July 07, 2022
God made us and designed us to run upon Him. Our incessant desire to live independently creates tension in our relationship with Him. But the ultimate purpose of our lives is to “Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
GLORIFIED IN JUDGMENT
Jonah is the true account of a self-centered, reluctant prophet. God wanted to use him to help an entire city of 120,000. But Jonah’s hatred of these people caused him to run from God’s call to go to Ninevah and preach to them.
The result was the discipline of God upon Jonah as he sought to “run from the presence of the Lord.” God hurled a wind against his ship, and when it became apparent that this was God’s judgment against Jonah, the sailors threw him overboard (at Jonah’s insistence). The sea instantly became calm, and the end result was that the sailors realized the power of God and worshiped the Lord. God was glorified in this moment of His judgment.
So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. (Jonah 1:15-16)
GLORIFIED IN MERCY
When Jonah repented from the belly of the fish and was delivered, he went to Ninevah and preached a seven-word sermon, warning them of God’s coming judgment if they did not repent. It was the mercy of God displayed that brought the entire city to repentance.
Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. (Jonah 3:4-5)
There are only two options. Men run from God, and men run to God. In all of it, God can display varying aspects of His nature. Each display can be used to glorify God.
Your life can be a testimony of God’s grace or an illustration of His disciplining power. Either way, God is glorified. But glorifying God because of your glad surrender and obedience and His displays of mercy is far better.
Why not run to Him now? Why not cooperate with God in His purposes and let your life illustrate His grace? Let the world see what God does with a man or woman who follows Him with a whole heart!
Father, I know that my life is designed to worship and serve the Creator, not the creature. Help me to trust You and follow You instantly and explicitly. Let Your mercy and grace be on display in my obedient life. Let Your kindness lead me and others to repentance and faith.
August 11, 2022
Americans are world-class eaters. Some estimates are that the annual expenditure in the United States for all food is $1.1 trillion. We love to eat and go to extraordinary means to consume what we want. Eating provides the nutrition to live, but it’s also a means of satisfaction on a daily basis.
What we don’t realize is that there is a food group we’re missing that is the source of not only the greatest nutritional value but the highest joy. It’s estimated that less than 10% of Americans eat this food daily, even though it’s readily available.
August 10, 2022
We know whether something is valuable or worthless by comparison. A shiny, new car may look fabulous, but it is worthless if it has no engine. The ugliest car with a working machine is far more valuable for the need.
Everyone follows a god. You can pursue the gods of this world (power, pleasure, possessions) or the Lord God Jehovah. But it’s essential to do a proper evaluation.
August 08, 2022
Last Christmas, our kids gave us a gift called “Storyworth.” Every Monday, Holly and I receive a question about our lives. Apparently, these are collected in a book at the end of the year.
Today’s question was, “What’s your best relational advice?” As I looked at this question for a long time, I knew it was a call to do some needed work on my closest relationships. Multiple thoughts ran through my mind. They were convicting because I have fallen so far short of these truths. But they are true nonetheless.