The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:1-2 & Luke 6:36

Have you ever given much thought to the Lord’s divine mercy? Mercy is a divine quality by which God faithfully keeps his promises and shows compassion despite our unworthiness and unfaithfulness. The Lord is like a faithful spouse who continually calls an unfaithful partner back. He pursues us when we are unfaithful.

In the story of the prophet Jonah the Lord has mercy upon the people of Nineveh. In God’s mercy He sent his reluctant prophet Jonah to tell them they needed to turn from their sin and turn toward God. The Lord was giving people who did not deserve one more change another opportunity to change their life in the present and to change their eternal destination. 

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” Jonah 1:1-2

Many times, in life we want other people to receive justice, while at the same time we want the Lord’s mercy. 

How has the Lord shown you mercy along your spiritual journey? Who is the Lord calling you to show mercy to? If you did, how would that make a difference in your life and those the Lord is calling you to have mercy on?

Jesus tells us in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” 

To hear more about Jonah: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1/jonah-runs-away

 The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Jonah 1:1-2, Luke 6:36). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

 

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:10-16

Jonah choose to sacrifice his life in order to save the crew and the ship as we see in our story today.

10 The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. 11 And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” 12 “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” 13 Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” 15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Jonah 1:10-16

He wasn’t willing to repent or pray, but he was willing to die so that the crew and ship would be saved. This kind of action reminds us of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Unlike Jonah, Jesus willingly and intentionally offered Himself on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Jonah wouldn’t pray, but Jesus prayed for us before His death and continues to intercede for us as He sits on the throne. 

Jesus’ actions allow us to come before God’s face as forgiven believers. We only need to trust and believe in Jesus to begin this restoration. When we do that, we can not only be assured of eternity with Jesus but begin to experience His grace and love which is the real thing. It’s not the corrupted version of our culture. As we come to know our Savior better, we begin to have real purpose for our lives: a purpose that He gives us. Granted, this may come in surprising and unexpected ways, but believe me, our walk with Jesus is an adventure. As we follow Jesus, our actions and decisions change and can bring blessings to others instead of chaos and pain. With Jesus our life is different and can affect others in a positive way.

Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

To hear more about Jonah: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1/jonah-runs-away

  Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jon 1:10–16, Romans 12:2). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:11-13

God continued to pursue the disobedient Jonah. He is not out to punish Jonah, but to turn him around and restore him. Even with this, Jonah’s actions of disobedience have consequences for others. After Jonah boards the ship, he goes below and lays down for a long nap. Meanwhile, up on deck, the sailors are fighting the storm. The sailors who have probably seen many storms are so frightened that they fear for their lives. The text gives us insight into the sailor’s worldview – they each begin to call on the gods they know. But they are also realists, and they begin to toss the cargo overboard to lighten the load. This was most likely a cargo ship that carried a few passengers.

Now Jonah’s disobedience had just affected the shippers of this cargo – they lost it to the sea. And the people who were to receive the goods are also out of luck. Neither of these groups know anything about Jonah or his disobedience, but their lives are still affected by Jonah’s decisions and actions.

We live in such an individualistic culture that we forget our actions influence others. Our actions have consequences not just for us, but for others.  The sailors are frightened to death, but Jonah is totally oblivious to what is happening. He is sleeping through it all. It is only when the captain, who is probably going to the hold to bring cargo up to throw off the ship, sees Jonah asleep. He wakes Jonah up so that Jonah can begin to pray to his God. Then the crew casts lots to see who is responsible for the storm. When Jonah is pointed out, he admits he is the problem and the crew begins to question him. He admits he is a follower of the God that rules both earth and sea and tells the crew to toss him overboard.

Of all the people on board that ship, only Jonah knew the living God, the one who could quiet the storm. But at this point, Jonah was not on speaking terms with Him. Unlike the rest of the crew, Jonah doesn’t pray.

Jonah’s actions ripple into consequences for those around him. The same thing still happens today. When we don’t follow God as we should, we can bring consequences on those around us. We may be just as oblivious to this as Jonah was when he was sleeping below deck. We don’t realize our actions are causing others pain. But when we have God in our lives and serve Him faithfully, instead of our actions causing problems, our actions can be blessings.

To hear more about Jonah: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1/jonah-runs-away

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:4-6

Jonah had been called by God to go to the great city of Nineveh to announce judgment because of their wickedness. The prophet Jonah did not want to obey God, and boarded a boat that was going in the opposite direction. Jonah did not count on God’s intervention through a great storm to get his attention. 

But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.” 

How has the Lord intervened in your life? In Jonah’s life God sent a great storm to get his attention. Storms in life have a way of sorting out what is really important in life. How did you come to know Jesus? Who brought you the good news? Was it a parent, a friend, or a stranger that God used to communicate the good news of being saved through faith (trust in God’s promises)? Take time to praise the Lord for His intervention in your life.

38 After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. “Please heal her,” everyone begged. 39 Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them. Luke 4:38-39.

To hear more about Jonah: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1/jonah-runs-away

  Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jonah 1:4–6, Luke 4:38-39). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:7-12

A job that you never expected? What happens if God doesn’t work in the way you want Him to work? God had told the prophet Jonah that the borders of Israel would expand. That was a very popular message and one that was easy to deliver. God did physically give land back to Israel that had been overrun by neighboring countries. But then God sent a message that would expand the spiritual boundaries of Israel. God said, go tell your enemies, the people in Nineveh about Me so that they will not receive judgment. That was not a message Jonah wanted to deliver. Jonah wanted God to punish Nineveh, not to give them mercy if they repented.

Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit. “Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?” Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” 10 The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. 11 And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” 12 “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.”  Jonah 1:7-12

Jonah tries to run from God, yet he tells the sailors on the ship that he follows the God that controls all heaven and earth.   If he knew better, why was Jonah trying to run away? Sin warps our thinking. What he knew in his head was distorted by a heart set on disobedience. Jonah is determined to do his own thing, even if it led to his death. Jonah is so stubborn that he opts for suicide before repentance.

Just as God had concern for the people of Nineveh who deserved judgment, how much more can we, as believers, understand that God does the same for us? We find it easy to criticize Jonah for thinking he could run from God, but how do we accept our assignments from God?

To hear more about Jonah: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1/jonah-runs-away

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jon 1:7–12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:1-3

Have you every run away from what the Lord wanted you to do in life? Like me, you have free will and we can choose to follow God or run from Him. What we don’t always understand is that God pursues us. God pursues not to harm us, but to draw us to himself. Sometimes that takes divine intervention on God’s part to guide us back on the right trail for our life. 

In my own, life I wrestled with God when I felt He was calling me into full time ministry. It was like two gladiators that battled each day. This went on day after day for several months, until I gave in and followed what the Lord had for me. Years later, I am glad the Lord pursued me because it changed me for the better.

In our story about Jonah, the prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, God had an assignment for him. 

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish. Jonah 1:1-3

Maybe you are running from the Lord today, or maybe there was a time in your life where you ran from the Lord. Our Lord is a gracious God and only wants the best for you. Many times we need to depend on God’s strength to follow what the Lord has for us.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13

To hear more about Jonah: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1/jonah-runs-away

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jonah 1:1-3, Phil. 4:13). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jonah 1:1-17
Click on the graphic to listen to the Podcast: Jonah Runs Away

In Jonah chapter one Jonah runs away from God, but the Lord sends a storm to get his attention.

When I was 27 years old a drunk driver broadsided me at 70 mph. Through a miracle of the Lord I was not hurt, but the Lord did get my attention. Through this the Lord was asking me some questions; what was I doing with my life? Was I living my life just for myself? The answer to those questions was life was all about me. Maybe you are there today. The good news was the Lord awakened me out my slumber to refocus on his plans for my life not mine. I called my older brother the evening of the accident and said, “I guess the Lord is not done with me yet.”

Maybe you have had a similar experience where the divine intruder (God) broke into your life to get your attention? Or maybe the Lord is breaking into your life right now asking you the same questions he asked me. What are you doing with your life? Are you living your life just for yourself? The good news is we can repent of our sins and ask the Lord to forgive us. What is the next step? Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you His plans for your life. These are just the type of prayers our Lord loves to hear from His Children.

If you want to hear more about the story about Jonah click on the graphic or the link below.

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-jonah-1

%d bloggers like this: