Week 3 – March 4, 2018

“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, ‘I called to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me.'” (Jonah 2:1-2) There is the simple statement that sums up what happened when Jonah sank in the water: he cried out to God, and God answered him by sending the fish.

There is so much encouragement for us as sinners in this passage. God answers Jonah in spite of his guilt. I know that in my life I have been afraid to call out to God because I have been disobedient. I would wonder, Is there any HOPE? Will God have mercy on me or even hear me in my call of distress? God answered Jonah and gave him another chance, and I am so grateful that he does the same for you and me through our confession and repentance.

Repentance begins with an awareness that what we have done is wrong; an offense toward God followed by confession.

Once we have a relationship with Jesus, we don’t NEED to confess and repent for each sin in order to obtain forgiveness. But doing so is the best way to please God and become who Jesus wants us to be.

Psalm 51:1-3
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
according to Your loving kindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

God cleanses our hearts of sin when He pardons us not only for our sake but also for the sake of others. When we have a fresh experience of the Lord’s pardon, we are granted a deeper awareness of His mercy, and we should go forth and tell others of His grace because we are thankful for what He has done for us.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The only way we can be truly pure in heart is to give our lives to Jesus and ask Him to do the cleansing work.

Scripture For the Week to Pray, Meditate, and Focus your heart on:

Jonah 2
Acts 9:1-9
Psalm 51

– Brandy Wynn