For millennia, God has redeemed people, set people free, delivered people from their oppressors, and poured mercy and grace out on those who appeared to be furthest from God’s reach. How has God redeemed your life and poured mercy and grace out to you? Read over Psalm 89:1 and write down some of the ways that the Lord has proven Himself faithful to you. Pray that God would help you to see some specific situations today where you can share your testimony of His faithfulness to others as you move about your day. Believe in Him for the courage to proclaim His goodness everywhere you go!
We can see story after story in the Bible of people to whom Jesus showed grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We can even look at more recent history and in our world today and see how God is working through people to bring freedom and redemption. For instance, Harriet Tubman (leader of the Underground Railroad) wrote: “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Take time today to read over Ephesians 2:10 and spend time praying that verse over your life and time. Allow God to speak to you about how you can share His Gospel truths daily!
Read over Jonah 1:1-3 today and reflect on Jonah’s actions toward God’s calling. Every person who chooses to follow the way of Jesus has a part to play in bringing God’s redemption, justice, and mercy to this world. In light of this, we each have to decide if we’re going to accept God’s invitation. Following God’s lead will not always feel safe, and it will often feel like it doesn’t make sense. As you pray today, ask yourself, “What is my Ninevah?” Where are the places that God is inviting you to step into to bring mercy and grace? Surrender those fears to the Lord and watch Him walk through that Ninevah with you!
When Jonah let fear dictate his actions, he decided to sail to Tarshish—the complete opposite direction of where God was calling him. It may seem that God is asking you to step out and do some bold things that kind of frighten you. He may be asking you to talk to someone you don’t agree with or make a life change that leaves you in cold sweats. Make time today to read over Romans 8:31 and remind yourself that God is for you and will be faithful to lead you through it no matter what. Pray for clarity and courage, then reach out to a trusted friend and shared with them what you believe God is leading you to do.
Three days after Jonah is thrown overboard and the giant fish had swallowed him up, the fish vomits him up onto dry land. After that, God gives Jonah a second chance to make a wise choice. The cool thing about God is that God is notorious for not giving up on people—not on Jonah and not on us. Is there something you feel that God will never forgive you for? Is there something that you think separates you from God’s love? Take time today to surrender those doubts, shame, and fear to Him in prayer. As you do, read over Romans 8:38-39 and allow those words to soak in and encourage you as you move forward.
TALK IT OVER
- What’s one place that you haven’t been to that you wish you could travel to?
- What’s one place that you have absolutely no desire to ever travel to?
- How long would you survive on a remote island where no one speaks your language and there is no technology?
- Is there someone in your circle of friends that, at first, seemed an unlikely friend because they are least like you? If so, who is it and how did you become friends?
- How have you seen God’s redemptive work in your life?
- How are you able to share the good news of grace to all people?
- Where are the places that God is inviting you to step into in order to bring mercy and grace?
- What are the fears or hesitations or road blocks that make it real tempting for you to run in the opposite direction of God’s redemptive work?