Sunday, 2 July 2017

Salvation comes from the Lord ... God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Jonah 1:1-2:10
‘Salvation comes from the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9). We can never save ourselves. We can only be saved - by You, Lord. Left to our own devices, we ‘flee from Your presence.’ We ‘run away from You’ (Jonah 1:3). Sin - This is the story of our life. Salvation - This is the story of what You have done for us. We are sinners. We need to be saved. How can our life be turned around? How can we turn from the way of sin and seek the way of salvation? We cannot change ourselves. We need to be changed by You, Lord. We cannot forgive our own sins. We need to be forgiven by You. Where does the desire for forgiveness and change come from? Does it come from ourselves? No! It comes from You, Lord: ‘He drew me, and I followed on...’ (Mission Praise, 499).
Jonah 3:1-4:11
The people of Nineveh ‘believed God’ and ‘turned from their evil ways.’ You, Lord, had shown Yourself to be ‘a gracious and compassionate God...’ How did Jonah react? Was he rejoicing in You? No! He was complaining - ‘Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.’ Jonah was a proud Jew. He despised the Ninevites. He didn’t want them to be saved. That’s why he was ‘so quick to flee to Tarshish’ (Jonah 3:5,10; Jonah 4:1-2). What does Your Word say about Jonah’s attitude? - ‘You have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else.’ Teach us never to ‘show contempt for the riches of His kindness.’ May we never say, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men.’ May we always pray, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner’ (Romans 2:1,4; Luke 18:11-14).

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