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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lord Have Mercy

June 3

(Jonah 3:1-10 NIV)  "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 important city--a visit required three days. {4} On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." {5} The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. {6} When the news 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} Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. {8} But let man and beast 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 had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."

Jonah repented from inside the great fish. He also repented on the outside of the great fish. We know this because he did what God said to do. Genuine repentance is always validated by action and brings contagious revival as it spreads throughout families, cities, and nations. But it starts with individuals believing God about their sin, believing God for His mercy, and believing God enough to change. The correct response when we hear God’s call to repent is not, “Lord, I’ll try to do better” -- the correct response is, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!” God did not send Jesus to Earth just so we could become better than our neighbors. God sent Jesus so we could see our sin against the backdrop of His sacrificial and holy love. God sent Jesus so that we would fall down before Him, and then follow behind Him in genuine and unconditional repentance. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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