“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.” Jonah 3:1
Aren’t you so grateful God gives us second chances? We may stumble and fall, fight and rebel, run away and ignore Him, but the moment we come to our senses and repent, He is always ready to forgive and restore.
Why? Firstly, because one of God’s favorite ways of revealing Himself to the world is through the weaknesses of those He uses. What better way to reveal the extent of His love and grace than by taking a selfish or wicked person and changing them into a compassionate and holy person? As Paul powerfully wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15-16, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
Secondly, God uses repentant sinners and failures like Jonah because out of brokenness - out of death to self - life for others is provided. This is seen physically and spiritually in our world. Like Jesus said in John 12:24, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” As a result of dying to himself in the belly of the fish, Jonah was now ready to share the word of the Lord with the city of Nineveh. Because of his death, they were about to experience life for the first time.
In order to be effective witnesses for God, we must die to ourselves. And because, like Jonah, we often resist the process, God will continue to provide us with the necessary circumstances to die to ourselves. Paul reinforces this truth in 2 Corinthians 4:11-12 when he writes, “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.”
Join us on Sunday as we open Jonah 3 to learn more about “God’s Ready Forgiveness”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!