Thursday, March 27, 2014

A lesson from a Ninevite king...


When God gave Jonah a second chance to obey His instructions to go to Nineveh
 and announce His judgment against the city, this time Jonah obeyed.
I love the picture that the Word of God gives us of the king's response.
 He stepped down from his throne, took off his royal robes, and decreed that everyone in Nineveh, 
from the greatest to the least, should fast and repent.
What a response of humility we see in this king.
While the Word of God makes it clear that it is by grace that we are saved and that salvation is not of our works
it seems to me that we are seeing a cultural shift to what I would call, "entitlement grace".
I fear that instead of embracing the seriousness of our offense against God and responding in humility, we are now seeing a shift to acting as if we are owed God's grace.
We glibly insert our dimes worth of "I'm sorry" into heaven's vending machine and demand God's limitless forgiveness, mercy and grace as though we did earn it, as though we do deserve it.
I'm not saying we can earn God's love by repenting better,
but I am saying that I think we could learn a thing or two from this Ninevite king.
He stepped off his throne -
to me that symbolizes that he laid aside his position and his rights to call the shots, to be the boss.
He took off his royal robes -
to me that symbolizes that he laid aside any claims to self-righteousness, 
anything he could use to cover his true sinful condition.
In humility, he cast himself fully on the mercy of God and he was not disappointed.
God's judgment was averted.
When we respond to God's call to repentance in humility and contriteness, 
we will not be disappointed either.
Jesus took the judgment we deserved and bore it on the cross.
What love!
What amazing grace!
What lavish mercy!
Let's honor what He did by responding to it like this pagan king,
not lightly, but seriously and humbly.


still following,


Linking with She Reads Truth





Scripture and Snapshot






SUNDAY STILLNESS

36 comments:

  1. Beautiful look at the response we should all have toward God's grace!
    ~Adrienne~

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    1. Oh, to truly reverence and respect what God has done for us!

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  2. Excellent post Pastor Elizabeth! The topics of repentance, grace, and forgiveness is something I think about often wondering what it really looks like. I have seen people "repent" but go on moving forward with their lives and I'm thinking how can repentance look like that? Where is the brokenness? Even in my own life when guilt tries to come in, I'm at a new place of remembering God's grace is a gift to me and He is willing to forgive. However I'm not wanting to be flippant that grace and forgiveness is an automatic thing or an "entitlement." I have got to exchange something, give my fleshliness, my view of how it should be to God allowing Him to align me to His way of thinking and His Divine Nature and at the same time learn to receive and accept His forgiveness, His love, and allow it to change me, shape me, mold me, and align me. Sometimes I find it's challenging to be in humility and brokenness and still walk in the confidence of forgiveness.

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    1. Thank you my sweet, encouraging friend!

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  3. A very timely word for us--thank you so much--I receive all of it and ask God to help me become like this king--awesome post, dear Elizabeth--

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    1. Dianne, I fear our loss of reverence for God and what He has done that we are seeing in our culture and churches. I am heavy hearted about it, but the change has to begin in me.

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  4. Wow. I love the vending machine analogy. We do not deserve it at all. Great perspective!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to comment! I really appreciate the encouragement!

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  5. Yes. Yes. It's been a good lesson with SRT. Thank you for your beautiful words as always. More of Jesus & less of me. Blessings Elizabeth

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    1. Love you, my friend! So happy that you are part of the She Reads Truth study as well.

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  6. Elizabeth, this resonates with what has been on my heart lately. The picture you use of the king really is a beautiful example for us! Thank you for this!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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    1. Leslie, this has been heavy on my heart as well. We've lost our reverence for God and what He has done for us, I'm afraid. The turn around begins with us.

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  7. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! I hadn't ever thought of the king's response quite like that. Very eye-opening. I too have fallen into this "entitlement grace" at times and it is terrible! I need to always remember that grace is a gift I could never, ever deserve, and respond with the humility that requires. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Kelly, I'm sure we've all not reverenced, respected and appreciated God's grace like we should at times. In our culture it seems to be getting worse. I want to reverence Him and what He has done for us.

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  8. I really loved these last 2 weeks in Jonah. Thanks for introducing me to She Reads Truth, Elizabeth! :)

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    1. Lyli, I'm so glad you joined up and are enjoying She Reads Truth. I love it too!

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  9. This is a much needed post. I am so glad to see you state the problem so clearly. This message needs to be heard far and wide. Thanks again for a much needed awareness.

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  10. Thank you, my friend. I fear that we are losing our reverence for God in our culture.

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  11. Hi Elizabeth! I think you are right when you say the king stepped down from his throne...he was ready to give God the glory and power. I hope that I can be like this king more and more in my own life.

    So lovely to meet you! I hope we will be good blog-friends!
    Ceil

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    1. I added your blog to my Feedly blog reader!

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  12. Hi Elizabeth, you wrote a wonderful piece. "We glibly insert our dimes worth of "I'm sorry" into heaven's vending machine..." True repentance is an act of worshipping God. I appreciate your wise words and exhortation. More Grace! Visiting from "Scripture and a Snapshot"

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  13. Oh yes! The first time I read this story, it struck me how the king immediately stepped down to repent. Great lesson for a stubborn learner like myself. And I love your writing, "We glibly insert our dimes worth of "I'm sorry" into heaven's vending machine and demand God's limitless forgiveness". Fabulous words! Have a blessed Sunday!

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    1. I appreciate your encouragement, Carrie!

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  14. Lovely post! I'd never really thought about the king's response but you are so right about his humble posture and willingness to step off the throne. Thanks for a great lesson and reminder that we ought not take God's grace for granted.

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    1. I studied Jonah using Kay Arthur's inductive method last year and it came alive to me as i noticed the details like never before!

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  15. mmm ... yes, yes. amazing grace and lavish mercy.

    what more could we possibly want?

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    1. I'm so grateful! Thanks for your comment, Linda!

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  16. Thank you for reminding us to have an humble spirit as we receive God's amazing grace!

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  17. I just read Jonah last week. AND, understanding how that city came to the Lord and lived that way for 100-plus years, turning from their idol worshiping. It always hits me, now, that as much of our world is still worshiping idol after idol, that if they/we don't turn to the Lord, worshiping HIM, we're in real trouble. It's a big heart-breaker for me. I'm so glad you were reading it about the same time I was. Makes me grin...but also helps me know that lots of the seriousness could keep coming our way. [Hope to see you in less than a month when I'm out there. Miss you much!!!]

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  18. Every time I read the story of Jonah, I'm struck by the prompt response of repentance and humility from the king of Nineveh. Great lesson!

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  19. I appreciate this word Elizabeth. I agree that there is a sense of entitlement that assumes we deserve His goodness. I remind myself all the time...He doesn't need us, He chooses us. Thanks for reminding us to remain humble.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by and taking time to comment. I just love God's Word and sharing with each other about it!

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