“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish…” Often when teaching on this passage from Jonah I find there is a general perception that the fish is God’s punishment upon Jonah. Closer reading of chapter 2 makes it clear that the fish is God’s deliverance of Jonah, for which he gives thanks. What might this “punishment” perspective bias say about our view of God? Are there times in our own lives when we mistakenly see God’s deliverance as a punishment? Heavenly Father, help us to see your powerful hand as loving and redeeming.
“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now!” Paul’s speaking about “faith in Jesus Christ (vs 24), included talk about “righteousness, self-control, and the judgment.” Are these themes part of our preaching/teaching of faith in Jesus Christ today? What do you think Paul said about these? Why was Felix afraid? In our Christian leadership, preaching, and teaching are we afraid to preach that which causes fear in the hearts of those not surrendered to God. Give us courage to preach the full Christian faith, O God. Amen.
|“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” One of the themes of Lent is humility. Humility involves “sober judgment,” and accurate and truthful look at who I am before God and those around me. Am I humble? What would humility look like in my daily prayers, work, family life and play? – In Christ, help me to discern my true self. May I be content to live as your child each day. Amen.|