Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bad Attitudes

In last weeks Blog I mentioned Jonah 3:1-2 and talked about how God gave Jonah a second chance. Well in the remainder of that chapter Jonah goes to Nineveh, preaches, the people repent, and God spares the city from being destroyed.

As Jonah chapter 4 opens up, Jonah is not happy.

Jonah 4:1-4 - But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life." The LORD said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?" (NASB)

Have you ever had a day like the small boy had in the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst?

Here is an excerpt from that book:

I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At school Mrs. Dickens liked Paul’s picture of the sailboat better than my picture of the invisible castle. At singing time she said I sang too loud. At counting time she said I left out sixteen. Who needs sixteen? I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

There were lima beans for dinner and I hate limas. There was kissing on TV and I hate kissing. My bath was too hot, I got soap in my eyes, my marble went down the drain, and I had to wear my railroad pajamas. I hate my railroad pajamas.When I went to bed Nick took back the pillow he said I could keep and the Mickey Mouse night light burned out and I bit my tongue. The cat wants to sleep with Anthony, not with me. It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

Maybe you have felt that way. Ask yourself the question, "Do I have a right to feel this way?" To help you answer that question just think of all that God has done for you. We have been so blessed by God. When was the last time you sat down and took an inventory of your blessings. Perhaps you are long overdue.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The God of Second Chances

Cyrus Curtis, who once owned the Saturday Evening Post, had a sign hanging in his office that read, “Yesterday ended last night.” This is a great reminder that every day is a new day and a new beginning.

Jonah 3:1-2 says, "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and  proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.'"

You may remember from an earlier blog post that I talked about Jonah running from God and God's plans for Jonah. Here in Jonah chapter 3 we see that God hasn't given up on Jonah and that He is giving Jonah a second chance.

I think that if it would have been me sending Jonah out again, the verse would probably read more like this. “The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh, but this time don’t mess it up like you did last time!” 

But there is no mention of Jonah’s mistake here. God looks at Jonah just like he did before!
It's important to remember that God doesn’t look down on you even if you have failed in your past. You can return to God just as Jonah did.

No matter what is in your past, let’s keep in mind the sign posted in the office of Cyrus Curtis that reads, “Yesterday Ended Last Night”. As far as God is concerned, that is the truth. Believe it!.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Running From God

Read Jonah Chapter 1...

God has asked Jonah to take a message to a group of people that, quite frankly, were mean people. They were Israel's enemy.

Jonah is probably thinking, “Yeah right God, you want me to go and say bad things about Nineveh to their faces so that they can kill me slowly and painfully!”

Instead of going to Nineveh, he runs the other way to try and get away from God.

Have you ever done that? You know that God is calling you to a specific thing, but out of fear or rebellion, you run the exact opposite direction?

The call on your life might not be to a place as dangerous as Nineveh, but it is a call all the same:

1. A call to change your behavior – but instead you do everything you can to avoid it
2. A call to be more public with your faith – but instead you keep your light hidden
3. A call to forgive someone – but instead you avoid them in order to keep your grudge
4. A call to a specific ministry or use of your spiritual gifts – but instead you put it on the back burner until a more opportune time
5. A call into as relationship with God through Jesus – but instead you throw yourself into the things of the world

Are you running from God in some area of your life? Has God asked you to be involved in something and you are not sure if you can handle it or if you really want to be involved?

Maybe you are experiencing a storm right now and this storm is God’s way of saying “It’s time to get back on track.”

It's time to stop running!