Overturned

OPENING PRAYER

Soften my heart, Lord. Let me hear what You are calling me to do, and give me the courage to do it, wholeheartedly.

 

Read: JONAH 3: 1–10

 

[1] Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: [2] “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” [3] Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. [4] Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” [5]The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. [6] When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. [7] This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. [8] But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.[9] Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” [10] 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. 

 

Reflect: IS YOUR DEVOTION TO GOD WHOLEHEARTED TODAY?

 Half-hearted responses to God are not rare. We have so many things competing for our attention,and so many responsibilities we try to juggle, that our reply to God when he calls is often little more than a grunt of assent. Though we can reform our attitude, it is worth remembering that God will accomplish his purposes through us, even when we are reluctant participants.When God called Jonah the second time, he went to Nineveh. He seems to have gone into the city, and preached the bare minimum. It was a short message, just one line. It should have taken three days to proclaim his message in every city square, but after only a day, the king and people respond. They were indeed “overturned” by the message as they repented to God. God had compassion on them and, for now, withheld the promised destruction.That’s quite a result from one line of preaching! God will accomplish his purposes with or without us. That he chooses to use us is extraordinary. That he can use us even when we are grudging in offering ourselves to him is remarkable, and is a story of compassionate grace.

 

APPLY

Is there someone you have a hard time getting along with? Ask God to give you a heart of compassion for them.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, overturn my will until it lines up with Yours. Whatever I have to give, use it to show others Your compassion.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Terry Schneider