“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love,according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:1-3; 10-12
I recently listened to a podcast on the book of Jonah. The speaker, Tim Mackie (The Bible Project) said Jonah is really about us, and the nature and power of obedience.
Jonah was invited to step into a story broader and riskier than what he was willing to do.
The Word of the Lord came to Jonah, “Go at once to Ninevah … But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Instead of jumping in, Jonah said no way! Jonah knew that “God was gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and ready to relent from punishing.” Ninevah was a wicked city and Jonah did not want God to forgive them. Does this sound familiar? I, and maybe you too, have our own plans and opinions for what our life ought to look like, and how God should or should not act. There are competing visions of life…ours versus God’s.
There are areas of our lives where we are being called to grow, to change. Do we move towards it or away? Jonah had a chance to participate in a movement of God’s grace and mercy but he chose not to and turned away from this opportunity. He was fixed on what he wanted to do.
Jesus is the faithful partner of God. He participates with God and died to absorb the weight of our sins. In the garden he prayed “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).
This is the greatest gift given to us! God offers us complete forgiveness. He desires from us repentance and trust. When God tells us to stop what we are doing (our plan for our lives), turn around and be a part of His plan, what is our response? Are we quick to repent and turn? My spirit is willing Lord but my flesh is oh, so weak!
It is amazing love! Jesus willingly obeying His Father and dying on a cross for us. He took on all of our sins so that we stand before our Father forgiven.
Halelluia what a Savior
Prayer of Response:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.“
—Submitted by Stephanie Edsall