We can shake our head at Jonah’s response, but then we should probably look at the mirror. We, too, have had times in our life when we have been angry at God for one reason or another. Have we, like Jonah, ever been angry at God because of God’s mercy and grace?
Jonah seemed appalled that God changed his mind. Was it because now Jonah looked “bad” for delivering a false message? Nobody wants to look stupid, especially when doing work for God. I suppose that’s why a lot of believers keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to say the wrong thing or look unprepared when spreading the gospel. In reality, I’m sure the people of Nineveh were delighted that God had given them a reprieve. They didn’t give the messenger another thought.
Continue reading “Jonah 4:1-11 – Being Angry at God”
Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Think for a moment about Paul’s life before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. What a dramatic difference from what Paul’s life looks like as an apostle of Jesus! If we look at Bible heroes in general, we see how unprepared they were on their own.
God always equips those he calls. There is no greater honor than to be used by God for his purposes. Can you think of some examples in the Bible? The pages of Scripture are full of times we see God using imperfect people for the sake of his mission.
Continue reading “1 Timothy 1:12-17 – Whom God Uses”
Read Jeremiah 24:1-10
When you picture these people being taken into exile, away from everything that’s familiar, the vision is not pretty. Imagine the despair and longing for how things used to be! In today’s reading, God uses the vision of figs as more than just a depiction of good and evil. Jeremiah now has a much different picture of how God sees those living in exile. They represent the good figs.
Have you ever stopped to think about what the people left behind in Jerusalem must have been thinking? Did they feel victorious because they weren’t the ones whisked away into the unknown? Perhaps they felt superior having been spared this brutality. According to the fig story, their reality is quite the opposite.
Continue reading “Jeremiah 24:1-10 – Good Figs”
Read Jeremiah 11:1-17
How brilliant! God uses Jeremiah remind the people to remember the covenant. It is clear from their behavior that they have not given much thought to this covenant in some time. Maybe ever! The people have no excuse, the answers to life found in the covenant aren’t hidden from them.
“Cursed is anyone who does not obey the terms of my covenant!” Do they even fear or tremble at the curse? Does being obedient to God “show up on their radar” as something they aspire to be better at doing? If so, then they still have a chance to be saved from doom.
Continue reading “Jeremiah 11:1-17 – Remember the Covenant”
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
Have you ever wondered how it could be that easy? I’m talking about our salvation. These verses should be impressed upon our hearts every day to realize it’s not about what we do. We can never do more to “earn” our salvation. That’s hard for us to understand because in this world those who get ahead have worked hard.
God has given us a gift. It’s not a tangible gift with ribbons that we open. It’s certainly not a gift we deserve. It is truly amazing, just like the old familiar hymn suggests. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”
Continue reading “Ephesians 2:8-10 💛 By Grace”