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Prayers From the Belly of a Fish

Jonah Chapter 2 says: From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’

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The Lord Provided

But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:17
God’s provision is a major theme in the book of Jonah. Yet the things God provides are not always what one might expect. Jonah is thrown overboard into the raging sea, and God provides for him. God’s provision, however, is not a floatation device or a coast guard boat or even a bit of driftwood for him to hold on to. Instead, a giant sea creature bursts out of the water, opens its gaping maw, swallows up the hapless prophet, and descends into the deep.
 

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Running From God

God calls Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital of the powerful nation of Assyria. But instead he flees to Tarsish. As you can see, Tarshish is just about as far away as possible from Nineveh. Jonah is running from God. You may have run from God at times in your life as well. Maybe not by getting in a boat and sailing across the known world. Instead, I’ve found that our way of running from God is avoiding people and places that convict us. Our church attendance declines. We stop reading our Bibles. We stop spending time with friends and family who remind us of the God we are avoiding.
 

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Saving the World

“There’s some sort of hard to define spiritual crisis across the land which shows up in rising depression rates, rising mental health problems. A survey that Pew research center released last year captures the mood. Pew asked people to describe the thing that brings meaning to their lives. A shocking number of respondents describe lives of quiet despair. ‘I no long find much of anything meaningful, fulfilling or satisfying. Whatever used to keep me going has gone. I’m currently struggling to find any motivation to keep going.’”
 

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Who Will You Share God’s Word With Today?

Yesterday I had the privilege of teaching the “Pairs and Spares” class during the Sunday School hour. We looked together at the book of Jonah. Jonah was called to the Assyrians (the capital of which is Nineveh). The name Nineveh struck terror into the hearts of all those living in western Asia in this period. This nation was cruel, heartless, and conquered nation after nation. Listen to these words from one of the Assyrian kings (Ashur-nasirpal II) himself.
 

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Post-Christian


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Every Degree is Important

I’ve been watching this new condo being built for the past 6 months. Architecture has always been intriguing to me and it’s fascinating to see the progress as the blue collar, hard-working men labor to produce a new structure. The crane engineer sits up in the cabin 8 hours a day hoisting up building materials as the laborers work efficiently.
The building is approaching 20-25 stories now. But way before this building ever hit 200-250 feet, a crucial element was laid – the foundation. True to all structures, without a proper foundation, the overall stability would be compromised. Without a strong foundation, catastrophe can occur – and the architects fully understand this. The measurements need to be perfect. Not even 1° off.

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Sing Joyfully

Every now and then I run across someone who says they just can’t believe in a God who needs our praise. They suggest that God is somehow insecure and needs constant reassurance that He is the greatest. They believe praise and worship are just an ego trip invented by God to satisfy His vanity. As usual, the nonbeliever gets things turned around. He or she looks at worship as being primarily designed for the benefit of God, as if God really needed anything that we can offer Him. Rather, praise and thanksgiving are designed by God for the benefit of humanity.

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In Himself, Nothing; In God, Everything

“The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life.

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Greater Things

“God knows how He can use your life to exert the maximum impact for His Kingdom. He may not immediately give you a large, international assignment. But you can expect that He will have something for you to do. It may be a very ordinary task. It may not carry much prestige.

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