#902 Lessons from Jonah – God Provides Miracles

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Skeptics question the Book of Jonah because they do not believe God is in the miracle-making business.  Scripture says Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, not specifically a whale, and God literally used a fish to rescue him.  Jonah had sunk to great depths, both spiritually and literally in the sea, but God’s provision for him was in the form of a miracle.  Skeptics question if there are miracles today.  Ask the cancer patient that was told limited time was remaining to live but is still living years later and the doctor has no explanation.  Ask the family whose van rolled after being hit by a truck and walked away relatively untouched.  When we have hit rock bottom, we need to place our trust in God, looking to Him for His presence and power to be shown in our lives.

Look back on your life:  has there ever been a time when God worked a miracle in your life?

“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.  And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”   (Jonah 1:17)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#901 Lessons from Jonah – God our Creator

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Jonah found out the difficult way that God knows our every action, even when we are attempting to flee from His presence.  Additionally, Jonah found out that it is God who has control of the universe, including the sea.  When Jonah was on the ship fleeing from God, there arose a mighty storm that immediately calmed when Jonah was thrown overboard.  Could anyone doubt God’s omnipotence after that?  Of course, every time there is a storm, it does not mean that someone is getting punished by God, but we do know that God has allowed the storm to exist.  God, as creator of the universe as well as our creator, makes no mistakes and is active in the universe today.  We as Christians should realize, as Jonah undoubtedly did, that God is in control and deserves our absolute obedience.

Take time today to observe God’s creation around you, and regardless of the weather, thank Him for allowing you to be part of His universe!

“But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.  So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea:  and the sea ceased from her raging.”   (Jonah 1:4, 15)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#900 Lessons from Jonah – Hiding from God

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How cute it is to see small children put hands over their eyes and claim not to be seen.  Sadly, it is not only children making that claim; many Christian adults do the same thing when they try to hide from God.  They run from where God wants them to be or they wait until dark to sneak away, pretending and even believing God cannot see or find them.  Jonah evidently thought he could run and hide from God’s presence, but he was wrong.  God knew exactly where he was at all times and made it extremely clear He was not pleased.  Sometimes we seem to forget that God not only knows our every move, He knows our motive for every move.  The simple solution is to obey Him, and then there is no need for running and trying to hide from Him.

If you have ever tried to run from God you realize it is impossible to do so!

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish:  so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”   (Jonah 1:3)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#899 Lessons from Jonah – Why Nineveh?

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Jonah was told by God to go to Nineveh and prophesy against and minister to the people of that great but wicked city.  Although we do not know the exact reason or reasons Jonah decided not to go, one reason we mentioned yesterday could be the case:  he may have rebelled against the thought of ministering to the Gentiles, they being of another nationality.  Jonah had been God’s prophet to Israel prophesying Israel’s success during the reign of Jeroboam II.[1]  Furthermore, Israelites were God’s own, and the Gentiles were not considered worthy of God’s grace.  What Jonah did not realize was that God was giving him an opportunity to be one of the first to carry God’s grace beyond the boundaries of Israel, an unknown concept at that time.  Sometimes God calls us to minister to those we may not think deserve His grace for whatever reason; however, He may also have a special blessing for both us and those to whom we minister.

Never question what God asks you to do or where He asks you to go!

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish.”   (Jonah 1:3a)

May God Richly Bless You Today

[1] II Kings 14:25

#898 Lessons from Jonah – God’s Call

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

God has a plan for each of His children that He expects us as Christians to obediently follow; however, we as humans often decide otherwise.  When God called Jonah, His Old Testament prophet, to go to the wicked city of Nineveh, Jonah decided he could change God’s plan for His life.  He may have rebelled against the thought of ministering to the Gentiles in Nineveh, they being of another nationality, or he may have rebelled because he knew God would forgive them and spare the city, something he did not want to see happen.  We sometimes use the same type of excuses to avoid following God’s plan for our life, but God did not accept Jonah’s excuses, and He does not accept ours.  When God calls us, we need to obey without question, regardless of whether we like His plan or not.

Make sure you are following God’s plan for your life!

“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me.”   (Jonah 1:1-2)   

May God Richly Bless You Today

#897 Spiritual Blessings – All to God’s Praise

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Have we ever stopped to wonder why God bestowed His glorious grace of salvation upon those of us who accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord?  Paul gives some insight into the answer three separate times in the first fourteen verses of Ephesians, chapter one when he declares that God’s work of salvation is so believers will be to the praise of His glory and grace.[1]  God’s grace has been “graced” or freely given to us as His children, and as believers we should go forth to the praise of His glory.  We are always to be ready and willing to tell others of Christ and the marvelous spiritual blessings we have through Him; however, it is even more important to allow those same spiritual blessings to shine forth in our life that others will know God through us.

Do you allow your spiritual blessings received as a child of God to shine forth to those around you?

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”   (Ephesians 1:6)

May God Richly Bless You Today

[1] Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14

 

 

#896 Spiritual Blessings – Material and Temporal Blessings Also

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although we can sense the sanctity of the spiritual blessings that are ours as Christians and realize the inner peace we possess due to our knowledge that these spiritual blessings are ours in Christ and assure us of eternity with Him, we have the realization that God also blesses us with material and temporal blessings.  When we faithfully walk with Him, allow the Holy Spirit to have control of our life, and spend time each day with Him in His Word and in prayer, we will become conscious of the many material and temporal blessings He bestows upon us.  It may be blessing our business, our relationships, our crops, or maybe even blessings from trials and problems we encounter; we can recognize the hand of God bestowing the blessings upon us.  The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Do we stop to thank Him for all of His bountiful blessings upon us?”

Think back on your life:  can you see the blessings of God, even in times of illness and other problems?

“Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”   (Acts 14:17)

May God Richly Bless You Today