; 2) God always implies that “I am your God, and you are my people” – God desires a personal relationship with us; and 3) God sets the covenant’s terms and rulers.
In Genesis 6:5-22, the corruption of humanity, through mankind’s sin after the Fall, became too much for God, and He became sorry that He made mankind. From Genesis, we know that God “grieved in His heart” because of human evil, corruption, and violence. However, Noah found favor in the eyes of God. Noah was righteous and blameless, and Noah “walked with God”.
After destroying all humans and all other inhabitants of the earth, except for Noah, his family, those animals that Noah collected for His arch, God “blessed Noah in Genesis 9:1-29; and God established His covenant with Noah in Genesis 9:9-1:10,11-13: “’Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you . . . that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.’". Therefore, this covenant is not only with Noah and all other living things on the earth; but God’s covenant with Noah is with us too! The “rainbow” is a sign of this covenant between Noah and all humanity; and this “rainbow” is, also, a sign of God’s love, grace, and mercy.
In 1 Peter 3:18-21, the Apostle Peter relates Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, which is a redemptive covenant for our salvation, to God’s earlier covenant with Noah: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . .". In this text from 1 Peter, we learn that our “baptism” represents our Salvation through Jesus. Like Noah and his family, we have been saved “through the water” not “by the water”. Therefore, “baptism” is another covenant between God and all humanity, through God’s Grace, to save mankind from itself if we accept God’s Grace. God does not see us, now, in our sin like humanity’s evil of Noah’s time; rather, God sees us through the eternal (like the “rainbow”) “Justifying” covenant blood of Jesus.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13).
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Genesis 6:5-22; Genesis 9:1-29; 1 Peter 3:18-21; Psalms 28: 1-9.
WEBSITE LINK TO DR. BEACH’S SERMON VIDEO: https://awordfromthelord.org/video-archives/
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