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Jonah: Part 4

 

 

Read Jonah: chapter 4

Recap: In chapter 1, Jonah runs from a direct command from God to go and warn the people of Nineveh to repent or God would deal harshly with them. In chapter 2, Jonah has been swallowed by a huge fish and is now crying out to God in his distress. Chapter 3 finds Jonah back on dry land (having been vomited up by the fish) and obeying God’s command to go to Nineveh and warn the people there of God’s judgement.

In chapter 4 we find Jonah angry that God has had compassion on the people of Nineveh. He proclaims that this is why he tried to run, because he knew that God is a compassionate God and would have compassion on these unholy people. Nineveh was the oldest and most-populous city in Assyria. From the description of Nineveh in Nahum 3 we see that the people of Nineveh were wicked, evil people and Nahum 1 tells us that they were enemies of Israel and of God. Jonah was angry because God had compassion on these sworn enemies of Israel. God teaches Jonah a lesson in compassion through a plant that grows and provides shade for Jonah and then withers away, leaving Jonah in the scorching heat. Jonah was angry about the plant withering away and in verses 9-11 God addresses Jonah’s anger:

9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant? “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” 

Yes, we could focus on Jonah, who seems to be acting like a petulant child, but I want to focus on the bigger picture. I want to focus on the lesson that God is trying to teach Jonah.

In verse 2, Jonah describes the character of God:

He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 

When Jonah went to Nineveh in chapter 3 and warned them of their impending doom, they turned from their wicked ways. The people listened to Jonah and repented. Because of their transformed hearts, God chose not to deal with them the way that He had intended too. He sent Jonah to warn them before He wiped them off the face of the earth. Even though they were His enemy, He still gave them a chance to repent. Why? God had created the people of Nineveh, just as He created the rest of us and He didn’t want them to perish. He didn’t want to have to deal with them harshly, just as He doesn’t want to deal with any of us today harshly. He sends His people to warn us of  the impending consequences of our sin. Romans 5:10 tells us:

 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

We have ALL been God’s enemies! He has chosen to save every one of us because He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. We don’t deserve His compassion any more than the people of Nineveh did, but He relents from sending calamity when we repent and transform our hearts.

What Jonah is not understanding is that God expects the same of us. We are to be gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. We are to be willing to forgive an enemy. We are to warn those who are buried in their sin. We are to warn them from hearts of compassion and love. God gives us ALL chance after chance after chance to repent and change. Why do we think that it is okay for us to just write other people off just because they have offended us or they believe differently? Why do we think that it is okay to wallow in our anger and self-righteous attitudes, when it is so far off from what God wants?

I admit that I have been known to hold a grudge and have spent some time wallowing in my anger over a slight or perceived injustice. Even when I was justified in my anger, I allowed it to harden my heart against those who had bullied me or hurt me. I did not act as God would want me too. I acted as Jonah and I too, became a petulant child who was only interested in my pride, my pain, myself. I did not care about praying for the situation or about seeking reconciliation. I was willing to write the person off and never think of them again.

NOT A VERY CHRIST LIKE ATTITUDE!

My Challenge To You: Is there anyone that you think of as your enemy? Why? I challenge you to start praying for that person and the situation. Ask God to open up the doors of communication that would allow healing in the relationship. Be an example of grace, compassion, peace and love as you seek to build that relationship. Do not allow your anger turn you into a dramatic, all about me, petulant child.

James 1:19-20

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Jonah was out of control. Don’t allow his attitude to keep you from God’s will for you and for those He is seeking to save. Luke 19:10 tells us that the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. We have the same mission on this earth. We can’t seek and save the lost when we are wallowing in our self-righteous anger. Let go of the anger and take on the characteristics of God. We are to be obedient to God’s will. ALWAYS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Read Jonah: Chapter 3

In chapter 1, Jonah ran from a direct command from God and ended up in the belly of a huge fish. In chapter 2, Jonah cries out in his distress and God commands the fish to vomit Jonah on dry land. Now in chapter 3, God again commands Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim God’s message there. Jonah obeys this time and goes to Nineveh and gives the residents there God’s message.

What I find myself wondering is: what is Jonah’s motivation for obeying God this time around?

Is he wholeheartedly and gratefully obeying God’s command?

Is he reluctantly stepping out in obedience because he knows he doesn’t have a choice?

Is he obeying, but still holding onto a rebellious heart and a grumbling spirit?

Motivation matters. For me, I usually obey reluctantly and fearfully. I don’t think I have ever obeyed with a rebellious spirit, but I know that I usually don’t obey wholeheartedly and gratefully. I will admit to arguing with God and making excuses as to why He shouldn’t use me.  Moses and Gideon were reluctant servants. Although, God does bless the reluctant servant, I believe that He would prefer us to serve like Jesus, who served from a humble heart. Jesus was on this earth to fulfill His Father’s will (Luke 22:42). Jesus never complained about His God-given assignments. He never argued with God. He did what was expected of Him from a posture of submission and love.

My Challenge To You: I want you to reflect on your own motivation to obey God. Use a journal and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you obeying a command from God reluctantly because you know you don’t have a choice?

2. Are you obeying, but still holding onto a rebellious heart and a grumbling spirit?

3. Do you argue with God and make excuses, trying to convince God that He needs to choose someone else?

4. Are you obeying wholeheartedly and with a humble heart like Jesus?

5. Are you obeying because you know that God’s will is above your own and that is the only thing that matters?

6. Are you obeying out of love for God and others?

Be honest with yourself. Your answers will reveal where some heart work needs to be done. I have heart work to do myself. It is a part of the process of sanctification and transforming ourselves into the likeness of Christ. It is a lifelong journey. Don’t get discouraged. God sent the Holy Spirit to guide us and encourage us in the journey, so never give up. Keep moving forward and remember that God works all things for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

 

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Read Jonah: Chapter 2

In Jonah chapter 1, we find Jonah disobeying a direct command from God. Instead of being obedient, Jonah ran the other way.

Jonah chapter 2, we find Jonah in the belly of a big fish. Because of his disobedience, God had a big fish swallow him. Jonah is now dealing with the consequence of his actions and he is not happy about it. He starts to pray a prayer of desperation, ” In my distress I called to the Lord” “from deep in the realm of the dead I called for help.”

I imagine that Jonah has now realized that God is not messing around and he has started to panic. Will he die in the belly of this fish? Will God spare his life and give him another chance? Will God still be willing to use him for His purpose?

The big lesson here is that we CAN’T hide or run from God! Adam and Eve found that out when they tried to hide from God after they ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Genesis chapter 2. I am almost certain that most of us turn to God in desperation when we are sinking in the mess of our own making and can’t seem to find the way out on our own. We call out to God in distress when we are stuck struggling with the consequences of our own sin.

Jonah would have saved a lot of time and heartache had he obeyed God in the first place. In my own life, I have been running from God. I have been hiding behind my anxieties. Using my anxieties as an excuse not to do what God is calling me to. But Guess what? God did not just leave Jonah to die in the belly of that fish! After Jonah prayed, God had the fish vomit Jonah onto dry land. God continued to pursue Jonah! He did not seek someone more willing to carry out this mission. God had handpicked Jonah for this job and even though Jonah wasted time in his disobedience, God waited until Jonah got over himself.

WOW! I see where this is going, Lord! My hiding behind my anxiety is a sin. Anxiety IS NOT from God and the longer I wallow in it and use it as an excuse to keep me from my God-given mission, the longer I keep other women from hearing about the love of God or knowing that they are loved by a risen Savior. God has pursued me for years now. I run and I hide. God will not choose someone else to fulfill a mission that He has handpicked me to accomplish and I guess I better stop playing Jonah and get my act together.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU: If you are running from God or hiding behind an excuse so you won’t have to fulfill a God-given purpose, STOP RUNNING! STOP HIDING! Take it from me, it doesn’t work. God will not give up on you. If He has handpicked you for a special mission then, believe me, He will pursue you until you crack under the pressure and become an obedient vessel that He can use. Don’t choose living in sin over being obedient to the will of God. It never works out. It just makes you miserable. I am there. Living a life trapped in a prison of anxiety for years is no fun. I am crying out to God and I will be seeking help. FINALLY! And when God commands this big fish of anxiety to vomit me out, I will be ready and willing to accomplish His will in my life.

Heavenly Father,

I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to see the anxiety for what it is, SIN. I have wasted so many years wallowing in my own pathetic issues. I have wasted so many years making excuses for my running and hiding from your will. I am so sorry for my disobedience. I have been horrible and yet you pursue me still. I am 49 years old and you still pursue me. Never once, did you give up on me and choose someone else for this mission. I am humbled and I am grateful. Forgive me, Lord and help me heal as I seek help. I am here, Lord, use me.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Side Note: Many times when I write a post, I don’t know where it will go until I start writing. They all end up going in directions that I never intended. That is God. I am the instrument and He is the author. This one is very personal. It touches on something that I have struggled with for ages. I had no idea when I started writing this post that it would go this way. I could have kept it personal and not publish it, but I made a promise to be transparent. I want to let you see my mess, so that you can see a God that loves and heals. My blog has been a journey in my relationship with God, as I have struggled with my own humanness and God’s continual pursuit of me.

 

 

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Read Jonah: Chapter 1

I think we have all heard the story of Jonah, the guy who was swallowed up by the fish because he ran away from God. In verse 2 God tells Jonah, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” In response, Jonah boards a ship headed in the opposite direction. This did not go over well with God! He sent a storm that terrified the ships crew. They eventually confronted Jonah and at Jonah’s command, they threw him overboard. The Lord sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

In this chapter, we need to address the sin, the consequence, and the presence of innocent bystanders:

The sin:

Jonah was disobedient to God’s command. Instead of going to Nineveh as God commanded him, Jonah took off in the other direction.

The Consequence:

God sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah sat in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

The Innocent Bystanders: 

The ships crew were innocent bystanders that got sucked into the mess Jonah made when he tried to run from God. They were thrown off schedule because of the storm. They lost precious cargo because they threw it into the sea, trying to lighten the weight of the ship. They dealt with emotional trauma because of the storm and ensuing chaos and didn’t know how to make it stop. These men suffered because of Jonah’s sin.

My Challenge To You:

We ALL have sin in our lives. That is simply a natural part of being human. I am challenging you to search your heart of any sin(s) that you might be struggling with today.

Journal the following:

The Sin: 

What sin or sins are you struggling with today? Be specific. This is between you and God. But, you can’t heal it unless you confess it.

The Consequence:

What consequences are you dealing with because of that sin(s)? How do you feel knowing that you could have avoided the consequence had you made a different decision? How will you address the temptation to sin in the future?

The Innocent Bystanders: 

Who are the people affected by your sin? Be sure to name everyone that was affected by your sin, even if you feel the harm to them was minimal. If someone was affected in ANY way by your actions then they have suffered and need to be acknowledged. How were they affected? For every person on your list, write down how they were affected. BE SPECIFIC! Write down every way someone else has suffered because of your actions. Lastly, what can you do to repair the damage that you have done? If you have caused someone to suffer, you need to take responsibility for your actions. You need to be proactive in repairing the damage that you have done. You need to seek forgiveness for your sin, regardless of whether you are forgiven, you need to seek forgiveness.

 

Jonah found out the hard way that sin results in consequences. I’m sure if we are honest, then we all can admit that we have suffered consequences as a result of sin in our lives. Consequences that we could have avoided, had we made a better decision. Unfortunately, other people often have to suffer the consequences of our sinful behavior too. This is not fair to the other people who get hurt because of our foolish choices. Other people should not have to clean up the messes we make because we CHOOSE to sin. SIN IS A CHOICE!

SEEK GOD:

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We are not tempted without having a way out. God loves us enough that He sent His Son to die for our sins. HE GIVES US A WAY OUT! We need only to ask for His help. Seek God and He will show you the way out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Matthew 26:69-74

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Let’s take a look at a few verses back. In Matthew 31-35 Jesus was telling the disciples that they would all fall away on account of Him. Peter answers that even if the rest fall away, that he never will. Jesus tells Peter that he will disown Jesus three times before the rooster crows. Peter declares that he WILL NEVER disown Jesus.

Then we get to verses 69-75 where we find Peter in the courtyard, surrounded by people. The people start to accuse him of being with Jesus. He denies it three times. Not only does he deny Jesus, he calls down curses and swears to them that he doesn’t know the man Jesus. Immediately after the third denial a rooster crows and Peter remembers the words of Jesus, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter was distraught. He went outside and wept bitterly.

I can imagine how Peter felt. He loved Jesus deeply and I believe that he was sincere in his belief that he would NEVER disown Jesus. He got caught up in the moment. He was afraid of what would happen if he acknowledged Jesus. He was overcome with guilt, regret and shame at what he had done and he wept bitterly.

I have made mistakes that caused me regret. I have lashed out in anger, yelled at my kids in frustration, and I have been mean spirited to those I love and strangers who happened to cross my path at the wrong moment. I have found that there are usually three reasons for regret:

Things we have done in the past – We have all done things in the past that we regret. Those actions that haunt us for years after they happen. We carry them around and they condemn us and keep us judging ourselves harshly.

Things that we did not do in the past – Those things that we SHOULD have done, but didn’t. Those things we wish we would have done, but now it’s to late. These can be just as condemning as those things we actually did. They haunt us, making us forever tell ourselves, “I wish I would have.”

Things we are doing now – Those bad decisions that we continue to make that we regret each and every time, but we can’t seem to stop ourselves from making them. These regrets will condemn us until we don’t care anymore and we give up trying.

Regret. Guilt. Shame. Condemnation. These are all feelings that the devil piles on us to keep us stuck in our choices and mistakes, keeping us separated from the God who loves us. God does not want us to be stuck in our feelings of regret, guilt and shame. God does not condemn us for our past or present bad choices (Romans 8:1). We have a new life in Jesus, IF we choose to accept Jesus as our Savior. We WILL be forgiven and cleansed of our sins, IF we repent and change our ways. God will NEVER weigh us down with those negative feelings of regret, shame, guilt and condemnation, so if you are feeling any of those right now, they are from the devil and he is trying to keep you from the love of God. Go to the Father and cry out to Him in your distress. He is a loving, compassionate, forgiving, merciful God who is full of grace. He will come to us in the midst of our bad decisions and He will cleanse us right where we are.

Make that decision not to live in regret. There is no reason to allow regret to keep you from all God has for you. Keep your eyes on God and let go of those emotions that are from Satan. If there is anything I can do to help you, I am just an email away! In the meantime, God Bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I want with all of my heart to be the woman who loves like Jesus. I don’t want to be the woman who judges someone before I know their life story. I don’t want to be the woman who snaps at people when I have had a bad day. I don’t want to be the woman who is impatient when teaching others. I don’t want to be the woman who gossips about others. But, let’s get real. As much as, I don’t want to do those things, I am human. I am an imperfect woman who does her best to love like Jesus, but I am not Jesus, so I fail, sometimes more than I succeed.

How do we love like Jesus?

There are days when I’m not really sure how to love like Jesus. It should be easy to make loving others a lifestyle. It should be easy to make loving others a priority in your every day life. But, it isn’t easy. There are days when I get so wrapped up in my own activities and thoughts that I miss that opportunity to love someone who needs my love. I miss opportunities because I am so focused on ME and what is going on in MY life. I am then filled with regret at having let an opportunity go. I regret the possibility that I have added to someone’s burden or sadness. I regret that I in any way disappointed God. How did Jesus love? The New Testament tells us how Jesus loved. Five examples are listed below:

  1. Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Jesus was sent to seek and save the lost so that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). If Jesus came to seek and save the lost, then that is our God-given purpose too. John 3:16 tells us that God so LOVED the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. God LOVED us so much that He sent His beloved Son to seek and save the lost. Our mission and ministry as Christians is to seek and save the lost in our own sphere of influence. How do we do that? We build relationships. We set the example that Jesus set for us. If we are intentional in building those relationships and we are intentional in acting like Christ in ALL areas of our lives, those around us WILL ask why we live like we do? Why we have joy in the midst of sorrow? Why we choose to love instead of hate? They will ask. And that door will open for you to share your Jesus story.
  2. Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. – I don’t think any of us can argue that Jesus suffered more than most of us will ever suffer in our lives. He was also tempted by Satan to sin. The thing is: Jesus DID NOT SIN! Jesus NEVER GAVE IN TO SATAN’S TACTICS! Of course, we are not Jesus and when we are tempted we have that tendency to give in. We are human and imperfect after all. But, because Jesus suffered and was tempted, He can now help us when we are being tempted. We have all suffered in some way in our lives. No one is immune to heartache and temptation. And while there will be times when we give in to temptation, we can still use our experiences to help those around us who are suffering and being tempted to sin. Be willing to walk alongside that person who needs accountability and encouragement. Remind them of 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 
  3. Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 15:32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” Matthew 14:14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. – I think I have proven my point that Jesus felt compassion for people who were hurting in any way. These are not the only verses that attest to the compassion that Jesus showed the people He came across, but I will let you find the rest. My point here is that the compassion that Jesus felt LED HIM TO ACTION. When He felt compassion for someone or a group of people, He acted on that compassion and fed the multitudes, healed the sick, delivered the demon possessed, taught about God and living a Godly life, and rebuked from a place of love and not condemnation. We are called to do the same. We are called to feel compassion for the hurting and heartbroken in the world around us. We are also called to ACT on that compassion. Our compassion must lead us to feed the hungry, minister to the sick, build relationships, disciple others, and even rebuke from a place of love. There are so many ways that we can show our love to those around us IF we allow our compassion to lead us into ACTION. 
  4. Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. – The Jesus Centered Bible uses the term understand instead of empathize. Jesus understands our weaknesses. He was human and He was tempted. He understands our imperfections. He understands that we can not face the temptations and trials of life on our own. We need to have that same understanding for others. Because we know what it is like to be tempted and fail in our efforts to fight temptation, we need to be understanding when others fail. We all have weaknesses. We need to be willing to understand someone else’s weakness and step out to be that strong tower for them when necessary.
  5. Romans 8:34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. – The definition of intercede is to intervene on behalf of another. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for US. Despite the fact that we are NOT worthy of His intervention, Jesus intercedes on our behalf. Jesus asks for mercy and grace on our behalf. If Jesus is sitting in Heaven interceding to the Father for us and our imperfect, sin-filled selves, don’t you think we owe it to those in our lives to intercede for them. We are called to intercede/intervene on behalf of others. I have prayed prayers of intercession on behalf of my kids and miracles have come about because of those prayers. Don’t miss the miracle in someone else’s life because you refuse to pray for them. We are not any better than anyone else and we are never to good to intercede on behalf of another.

Jesus LOVES us! Jesus shows His love by: 1. Seeking and saving the lost, 2. Helping those who are being tempted, 3. Having compassion for the hurting and ACTING on that compassion, 4. Understanding the weaknesses of others, and 5. He intercedes for us.

We are called to BE examples of Jesus in this world. To Be an example of Jesus means that we need to LOVE OTHERS just as He loved. My CHALLENGE to you is to use the above five examples to love those in your sphere of influence on an every day basis. We each have at least one opportunity every day to show the love of Jesus to someone else. Time is short, my friends! GO OUT and LOVE OTHERS TO JESUS!

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My daughter, Cherokee, parents Ava (5) and Christopher (3) using natural consequences. Christopher had gotten himself in trouble by throwing a disposable cup out of the car window as they were driving. When they arrived home, Cherokee took Christopher up one side of our street and down the other to pick up trash. Armed with a bag for trash, a bag for recyclables and the wisdom of her 25 years, Cherokee, made sure that as he picked up the trash that Christopher understood that his actions have consequences. Cherokee made sure that he understood that just as he did not like cleaning up after others, other people shouldn’t have to clean up after him. Christopher was disciplined for his disobedience and hopefully, he will remember the lesson and the trash will be properly disposed of in the future.

Just as Cherokee disciplined Christopher for his disobedience, there are times in our lives when God has to discipline us for ours. There are times when we have to suffer the consequences for our behavior. One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the distance that my disobedience puts between me and God. I always seem to have a troubled spirit when I know that my behavior has been against God’s will and a disconnect is the result.

What can we do if we have disobeyed God?

Upon returning from our trash collecting, Christopher needed to apologize for disobeying his mom. Cherokee forgave him with a hug and a kiss and all was forgotten. I always know that the only way to make things right with God is to apologize and ask for forgiveness. We still have to deal with the consequences, but the issue will not be completely resolved until we ask for forgiveness. God loves me. God loves you. He will never stay angry.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

If you are feeling disconnected from God because of an act of disobedience, don’t despair. God loves you! Apologize and ask God for forgiveness. You will still have to suffer the consequences of your actions, but you will no longer be separated from the God who loves you! Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us that:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

We are going to sin. We are going to disobey God. Our reassurance is that God is compassionate and will not hold our transgressions against us. Every morning is a chance to start over. Don’t dwell on the mistakes of yesterday. Today is full of wonderful opportunities to turn things around and step into God’s will and purpose.

 

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