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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Flooding the Marketplace

June 6

(Jonah 4:1 NIV) "But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry."

(Jonah 4:4 NIV) "But the Lord replied, "Have you any right to be angry?""

(Jonah 4:11 NIV) "Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?""

(Exodus 33:19 NIV) "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

(John 3:16 NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

(1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV) "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. {16} But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

Jonah was upset with God because the Ninevites received mercy rather than judgment. But God’s grace is not just for us and the people that we like -- it is available to anyone who will receive it. Many times this truth rubs people the wrong way. It irks us that God would forgive “that person” or “that terrible sin”. But God just says: “Deal with it, because it’s my grace. I’ll do what I want with it.” Jesus did not die on the cross so that we could pick and choose who receives mercy. He died to save sinners... even those we despise. Jesus did not die so we could hoard his salvation and dole it out to a few nice people who meet our standards. He died so that we could flood the marketplace with God’s love, grace, and mercy. The big surprise is not that God’s grace was available to the Ninevites... the big surprise is that it is available even to us! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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