HOW ABOUT READING JONAH THIS WEEK?

Here’s a good Bible task for this week—read the Old Testament prophet Jonah.  Only 4 chapters and only 48 verses to read from beginning to exciting end.  Ok?  Go for it!  Serving my 2nd church in New Jersey, the West Side Presbyterian Church in Englewood, I was asked by a local Christian radio station to come in and record 4 Bible lessons, the topic being of my choice.  Really?  Me?  On radio?  Very thrilling because it was listening to Billy Graham on the radio that I first really heard the Gospel, that God loved me and wanted to come into my life. And that was for me!  Yes!  Please, Jesus, come into my life.  16 years old…knew next to nothing about the Bible…not from a family that often went to church…God not mentioned often behind our 4 walls.  And He wanted to be in my life?  Talk about good news.  Wow!  The best I’d ever heard.  And now, years later, I’m on the radio telling others, people I couldn’t see, that God could see them, God loved them, God would forgive them and give them new lives…just for the asking.  All because God’s Son gave all He had on that cross so many years ago now, that old rugged cross, so that He would be the sacrifice for my sins and yours giving us salvation free and paid by Him. That is what I call humbling. What to talk about?   I chose Jonah for my radio talks.  I identify with Jonah…the reluctant prophet, the one who says no to God, the presumptuous preacher who would rather go as far away from God’s call as Tarshish is from Ninevah.  God says to go to New York City and we head for LA!  That’s Jonah.  That’s me.  And you?  No, never?  Really…!I love the whole story of Jonah, a true story by the way.  The fish, the ship at sea, the up-chuck on land after a bad fish tummy.  Sure, it’s all good.  But  now read chapter 3 verse 1.  And read it again.  After all that rescue at sea, the Word of the Lord comes to Jonah a second  time.  Like yesterday’s word ‘again’, God gives Jonah a second chance,another opportunity, another go at following Him.  I love that.  God majors in forgiveness, even for  those of us who have been believers for years and years.  He covers all our failures, all our flippant excuses, and comes along side us…a second time.  Again…and again.  Never giving up on us.  Never. Thank God for the second chances in life.  Is there something you need to do for Him?  Someone who needs Him and  you need to tell them what and who you know…Jesus Christ.  Is there?  “The word of the Lord came to (you and me) a second time.”

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