Unworthy

The Ninevites were the worst of the worst, an evil society that committed unspeakable crimes. I’ll be forthcoming in saying that I would have probably wanted the Ninevites to perish, too. In fact, I struggle with these emotions whenever I hear another news story about an abused child or woman.unworthy-reliance

Yet, all sin separates us from God; and Jesus died once for all who will accept His gift of salvation. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24

But passages in the Old Testament show us that there were different penalties for various sins. And in the New Testament it is pride that Jesus spoke out most strongly against. However, I am not writing to debate the degrees of sin or how God will judge. Others speak to this issue far better than I could ever hope to.

Instead, I want get to the heart of what seems to be the point. Jonah, who fled from God yet was given a second chance, was judging. The Ninevites weren’t his to judge.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah 3:10-4:4

In recent months, my eyes have been opened to how often we set ourselves up on higher ground and judge others – even amongst our brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps we are unaware that we are doing it. When your life is running smoothly, it is easy to become prideful and give yourself far too much credit. It is also easy to become judgmental toward those whose lives turn a bit messy. But there is no need for me to compare myself to anyone except Christ. I always fall short.

As my focus shifts away from myself and more fully onto God, I see how unworthy I am.

I am grateful for God’s amazing grace and immeasurable love. When we reach a place of total reliance on Him, we understand how truly needy we are. That is when we are most able to serve with humility and extend grace to others who are struggling.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5

Read more Jonah 3&4 devotionals at #SheReadsTruth.

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What does the Lord require?

Hello. If you are reading this, my inaugural post on What God is Teaching, Thank You and Welcome!! I hope that you find the things I share interesting and relatable…or, at least, debatable.

I have, for some time, felt God tugging at my heart and impressing on me the need to share some things from my journey. But procrastination happens for a variety of reasons – intimidation, fear, laziness, or perhaps it boils down to the fact that we really just don’t want to do something. Whatever the reason, we delay, but in the end, I believe, we must do what we are called by God to do.

To be completely honest, I am very reluctant to post things about my walk with God – my struggles, sorrow, and joy – because when things become personal we begin to feel vulnerable, and vulnerability is extremely uncomfortable. But I am reminded and encouraged by these words from Paul as he shared about his pleading with the Lord: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

And that verse is my encouragement as I jump into this.

I’m not a complicated person. I think I am fairly straightforward, and I appreciate direct communication that gets to the point…like the verse at the top of this blog page: Micah 6:8 – And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I love that Scripture! Communication really doesn’t get any more straightforward than that. There is no room for misunderstanding or confusion in that verse. Is it always easy to do what is asked of us in Micah 6:8? Certainly not! But as I sometimes struggle with the complex issues that flow from relationships and events in life, it is helpful in gaining perspective when I take a step back and weigh the situation against those words.

Lately more than ever before, I am weighing my thoughts, my actions, my words, and my decisions against them: And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

How do your actions measure up to what the Lord requires of you?