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Posts Tagged ‘A way out’

 

 

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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cat and fish

 

1 Corinthians 10:13

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.

There are many temptations in life. Everyday we are faced with temptation. Eating that piece of chocolate cake, when you are a diabetic. Cheating on that algebra exam. Having an affair with a married man. Drugs, Alcohol, sex, lying, stealing, physical violence against someone, all temptations that lead to sinning against God. God does not want us to be separated from Him. The above verse teaches us 3 things about dealing with temptation:

  1. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. If you think you’re the only one dealing with temptation, your not. It started with Eve in the Garden of Eden and it continues today. No one on this earth is free from temptation. You are not alone.
  2. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. I don’t know what temptations you are struggling with today, but be assured that God is faithful! You can be victorious! You may not be able to overcome this temptation in your own strength, but you can overcome the temptation in God’s strength. HE WILL NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN BEAR!!! Call out to Him and He will fight this battle with you.
  3. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. God does not set us up for failure. He does not enjoy watching us suffer. He does not place temptation in our way as a way to entertain Himself. Our heavenly Father loves us and as proof of His love, He gives us a way out. It is completely up to us, whether we take it or not. God offers the way out, but we have to accept it.

This verse reassures me of God’s love and compassion. Sometimes, as a mom, I let my kids struggle with issues on their own. It is how they grow into independent adults, who can deal with tough situations. God is the same way with us. We grow stronger in character when we walk away from a temptation. We grow more confident, not only in ourselves but in God, when we face down a temptation. Also, as a mom, I am always waiting in the wings to step in when needed. God is there to step in and help us deal with our temptations. I wouldn’t let my kids drown in their struggles and God won’t leave us hanging either. I am here for my kids, ALWAYS and God is ALWAYS here for us.

If you are facing temptation, go to God and ask Him to show you the way out. He will. Don’t be afraid to walk away. You are not alone. God is right beside you every step of the way. If you need encouragement or prayer, contact me. God Bless You, my friend!

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