Sunday, December 27, 2009

Second Chances and Forgiveness

So the Random Chapter for this week is… Jonah 2 and 3 (same page)! Now, if you remember correctly, last time I got Jonah for Random Chapter Night, we had Jonah Week. Don’t worry, we won’t go there again.

If you didn't notice, I'm also going to try something new. This is being posted very late Sunday Night instead of Monday morning (although in about 15 minutes it will be Monday... yay slight insomnia!). If you have a strong opinion against this happening, let me know. Otherwise, this might be done a few more times with me or a few guest speakers that I'll be working on.

Jonah 2:1-10
Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly.
And he said: “I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction,
And He answered me.
Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God.
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.
Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy.
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the LORD.”
So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Jonah 3:1-2
Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”

So Jonah told God he would do whatever He wanted, so God helped him out of his trials, and then held him to his promise. God told him to go to Nineveh. God’s going to hold us to our promises.

But there’s another message, here. Even when we screwed up (like Jonah going the opposite direction than God told him), and we admit we screwed up, God will:
a. forgive us
b. help us out of our troubles
c. set us back on our feet and then expect us to follow Him again

Just because Jonah screwed up doesn’t mean that he no longer has to preach to Nineveh. God still wants him to do it. Just because we screw up doesn’t mean we can abandon what God tells us to do. It might be different, or it might be the same thing we screwed up before.

In the New Year, we need to remember that God will call us to witness to people, or to go certain places, or whatever. And we will screw them up. But God will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness. After He forgives us, He won’t say, ‘Oh, no, Joyce screwed this up last time, let’s get someone else to do it and make Joyce stand in the corner so she doesn’t screw anything else up’. I or someone else will take that job, but God will use us again.

In His Service,

1 comment:

rocktalk951 said...

Has anyone had any experience with this forgiveness versus second chances? We get both with God, but not always with the world. (Yet another reason why God is better).

Of course, we only get that second chance if we forgive ourselves. I screwed up a witnessing opportunity last year, and then over the summer the kid I was witnessing to changed, going even farther from God than he was before. God sent someone else in to help me out, but forgiving myself for that was the hardest part.

Any other experiences like that? I think this lets you post as anonymous. After you submit it, it will post within a day (depending on when I check the email account, usually every day or so).