Tag Archives: Jonah

1 Chronicles 17; James 4; Jonah 1; Luke 6

Spending time with God, talking to Him, listening, and engaging with His word is something I treasure and enjoy every day.  The fact that God spends time with me gives me incredible encouragement to keep spending time with Him.

For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him; therefore your servant has found it possible to pray before you.                          1 Chronicles 17:25   NRSV

When I learned very early that God was not a vending machine where I inserted my time and effort and earned the right for a product to come sliding down into my hands, I knew that my life would never be the same. Love had entered the picture, and I accepted God’s love for first time, not in faith as in salvation, but in trust and hope that He was my Father.

 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:3   NRSV

Sometimes I am in control and feel safe in His arms and other times I am caught up in my own world and forget to leave my matters in the palm of His hand.  Sometimes I simply forget that He is watching me, caring over me and loving me.  When I do mess up, He never leaves me.  There are times I have felt His arms around me even though I have suffered some extreme loss.

But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:17   NRSV

People wonder why my hands are outstretched when I pray.  It is a sign of surrender, for sure, but for me it is more about inviting God into my life to do what He does best – change me, make me whole, restore my life because I am Yours.

 After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. – Luke 6:10   NRSV

Father, You see my hand stretched out to You. Sometimes I can say words, sometimes I can only breathe deep breaths and sometimes when You love me so much, I can only cry.  I can pray because You have blessed me with promises and every one of them You have kept.  I can pray because You have shown me that you are more than God, You have come to me as my Father.  I can pray because in my weakest moments in life, Your arms are around me.  I can pray because I love being with You. I love You and thank You that You are always You – each and every day. Amen.

evanlaar

 

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, James, Jonah, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Jonah; Matthew 11

“But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3

“…and Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17

Jonah finds himself at the lower end of the food chain and in the belly of a whale. I may laugh at the ridiculousness of Jonah attempting to flee God, but I have done the same. I have fled His presence and found myself consumed by personal drama and busyness. God offered to let me bask in the truth of the resurrection and I have told Him that He is not enough. I have gotten caught up in trying to make the world turn as I would have it.

Later, Jonah finds himself pouting and complaining to God that He is a just and merciful. Does’t he want God to be just that? God isn’t his puppet. Jesus accuses the crowd of similar behavior, “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not dance; we wailed and you did not mourn.’ ” Matthew 11:16-17

How often do I tell God He isn’t who I want Him to be? And where does all that get me? Exhausted, angry, spent, far from my true home…his Presence.

God allows me to reject Him in ways both large and small. He allows me to choose, but as soon as I repent of my foolish notions and stubborn ways, He welcomes me home.

Resting in God’s love and grabbing onto the wonderful truth of the Resurrection is the path home. Why He has called me to follow Him is beyond my comprehension, but I will claim Him as my own and hold onto His Word;

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, an learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Klueh

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Jonah 1, 2, 3, 4; Acts 15:1-21

Jonah doesn’t want to do what the Lord says. He gets on a boat and heads in the far opposite direction of where he should be going. He puts everyone on the boat in great danger, but he is unaware. Jonah 1:1-5 NLT.

Doesn’t want to do it. Goes in the opposite direction. Puts others in danger. He is unaware.

Some years ago I did a life illustration for my daughter using Fisher-Price Little People in a boat. The boat was our home, and the people inside were the family members. The application had nothing to do with Jonah, but I thought of that little boat with the family inside when I started reading today.

I thought of one man’s disobedience, and how it put others in danger–and he was unaware.

I don’t often think of the ripple effect of my actions (or inaction). Unaware. A storm builds up and threatens to tear the boat apart–my home. Impatience. Apathy. Even preoccupation with other responsibilities. Am I hearing the call God has on my life?

God says, “Go here.” And Jonah says, “No.”

Am I so caught up in (fill in the blank) that I don’t even hear his voice? Little people in my boat, where am I steering us? Does my walk with the Lord show obedience to him? What do I make priority in my life? Do my words and actions align?

I think of family generations–the ones before me who set a course the others followed. Is that the course I want to follow? Is where I’m going a place I want my kids to end up?

Father, I pray that I would hear you and your call on my life. Help me to lead where you have placed me. When you say to me, “Go here.” I want my bags packed and my heart willing. Willing to go to love, forgiveness, patience, kindness–wherever you say. Help me to be mindful of the path I’m on, and ready to redirect my steps. Help me to be mindful I’m setting a course that others may follow.

Courtney (66books365)

Lead Where You Are

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jonah, Old Testament

1 Chronicles 18, James 5, Jonah 2, Luke 7

When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’” Jonah 2:7-9

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. James 5:1-5

King David dedicated these articles to the LORD, as he had done with the silver and gold he had taken from all these nations: Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. 1 Chronicles 18:11

But say the word, and my servant will be healed. Luke 7:7b

Over the last six months, I have cultivated the habit of shopping at Goodwill. I pay good money to take home what other people have decided is not worth keeping. I spend additional money to have my precious finds dry cleaned. I decorate my home with my discoveries. Some treasures I simply stockpile in my closet for future use. I feel a sense of pride when someone complements me on my recycled handbag or my shiny brass candlesticks.

As I peruse the interior of my house searching for more closet space, I realize that I’ve become like that guy in the bible who tears his barn down to make room for more grain. Today will my very life be demanded of me? I suddenly realized I only needed one word from God to experience his healing power -The Word made flesh that dwelt among us, Jesus, in whose Name I pray.

Please, Lord, forgive me for forgetting to thank You, from whom all blessings flow. May I not make these worthless things into idols.  Show me every opportunity where I can share with others. Help me to be more like your servant David in dedicating all the gifts with which you bless me to your holy purpose. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen

One day a friend that I was visiting admired a turquoise suede jacket I was wearing. I took it off and hung it on the back of the chair in her kitchen before I left. She called me later and said she was grateful for the gift and glad she hadn’t admired my pants. I was thankful that God gave me a chance to pass the blessings on.

yicareggie

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1 Chronicles 19 & 20, 1Peter 1, Jonah 3, Luke 8

Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:25

Fear & amazement stimulate questions.

Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:37

Giving into fear causes distance and isolation.

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Luke 20:50

Everyone experiences fear, but faith can move us beyond it.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1Peter 1: 14, 17-19

Fear with reverence helps us remain obedient to God.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:10

Fear or faith. That which we believe in, we hold dear and close. That which we fear, we avoid. What is our response to Jesus?

After Jesus sent a legion of demons into a herd of pigs, that subsequently plunged into the sea, the people wanted Jesus to be far from them. Those with faith, like the woman with the bleeding issue pushed through their fear to get closer to Jesus.

Where is my faith? Sometimes I do the same thing as the disciples. I look at what Jesus does and I am astonished by all the miracles around me. Sometimes I want to be close. Sometimes I don’t want Him to look at me. I’m afraid he will see my sin.

My faith should remind me that I have nothing to fear anymore because his precious blood covered my sin once and for all.

Thank you Jesus.

yicareggie


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Jonah

Scripture

“I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.

I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.”

Jonah 2:6; 4:2b

Observation

Most of the books written by the prophets are about their visions, their audience, their message, the outcome. But Jonah is mostly about him, about Jonah.

Only about 6 verses are really about his message and the result (Jonah 3:5-10). The rest of the book deals with Jonah’s defiance, running away, repentance, prayers about himself, reassessing life from the belly of a fish, griping that the people actually listened to him, and throwing a pity party.

Made me think . . .

Application

How often does ministry minister more to those involved in leading it than those it is directed toward? I need to be and stay involved, God’s talking to ME!

God works in ways we never expect.

God’s not finished with me, and I hope I can learn the lessons He has without needing to swim in digestive juices to listen and obey.

I need to trust God with the outcomes — good or bad.

God sometimes needs to drag me down for me to be ready to listen. (Reminds me of Amos 3:6 from earlier this week — if there’s a calamity, didn’t God cause it? If we weren’t so desperately stubborn and deaf, He might not have to shout so loud).

Prayer

Lord, Forgive me for my selfishness that keeps me from sharing You. Help me listen more readily, and share more freely. I want to always run toward You. ~Amen

Erin (5intow)

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