What is “His Encouragement?”

Thursdays are always a really long day of the week for me. Since I’m a pastor, Sunday feels like the natural beginning to my week.  By the time I get to Thursday, I am tired and drained. That’s why I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday. We are calling the series, “His Encouragement.”

It is my prayer that these words of encouragement inspired by scripture will help to carry you through the rest of your week  My prayer is that this weekly series will be a much needed of reminder that God loves you.

Black words on a green background read, "His Encouragement: Words from Scripture to Strengthen Your Soul"

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:28, NIV

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See more of my travels on Instagram! 

Have you ever seen a manatee?

This is my friend, Mrs. Manatee, and I met her at the World Aquarium in Dallas this past May when I had the opportunity to participate in a continuing education opportunity for my job. When I saw her, I was absolutely fascinated. I couldn’t stop starring. My husband tells me that I stood in the aquarium and gazed at that manatee for well over twenty minutes.

I couldn’t help it. She was one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen. As she and I stood, starring into each other’s eyes, I almost cried because she was so beautiful. I couldn’t help but think how big- how beautiful- how miraculous- God’s creation truly is!

I did feel a tear come into my eye when I remembered the verse found in Genesis, in which God gave humanity dominion over the earth and instructed us to be good stewards over all creation (Genesis 1.28).

The concept of  stewardship dates all the way back to Genesis and the dawning of creation. God instructed humanity to take care of God’s beautiful creation and to tend the Garden of Eden.

 

We Are Called to Be Good Stewards of God’s Creation

A white words on a black background with a picture of a castle: The steward managed the affairs of the king for the benefit of the king. We are to manage what God has entrusted for the benefit of our King!

Here is a sad fact about manatees: They are a classified as a species that is vulnerable and at risk of becoming endangered. Every year, these gentle giants are killed by boats. These beautiful creatures have a tendency to get too close to humans. Often, their docile nature costs them their lives when they get too close to the spinning propellers found on many water craft. Our constant encroachment on their natural habitat, as well as our destruction of their natural environment, has caused manatees to become a threatened species.

We have not been good stewards to the manatees. Sadly, one does not have to look far to see that, in many ways, we have not been good stewards of God’s creation. There may come a time in our children’s lives when there are no more manatees, no more whales, and no more wild spaces.

 

Hope for Humans, Manatees, & All Creation

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But the story doesn’t end there- the story of God’s love for humanity is full of hope! The Bible is God’s love letter to humankind.  The Bible tells us that through Christ, all things are possible (Matthew 19.26).

Here is some more good news: According to the Washington Post, manatees were removed from the endangered species list in 2017. They are now classified as “threatened,” or “vulnerable.” Many people have been working very hard to save the manatees and it seems that God has blessed their efforts. According to CNN.com, the manatee population has experienced a “dramatic turnaround,” since the 1970’s.

Today, I rejoice because we worship a God who cares for the sparrow and the whale. We worship a Creator who made the manatees, the plants, and the animals. I praise God because, with Christ, all things are possible.

Now, one of my goals in life is to visit the manatees in their natural habitat. My friend and fellow writer at Faith ‘N Turtles captured this wonderful film of these amazing creatures. Aren’t they beautiful?

I praise God for the beauty of creation.

(Click HERE to read her whole blog post about her trip to see the manatees at FaithNTurtles.com)

 

With God, there is hope for the manatees. 

With God, there is hope for you and I. 

With God, all things are possible. 

May we be inspired this day to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. 

Until Next Time-

Rev. Rebecca


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Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series! 

Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home