October 21 | Jonah 3:4-5
“Then Jonah began to go into the city one day’s distance, and he cried out and said, “Only forty days, and Nineveh will be overturned!” Now the people of Nineveh believed in God and they called for a fast and they put on sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them.” (Jonah 3:4–5)
How did you feel when you discovered your sin made you God’s enemy? Many times in the Bible people react with sorrow and repent for their sins. But without judgment there can be no repentance.
Jonah traveled for three days through the city of his archenemies who could gladly respond by killing him for the message, “Forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” But the people responded with repentance instead of violence.
People today can respond that they don’t want God in their lives, that they hate God. Or like the Ninevites they can fall on their faces before God and repent, turn away from their sins to the living God.
The Ninevites went the extra mile. Putting on sackcloth identified with their sins as if they were poor and destitute. Calling the fast showed their desperation for God’s forgiveness. They didn’t know if it was too late.
We find it so easy to sin, as if it is a mere choice. Some Christians commit premeditated forgiveness, expecting God’s forgiveness so they can sin in the meantime. If we only knew how much it hurts God’s heart for us to turn from Him to temptation.
Action Step: Don’t take God’s grace lightly. Put away sin from your life. Don’t respond to temptations. Every morning recommit yourself to God’s program of being conformed to Jesus’ image.
Lord Jesus, thank you for Your grace in my life. I commit myself to becoming more like You. Help me realize the seriousness of sin. He was as know it hurts Your heart when I even think about my former life and passions. Keep me in the palm of Your hand.