Lent | Jonah: Day

Forgiveness and repentance

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Today's Text: Jonah 2:1-10

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After owning up to the fact that he was running from God and getting tossed into the sea, Jonah finds himself in the belly of a big fish. Things are looking pretty bleak. Jonah knows his disobedience has probably sent him to his death.

Through the fog of his desolation, Jonah remembers God. He claims God’s faithfulness – and then, he takes it to another level. He thanks God and worships Him. Jonah’s ownership of his wrongdoing and God’s great mercy send Jonah flying out of the belly of the fish and into God’s Holy Presence.

I was as far down as a body can go,
and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever–
Yet you pulled me up from the grave alive
O God, my God!
(Jonah 2:6, The Message)

I see myself in Jonah. Can’t we all? Many times when I sense God’s call in the little or the big, my first impulse is to run. Many times I do run, my fear greater than my faith. But in God’s grace, as I repent, remember, give thanks and worship, my eyes are lifted to a Holy God worthy of our praise and gratitude.

As I worship Him, I too am lifted from darkness into God’s light. As you worship Him, you too are lifted from darkness into God’s light.

In The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning says, “The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we need to do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven.”

“Repent and believe in the gospel,” Jesus says in Mark 1:15; and Peter echoes Him in Acts 2:38, saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Repentance is both our path to forgiveness and the response that blooms from it.  

I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned and heard my cry.
He lifted me up out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.  
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
(Psalm 40:1-3, NIV)

As we sing the new song of true repentance, may we repent as people shaped by forgiveness.

Guest writer Marcie Porterfield lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, three mostly-sweet daughters, and super-sweet old yellow Lab named Austin. She traded in the wonderful chaos of working in the inner-city for learning and leading other women in the practice of contemplative prayer and fellowship.

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Hey loves,

We are loving this #SheSharesTruth experiment and we hope you are, too!  (Here is the list of community shares from last week)

Let’s do it again this week, shall we?

So, for Friday, we encourage you to study and share Jonah 3&4. It’s two full chapters again, but just like last week, we think that because the book of Jonah can be divided into two very parallel sections, studying these two chapters this week will allow you all the opportunity to possibly approach the same scriptures we’re studying together from a broader perspective. (And if you prefer to study and share a smaller section, we think that’s great, too!)

We can’t wait to see what the Lord teaches you!

However you work (we know everyone has their own methods!), we are looking forward to Friday where you can share in your own words what the Holy Spirit is teaching you in Jonah 3&4. We’d love to have you join us!

Grace and Peace,
Raechel

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  • I was so blessed this evening while I was reading, praying, preparing for #shesharestruth on Friday. I can't wait to continue through this week in Jonah, and to see what all you sisters have gleaned and taken into your heart – each of your words reveals another side of our Heavenly Father – I rejoice so in it!

  • Mrscoop62

    Thank you Lord for saving me I repent. it's just amazing how you have open my eyes how could I have been so disobedient! For the rest of my days my Jesus I want to worship and honor you! I will not let the enemy still my glory.

  • journeyingwithhim

    It has been a very tough few months for me as my husband and I have experienced a failed adoption and the change of a relationship with our daughter's birth mom as a result. Almost every single day has been hard and full of struggle and questions without answers…a desire to understand why God has allowed this to happen, why I have to hurt so much, what will happen to my daughter's biological sister who is living in potentially dangerous conditions as a result of her birth mom's decision, whether we interpreted what we felt God was calling us to do correctly–not to mention the ongoing pain of an empty nursery, a double stroller that isn't filled, and continuing in the very real work of raising a daughter and encouraging others in professional ministry while our hearts are hurting. I've experienced worse pain in my life, but not worse grief. This grief has been a lot to bear. Reaching out to God has been difficult at times, easy at others. This story reminds me that it doesn't really matter how easy or hard it is to reach out to God, how natural or unnatural it feels. It reminds me that sometimes, we sit in the fish for days without words or understanding before we are able to cry out to God. But when we do, He responds. I am so grateful for this, and like Jonah, I just wanted to praise Him and acknowledge His mercies to us. I am so thankful that even when we hurt, even when we are caught in the hardest and worse situations…we are never alone!

    • tina

      Dearest journeyingwithhim, my heart goes out to you…..so very sorry for this sadness and hurt you are going through…..lifting you and your family up in prayer and praying God's promise never to leave you nor forsake you, over you all through this difficult time….He is faithful….He knows your heart,….and He loves you….bless you my sister….xx

  • Gema Muniz

    I"m loving this quote “The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we need to do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven.” This quote reminded me of another quote I read this weekend "Heaven is not a place for people afraid of hell, It's a place for people who love God." We praise God in our darkest valleys (the belly of the fish) not as a way of repentence, but as a way to confirm to God that we understand his sacrafice and his grace in our lives. We have already been forgiven and enjoy praising the lord at all times because we truly love God, because he has entered our hearts in lives within us. God is always in control; let's praise him all the time. God bless!

  • This is really exciting and a testament to the women here. I keep coming back to my desktop and refreshing and am so thankful to see the progress! I cannot express enough how much easier it is to 'sell' someone on an app rather than saying "I wish you would check out http://www.shereadstruth.com or hey sign up for this email from #shereadstruth. And I am not the 'younger' generation – I am 58. I love that I can stay connected by computer, phone or pad!
    I too would love to purchase the mug and shirt later, just couldn't hit that pledge at this time.

  • Wow. This is so relevant to me today, and extremely hard for me to wrap my head around/let soak in. Lord, let me, let us, be basking in and soaking up all of this truth today: that repentance is what I do, not only to be forgiven, but more so what I do out of forgiveness. You've already forgiven me, even as I sit here. Let me, let us, all meditate upon this amazing, life-altering truth today, Oh God. Be blessed, sisters. I love you guys.

  • Such a beautiful message. I for one certainly can see myself in Jonah through this book. “Do not let your fear be greater than your faith.” Thanks for sharing today!

  • Last week I commented here asking for prayer as I called a former relationship to ask for forgiveness for some things. We were able to talk on the phone on Friday, and it went better than ever I thought or expected! Thank you, sisters, for your prayers. I covet them so much.

    I related to today’s devotional so much. I was running from God when he was telling me to call him, and kept pushing it off. But weeks later when I finally obeyed Him, I now have experienced peace and forgiveness from the situation that I didn’t think was possible. God is SO faithful, even when we are not!

  • This is how we rest in the assurance of our salvation. We are FORGIVEN–ONCE for ALL, but once this saving grace has blanketed us, we daily bloom with tender hearts toward anything that is not in accord to God's will. We're still resting in the beauty of this new creation He's made of us, but we are drawn to repentance because we have been forgiven. ~Sweet Grace.

  • "repentance is not what we need to do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven.” This statement keeps going around and around in my head this morning. I feel like a baby Christian here, and I am not. I have never really thought about repentance this way. To quote one of our sisters "Wow!"

  • JessicaLoves___

    Our sermon at church yesterday was about repentance. The pastor discussed that, although Christ accepts us as we are when we come to him, he doesn't just say, "I'm cool. You're cool" and leave us where we are. No. He brings change in our lives. And we will need to repent – turn the opposite direction from the way we are going – many times during our lives because God wants to keep changing us.

  • thecatwalkoffaith

    Gosh- Repent and believe the gospel jumped out at me!
    It's the disbelief of God's goodness that leads us astray and makes us doubt His word.
    The gospel of peace, redemption and wholeness in Jesus Christ…I don't know about you sisters, but i often am not 100% convinced sometimes that Christ surely is enough- and that's a sin! He has forgiven all of my trespasses and yet I doubt Him from time to time…how silly of me! As you mentioned, He is worthy to be praised and adored and we must learn to get our emotions in check and repent to our living Father when we let doubt and fear creep in and cripple our hearts.

    • AnnaLee

      Yes! Amen! "We must learn to get our emotions in check and repent to our living Father when we doubt or let fear creep in and cripple our hearts." Yes. Wow. Let us always be meditating on His goodness and faithfulness to us.

    • Mrscoop62

      Yes Amen to that! sometimes the enemy tries to steal my glory and bring insecurities in my relationship and makes me believe I'm not worthy to be happy because of my sin. I'm being punished when things go wrong . I'm going to get paid back! Etc…. Thats when I just start talking to the Lord (and I do that alot) Father I know you have forgiven me and I put my trust in you that you will protect me my desire is to honor and serve you! I want to share the glory of your love with those I come across and what you have done for me.

  • Joanne Sher

    We repent because we are forgiven – not so that we will be. That is incredibly profound. Wow. We fear confession – afraid that our latest sin is the one that will be too much for Him. But He has ALREADY FORGIVEN US. And I say it again – wow.

    • Brooke

      I meant to give a "thumbs up" and pushed the wrong icon! (And now it won't let me change it :( ) Love this comment. Initial repentance brings forgiveness…once we are walking with Christ it becomes an affirmation of our faith and an opportunity to grow closer to Him!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen, Joanne… I'm in awe of it. So often I tiptoe around God when I've done something wrong or I falsely get under condemnation and do so even when I haven't done something wrong… but all those are lies. He's already forgiven me, even before I repent. It's so profound and hard to wrap my mind around right now, I feel like I want to get a tattoo of it or something just so that I can meditate on it and let it sink in more (but I won't, haha). I'm going to soak in this truth today.

    • justemmahh

      That stuck out to me too!! And you put it so well Joanne! I struggle coming to that place of confession/repentance not realizing I have already been forgiven …. Just amazing <3

  • As we sing the new song of true repentance, may we repent as people shaped by forgiveness……..this really caught my heart……
    As a people shaped and influenced by our surroundings, our culture, our piers, what's going on, what's in, what's out……what refreshing truth……when we own our wrong doing, when we confess , repent, look up to the heavens on our knees, bowed down in worship and thanks giving to tho One, and only One, who can save and truly forgive……there is a shift in us, a freeing that can only come from a God whose Grace is bigger than my wrong doing, my running from, my disobedience, my I can do life on my own, thank you very much attitude……

    Thank you God, for your hand, that is ever there to lift me out of my pit, to save me and keep me safe on solid rock, to keep me safe in YOU, I will keep your word written on my heart, thank you for putting a new song in my heart, a song of praise, to you, I pray Lord,that as I sing others will see YOU in me……Loved by the Almighty God, renewed, restored, redeemed…….for your Glory ……Lord, always….AMEN….x

    Marvelling Monday…..Marvelling at the blessing you are to me my SRT sister's, each and every one…..God bless you all with sunshine, Grace, Love…..x x x

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