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December 14

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“As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord” (Jonah 2:7 NLT).

From: December 14, 2019

HOW FAR DOWN DO YOU HAVE TO GO BEFORE LOOKING UP?

Jonah chapter two records the prayer of God’s runaway prophet. Jonah’s prayer took place from inside the belly of a great fish, which God had sent to rescue him from drowning. He was convinced of his imminent death and as he felt his life “slipping away,” he finally “remembered the Lord.”
 
Not many of us have found ourselves in the belly of a fish, but most of us can relate to Jonah’s predicament. He had tried to run away from God’s calling in his life, but instead found himself sinking deeper and deeper into discouragement and trouble. Running from God, he went down to Joppa, then down to the lower decks of a ship headed West, then he had himself thrown overboard to sink down into the Mediterranean’s depths, and finally down into a fish’s belly. Down, down, down Jonah went before he finally looked up. When he cried out in prayer from the belly of the fish, the Lord answered him and set him back on shore to obey his calling to preach to Nineveh.
 
How far down do you have to go before looking up?
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, forgive us for trying to run away from Your calling for our lives. We all have our reasons for running away, but You never give up on us. You pursue us. Help us to live for You today in everything we do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17 NLT).

From: December 14, 2018

THE SIGN OF JONAH
God called Jonah to deliver a warning of judgment to the city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. This Assyrians were hated by the Jews because they were constantly invading Israel. The Assyrians would later defeat the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carry its people off into captivity. Yet, God wanted them warned of His judgment.
 
This is a unique story in the Old Testament of the Word being carried to a Gentile people by one of God’s prophets, albeit unwillingly. God had declared His purpose to Abraham that “all the families of the earth” would be blessed from his seed. Here, the book of Jonah hints at this future blessing. Even the Lord Jesus referred to this little book when He said that the only sign He would give was the “sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12:39), referring to His death, burial, and resurrection after three days.
 
Those who have trouble believing that God could “arrange” for a fish to save a drowning man, will probably have trouble with a crucified man being resurrected from the grave. Yet, those who do believe are rescued from God’s judgment.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12 NKJV).

From: December 14, 2017

John the Revelator witnessed the singing and shouting of “ten thousand times ten thousand” of the angelic host, living creatures and the elders as they worshiped the Lamb. Who is this “Lamb?” He is the “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (Rev. 5:5), “the firstborn of the dead” (Rev. 1:5), and the “Alpha and Omega, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
 
Don’t be surprised that He was born in a stable. After all, where else would a lamb be born? He is the Lamb of God. And He is worthy of our worship.
 
What is worship? It is best described in a two-part response:
1) Recognize what He is worth.
2) Give Him what He is worth.
 
What gift do you give the One who owns everything? The Magi gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But perhaps you should give Him the one thing He doesn’t have, namely, you! Give Him yourself. Give Him your all in all. For He is worthy to receive all that you have and all that you are. Worthy is the Lamb!

“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17 ESV)

From: December 14, 2016

Many think the book of Jonah is about a fish. It’s not. It’s really not even about Jonah. It’s about God. The fish is only mentioned 4 times. Jonah is mentioned 18 times. But God is named 38 times. God is the hero in the book of Jonah. God is the One who calls, the One who pursues, the One who saves. Jonah is the one who runs from God’s call and argues with God about His mercy towards Nineveh. We’ve all heard stories about a man catching a big fish. But God took a big fish and caught Himself a man! This story is a “sign” (Matt. 12:39-42) pointing to its fulfillment in Christ, who died for our sins and lay in the tomb for three days before being raised, defeating sin, death and the grave in order to save us!

“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17 NKJV)

From: December 14, 2015

People think the book of Jonah is about a fish. It’s not. It’s really not even about Jonah. It’s about God. The fish is only mentioned 4 times. Jonah is mentioned 18 times. But God is named 38 times. God is the hero in the book of Jonah. God is the One who calls, the One who pursues, the One who saves. Jonah is the one who runs from God’s call and argues with God about His mercy towards Nineveh. We’ve all heard stories about a man catching a big fish. But God took a big fish and caught Himself a man! This story is a sign pointing to its fulfillment in Christ, who died for our sins and lay in the tomb for three days before being raised, defeating sin, death and the grave in order to save us!

“Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17 NLT)

From: December 14, 2014

God called Jonah to deliver a warning of judgment to the city of Nineveh. This capital city of Assyria was hated by the Jews. And rightly so, as the Assyrians would later defeat the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carry its people off into captivity. Yet, God wanted them warned of His judgment. This is a unique story in the Old Testament of the Word being carried to a Gentile people by one of God’s prophets, albeit unwillingly. God had declared His purpose to Abraham that “all the families of the earth” would be blessed from his seed. Here, the book of Jonah hints at this future blessing. Even the Lord Jesus referred to this little book when He said that the only sign He would give was the “sign of Jonah,” referring to His death, burial, and resurrection after three days. If you have trouble believing that God could “arrange” for a fish to save a drowning man, you’ll probably have trouble with a crucified man being resurrected from the grave. Yet, those who do believe are rescued from God’s judgment.

“And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals’” (Revelation 5:5)

From: December 14, 2013

John wept because no one was found that could open the scroll with the seven seals. Then, one of the elders (possibly Peter or Matthew, since both were already martyred), pointed out One that was standing between the Throne and four living creatures. This One was both the “Root” and the “Branch” (Isaiah 11:1) of David, pointing to both His preexistence and incarnation. He was the “Lion of Judah” reflecting His royal birthright. Yet even more significant was His identity as the One who had “conquered,” defeating sin, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and resurrection. When John saw Him take the scroll, he witnessed the most wonderful worship erupt in heaven as they all sang, “Worthy is the Lamb!” And his tears turned to joy!

“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord” (Jonah 1:3)

From: December 14, 2012

Instead of going East to Nineveh, Jonah headed West. He didn’t want to do what the Lord commanded. But he found out that you can’t run away from God. Have you tried to run in the opposite direction from God’s call? How’s that working out for you?

“But Jonah ran away from the LORD” (Jonah 1:3)

From: December 14, 2011

Jonah heard God’s call and ran the other way. He soon learned that running from God led to killer storms, drowsy depression, and suicidal thoughts. God let Jonah hit bottom and after 3 days He raised him up. The resurrected Jonah obeyed God. There are consequences to running from God. Are you trying to run from God?