Jonah: Not Just Another Fish Story

Jonah 4:2You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – We are clear about the fish story, but less clear about the theme. We spend a lot of time debating about the fish (was it a whale, or just a big fish?  What would it be like to spend three days and nights in that environment? How could anyone possibly survive it?). We spend much less time focusing on the message of God’s grace.

A Grace That Pursues – If you knew, with certainty, what God wanted you to do, what would you do? Jonah not only ran away, he ran the other way. Was he uncertain? Did he fear for his life? Did he fear rejection? Was he afraid he would be wasting his time? Why didn’t he want to go? What about us? Would we run from God? Do we run from God?

Jonah ran (Jonah 1:3), but God pursued. God could have turned to someone else. After all, God’s program does not depend upon us. But God sent the storm (Jonah 1:3), God sent the fish (Jonah 1:17), God delivered Jonah (Jonah 2:10), God gave Jonah another chance (Jonah 3:1). Why would (should) God go to such trouble? Not because we deserve it, but because God is a God of grace.

A Grace That Shares – Jonah wanted the Ninevites to be judged, not to receive grace (Jonah 4:1). He was more concerned about a vine that no longer provided comfort to him than the people who  “cannot tell their right hand from their left.” But God sent the vine to teach Jonah. How about us? Would we rather see “evil” people condemned than receive grace?  What are the vines in our lives that we are so concerned about that we neglect those in need of God’s grace?

A Grace That Saves – Despite all their past wickedness, God relented on “sending calamity.”  Why were the Ninevites “worthy” of salvation (Jonah 3:10)?  Why were we “worthy” of salvation? Were the Ninevites any less “worthy” than us? Are those around us less “worthy” than us? The reality is, none of us are worthy.  That’s why it is called grace.

My Advice – Don’t run from God’s call.  If He calls us to it, in His grace He will see us through it.  Don’t be so hasty to judge and condemn others.  We were once were (and really still are) in need of God’s grace.  Finally, realize how unworthy we were to receive God’s grace and focus on how “abounding” His love is. Maybe then we will be less likely to run from His call and less likely to judge others.

Whatever Happened to In God We Trust?

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From Providence – We Are Favored By God

We Do Declare – We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Continue reading “Whatever Happened to In God We Trust?”

Imagination Is Not Enough

Psalms 51:1Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – The mercy that we receive from God is according to His love and compassion, not by our expectations. There is little we could expect, but what we receive is limitless.

My Advice – Do not place a limit on God’s love and compassion. They are greater than anything you can possibly imagine.

Show Yourself

Psalms 18:25-27To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – When we find ourselves questioning how God is dealing with us, we need to carefully consider how we are treating Him.

My Advice – How do you want God to deal with you? Did you know that it is largely in your control? If you “do right” by Him, He will “do right” by you.

 

God’s On Watch

Psalms 1:6For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked perish. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – There are times we would like to buy God a Rolex so He can tell what time it is, or a smart phone so He can get things scheduled. We are so impatient and want answers by a certain time and day. But God is not bound by these metrics. He goes by “the fullness” of time. When the time the wicked will perish. In the interim, He watches over the righteous.

My Advice – Do not fall into the trap of thinking that God is either unfair or asleep at the switch. No good deed will go unrewarded and no bad deed will go uncorrected. But God’s timing is not our timing. Even though you may be impatient, you can be sure His timing is the best timing.

 

Whatever Happened to the Creator?

Screenshot (159)INTRODUCTION – LOOKING FOR A GOOD CAUSE?

If Whatever Begins to Exist Has a Cause – In nature, there are no instances of something coming into existence out of nothing. When scientists believed that the universe had always existed, they did not dispute “whatever begins to exist has a cause.” Now many do.

Then the Universe Had a Beginning – “Almost everyone now believes that the Universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big Bang.” (Stephen Hawking). In the Big Bang theory, the universe (time, space and matter) came into being in an instant in a cosmic explosion. The effects of this have been scientifically observed (stars and plants are rapidly moving away from each other and from a common origin). In other words, Continue reading “Whatever Happened to the Creator?”

Outer Fringes

Job 25:14 – “And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him!

My Musings – Read the verses that precede this one and be prepared to be overwhelmed by the creative genius and majesty of God. Then consider that it is only a tiny fraction of what and who He really is. If there ever was a good use of the word awesome, this is it.

My Advice – Make sure your prayer life is more than just requests. Thank Him when He answers your prayers. Praise Him just for the sake of doing so. Acknowledge His awesome power and might.