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The Great Warning Of Apathy Through The Book of Jonah

I was reading the Book of Jonah this morning and Jonah’s heart posture stood out to me in greater measure than ever before.

(If you haven’t read the Book of Jonah, I encourage you to stop reading and go do so. This will help tremendously as you continue to read. )

What I came to see was that after Jonah had reluctantly obeyed God and after Jonah had been shown mercy, He had a really hard time dishing out to Ninevah what He has just been given. In fact, Jonah was angry at God for forgiving the people of Ninevah so much so He wanted to die. But, God came back with a question and I believe it is important for us to ask ourselves too.

We need to ask ourselves this question, do I have a right to be angry about this? Or is this what God has ordained?

We should never look at someone angrily because of a repentant heart. It doesn’t matter the weight of the sin, God looks at murder, gossip, and a white lie all the same. It is sin that needs to be forgiven. And truth be told, we all have fallen short and are in need of forgiveness.

You see, Jonah had became apathetic towards God’s own work-God’s people. We can learn from Jonah’s example that it is important to watch ourselves for pride or a biased expectation in the way we believe things should go. We must watch when we attempt to take place of God in judgment if we are not looking through the same heart of love God has for who He has created.

Rather, we should have an eagerness to willingly obey God and trust Him for whatever results obedience may bring. He desires no one to perish. We must look at everyone through eyes of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

If we cannot do this, we must check to see if our hearts have grown cold towards the very thing God loves most, His creation, His people.

When we are going through conflict we should remember these two things:

1. As God asked Jonah, do we have a right to angry about this? (See Jonah 4:4)

2. We also must remember the heart of the Father.

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Psalms 86:5 NKJV

Unlike the example of Jonah, let us willingly obey the Lord without reluctance or apprehension and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, give what God has delighted to give us.

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When Simple Obedience Doesn’t Feel Purposeful

As I began to search the scriptures I saw how important not only hospitality is, but simple obedience. We often hear about the stories about miraculous healings and a lame man’s friends ripping off a roof to get to Jesus. But, what about day to day obedience? Does this really make a difference too? We are in a day in and age where there is a lot to be seen, which can make us question if what we are doing is truly important in retrospect to the kingdom of God. You know, changing the endless amount of diapers, being extra friendly to the cashier that seems to be a little moody, leaving a gift to your postal worker, and loving those who seem to hate you. Will these seemingly “little tasks” end up to be important to God?

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?” So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.” -Mark 14:12-16

I would like to challenge you to see that Jesus spoke two things that could be easily overlooked in today’s society…A man brought a jar of water to the city to meet the disciples and the owner of the house had an upper room readily available for them to use.

Simple Obedience.

I wonder what would have happened if either of them overlooked what God had asked them to do. Would there have been a last supper if the man thought it was silly to go to town with the jar of water? What if the man of the home did not feel like having guests? Would he have missed the Messiah?

Because of likes, follows, and social media platforms, comparison often creeps in to whisper the lie that day to day life is pointless. How could cleaning up crayons off the wall for the 3rd time this week possibly bring people closer to God? Instead, Holy Spirit see’s you raising up the next generation of an artist who likes to color outside the lines. We question, how could this conversation help this man who is homeless? Yet, the conversation you had with him birthed new hope to live another day.

Life often give us ‘take this jar of water to the city’ moments. I have come to find that there is such a great reward of intimacy with Abba through these tasks that aren’t glamorized and often overlooked. The next time the enemy whispers the “pointlessness” of where God has you, look back at the man with the jar of water who ushered in Jesus and the disciples to the last supper and remember the room the homeowner had prepared for them. Where God has you and what He asked you to do may seem simple, but in His eye’s it is of great importance. Let our heart beat for days of simple obedience. Let us yearn to not overlook the simple tasks that make an eternal difference.

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Jesus Never Listened To The Masses (& Neither Should You)

If Jesus would have listened to the voices of the world He would have never completed His work God has called Him to do.

The Pharisee’s were projecting fear onto Jesus and tempted Him to step out of God’s timing;
The threat appeared real.

But Jesus, I have a feeling He had spent some time in that “remote/deserted” place & knew EXACTLY what the Father had called Him to do.
He refused to let that ‘fox’ spoil the vine!!

My friends, DO exactly what God has called you to do in HIS timing. It doesn’t matter what the enemy attempts to throw out as a snare! The world’s voices are loud as you fufill God’s purposes for your life. Get back to the remote place and pray, take heed of what He has called you to do & don’t let fear or intimidation hold you back! Nothing and I mean nothing can stop what God has called you to do in His timing. You can walk confidently in grace that empowers you through the Holy Spirit!!

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Is This All For Nothing? Encouragement For Your Heart Through Hardship

Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed your people.
-Psalm 73:13-15 CSB

Have you ever felt like Asaph in this Psalm? Sometimes as we follow Christ it feels like we are getting the short end of the stick. You live a set apart life, which is not easy, and still receive an immense amount of suffering. Maybe you feel like Asaph in that even when you do open up about the suffering you are facing, other Christian’s accuse you of hidden sin, slap a scripture on it rather than having compassion, or suddenly vanish when you needed them most. Well, my friend, you are not only in the company of Asaph when it comes to this, I understand too. But most importantly, God understands deeper than anyone ever could.

Let’s keep reading, shall we?

When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
-Psalm 73:16-17 CSB

In times of suffering and hardship, many times we don’t get the answers we are searching for. And if we are being honest, some of the things we face do not seem fair do they? Suffering can have a tendency to make us feel hopeless as we observe the wicked that seem to be prospering.

UNTIL…

Like Aspah, we have the understanding that this earth is not our home. That our story does not end here. In fact there will be a day where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering (See Revelation 21:4). The prospering of the wicked will soon come to an end and they will wish that they repented and sought the Lord’s heart. I have a feeling many will have wish they endured trials here when they see the joy and gift of heaven.

Our perfect heavenly Father can handle our hard questions. He will never leave us even if people do. And He isn’t ashamed of our feelings. So many times people can dismiss what you are feeling, but God doesn’t do that. Sorrow and grief can coexist with faith. In fact, we can see this right here in the middle of Psalm 73.

My friend, I know times may be hard but you are not alone. This suffering won’t last forever. But you know what does last forever and will carry you through? God’s Love. His Grace. His Mercy. Him.

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Soul Rest (Devotional)

When so much is happening around us or even to us, it can be easy to fall out of the place of rest found in Abba.

Let us think upon the goodness of God.
Remembering that our soul can be at rest with our heavenly Father who is with us every step of the way.
He is not surprised or taken off guard.
He is never weak nor tired.
He is trustworthy & abounding in faithful love.
His track record will never change. He is forever reliable.
Our souls can return to rest because of who He is💕

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalms 116:7 CSB