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Monday, May 29, 2017

How Big a Fish Will It Take?

May 29

(Jonah 1:14-17 NIV) "Then they cried to the Lord, "O Lord, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O Lord, have done as you pleased." {15} Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. {16} At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. {17} But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights."

Jonah’s story is about the foolishness of ignoring God’s call. God provided a huge storm and a great fish to bring Jonah to a point of full surrender. How big will the storm have to be for you? How big a fish will it take? How deep will you have to sink? How long will you have to spend in the darkness of the deep? Jonah’s story also speaks of God’s severe mercy -- mercy for Jonah, mercy for the ship’s crew, mercy for the Ninevites, and eventually, mercy for us. The God of grace sent a great fish to rescue Jonah from his disobedience. God’s grace sent a great Savior to rescue us from our sin. Because Jesus spent three days in the bowels of a dark tomb, there is no reason anyone needs to spend three days in the belly of any kind of great fish. Abandon the ship of disobedience. Jump into the merciful sea of God’s grace. Go where God tells you to go. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I’m On My Way

May 28

(Jonah 1:7-13 NIV) ""Then the sailors said to each other, "Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity." They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. {8} So they asked him, "Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?" {9} He answered, "I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land." {10} This terrified them and they asked, "What have you done?" (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) {11} The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?" {12} "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, "and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you." {13} Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.""

God told Jonah, “Go to Nineveh.” Jonah said, "No thanks.” He just didn’t want to go minister to “those people”. Many of us do the same thing on a regular basis. God calls and we act like we don’t hear. Disobedience is tricky stuff. It always catches up with us eventually. When God calls us to do something, saying “no” is like jumping off a skyscraper. You may think you’re still in control, but you always end up going in just one direction… down! You can break your legs, your back, or your neck, but you cannot break the law of gravity. Its call will always prevail. Likewise, we can never break the call of God. We will only break ourselves against it. Only the most foolish of people refuse God’s call and try to go a different direction. It would be wiser to attack the rock of Gibraltar with a BB gun than to rise up in defiance of God’s call. When God says "Go", the only correct response is, "I’m on my way." -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Storms of Redirection

May 27

(Jonah 1:6 NIV) ""The captain went to him and said, "How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.""

(Romans 8:38-39 NIV) "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, {39} neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

(Hebrews 6:19 NIV) "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,"

Answers to prayer are not based on the quantity or quality of the supplication. What’s important in prayer is learning to be in tune with God’s will. God always hears and answers prayer, but sometimes He says “No”. Sometimes He does not save us from the raging storm, but instead, He takes us right into the center of it. That’s because the storm was not sent to harm us, but to get us to where God wants us to be. The storm that you are enduring today may be designed to take you to a place where you would not otherwise go. It was not sent to destroy you, but to deliver you. Its purpose is not destruction, but direction. Storms cannot separate the faithful from God’s presence, but storms will separate the faithful from the pretenders. So hold on tight. Trust and obey. God is taking you somewhere. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day 

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Disobedient Preacher

May 26

(Jonah 1:1-5 NIV) "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." {3} But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. {4} Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. {5} All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep."

Many believers are called to go and speak the truth. But instead of obeying, we refuse the call and run. Many today want assurance that doing ministry will not affect their well being. Personal safety and self-esteem take priority over personal obedience and self-sacrifice. We desire to minister to acceptable people, under acceptable circumstances. We want to prophesy pleasant things -- otherwise, we quietly decline the call. It’s a shame, but in the book of Jonah, everyone and everything obeyed God… except for the preacher. The storm, the dice, the sailors, the great fish, the Ninevites, the vine, the worm, and the wind… everyone and everything obeyed God except the one who claimed to be a spokesman for God. Don’t be a Jonah. If God has called you to go and speak, do not refuse, or go in a different direction. No more excuses! Head for your Ninevah and speak up! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day