He giveth more grace

July 14, 2020

Scripture Readings

Jonah's book is a clear and powerful depiction of God's desire to extend love and mercy, overriding his just fury and burning anger as described in Psalms 85. This desire to extend love and mercy went beyond Israel to every tribe, tongue and nation. The Israelites considered other nations their enemies, and they expected God to destroy them. Jonah was no exception. When the people group of Nineveh repented, fasted and turned from their wicked ways, Jonah struggled with God's change of mind and his extension of forgiveness and mercy. 

You see the patient discipline and compassion of an all-knowing God towards his disobedient servant, Jonah. God hears his cry and delivers Jonah from his deep, dark pit of consequences for his disobedient choices. The thing is, God was there working amid Jonah's mess. Because of Jonah's decision, the sailors began calling on the LORD.

As Jonah witnesses God's mercy towards Nineveh, he becomes angry. God patiently provides shade for Jonah, and then causes the plant to wither, using the experience to confront Jonah on his heart attitude that he has towards God and towards the people of Nineveh. 

In Paul's writing to the Romans, God has come to rescue both Jews and Gentiles. God's wrath has been poured out on Jesus Christ as he selflessly allowed himself to be crucified for our sins. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, leaving us with the Comforter, Holy Spirit, Christ within us. He dealt with the sin issue once for all and  sits at God's right hand, offering up our prayers. Romans 2:4 tells us that God's kindness draws people and leads to repentance in our flawed and fallen world. As believers, we are saints in the arms of a loving father, and we have hope and a sound mind, instead of fear. This hope in Jesus will attract others. As we depend upon Jesus, we will be given a softened heart of compassion towards the lost around us, replacing a heart of stone, grown cold, with an attitude of bitterness, condemnation and judgment. 

I would like to finish off with these lyrics from the hymn He giveth more grace:

His love has no limit; his grace has no measure,

His pow'r has no boundary known unto men, 

For out of his infinite riches in Jesus,

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

 

Judy Willms

Ask her about her baptism in the Jordan River! It was a great moment!