“And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left–and also many animals?” Jonah 4:11
Jonah had finally decided to go to Nineveh and tell the people about God and warn them of the coming destruction. The people chose to repent and obey God. God also relented and chose not to destroy them. Jonah was very upset that God did not destroy the city. God asks him if He should not be concerned about all the people who were uneducated and needed His help.
People love to judge other people, but do not want to be judged. They are always willing to look at how terrible another person is, yet refuse to see major faults in their own lives. They are only concerned about their own welfare and life. They will spend time in church, but not go to the people who need Jesus. Many believers in churches are very quick to pass judgment upon the lost. They do not feel that some people deserve to be saved.
In the process of feeling this way, many will not bring the gospel message to certain people. In reality they do not have the love and compassion for people that Jesus showed when He walked upon the earth. Jesus walked around healing and giving the good news. Jesus had come to save everyone who is willing to believe. Every person on this earth needs a chance to make the choice of whether to believe in Jesus or not.
When you take time to share the gospel message with someone, you are taking time to show God’s love and compassion for them. You are being concerned about the people. The most important thing to be concerned about is the welfare of their spirit. If they do not have Jesus, they will have death in the end.
Although it is important to keep your own life focused on God, you must also be concerned about the lives of others. Have you given them a chance to know Jesus? Or have you lived your life so concerned about yourself that you do not tell them about Jesus?
And when someone changes their heart and follows Jesus, are you excited or do you ask why they were not judged?
I pray today that you will know the love God has for all people; that you will have God’s concern for the souls of all people; that you will strive to tell everyone you can about Jesus; and that God will draw many to Him through you.
We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered in shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:8
Daniel had just received a very clear vision of how long Israel would be destroyed and under captivity of another nation. He then started reading some of the words of Jeremiah and seeing what God had told him. Once he read those words, he started to pray to God a prayer of repentance for the nation of Israel. Daniel started admitting to breaking God’s commands and sinning against Him.
Daniel did not point fingers at other people and just say that they were the ones to sin. He included himself in the sins against God.
It is very easy, and very common, for people in the church to point fingers at the sins of others. Christians blame those in the world for the corruption and sin that is so rampant in their nation. Blaming politicians and leaders for the sin comes easily for many people. People will say if “they” did not allow something, that sin would not be there or the corruption would not have happened, always talking about someone else and not themselves.
When actions like this are done, one is not showing the love and mercy of God towards others. Nor is the person taking his responsibility in what is being done wrong.
Some may say, “I have never killed anyone (or some other sin), so why am I to repent.” It is true that you may not have done a particular sin, but there is another one that you have done. Regardless of what sin you have committed, you have sinned against God and helped lead your country to where it is today.
Along with that, every believer is supposed to be His loving witness to this world. As you go through your days ask yourself if you are doing everything that you can to be His witness. Ask yourself if you are showing His love and mercy to this dying world in the best way possible and as much as possible.
Since many believers cannot say that they are doing these things to the level God wants them to do, they are helping others continue in sin.
Seek God and ask Him to show you how you can reach the world for Him.
Repent of all sins, both the corporate and the personal. Allow God to change lives.
I pray today that you will seek to be a witness of Jesus to everyone you meet; that you will do your best to bring all to God; that you will show His great love and mercy to this world; and that you will repent of all sin.
Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.
Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.
Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.
Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.
Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?
Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.
While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.
One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.
1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.
As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.
If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.
Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.
Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.
Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.
Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.
Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.
If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.
Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.
Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.
John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.
Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.
Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.
I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. Jeremiah 8:6
As God is getting ready to send the nation of Israel into captivity He is watching and listening to the people. None of them realized what they had done wrong and repented of their sins. They continued to live in sin as God was punishing them.
The illustration God uses is of a horse charging into battle. Horses that were used for battle had blinders put on. These blinders kept them from seeing to the right or left. All they could see was in front of them. They were also trained to go forward regardless of what was happening in front of them. Often they were charging straight forward into a battle in which there was a very high chance, to guaranteed chance of death. They had no fear of what was happening, despite it meaning they would be injured or killed.
People are very much like that to this day. All over the world people are choosing their own course in life. The majority are choosing a path that is similar to that of the battle horse going into battle. They are choosing to live a life full of sin, refusing to repent and not seeing the danger ahead.
For those who have never known God, this is understandable. However, just like the Israelites, there are many who claim to be Christian or have known God at some point in their life, but are living in purposeful sin. They are choosing their own path, rather than following God and the path He has for them.
Some will repent of their sins in words only. As soon as they repent, they go out and do it again on purpose. This is not true repentance, a turning away from the sin.
You must look at your own life and determine whose path you are on. Are you following your own path, which will lead to destruction in the end?
Or are you following the path God has for you?
Be willing to repent of all sin and follow God’s path for your life. In the end you will have life forever.
I pray today that you will follow God’s path for your life; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will truly repent of all sin in your life; and that you will know the life God has for you.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Psalm 32:3
In the verses right before these quoted, David talks about the person whose sins are forgiven are blessed. Now he is talking about when he was silent, he suffered greatly day and night.
Sin will weigh heavy on a person, because sin is what will bring about death. It also brings about separation from God.
People often wonder why they cannot sleep and why they have no strength from day-to-day. If those people are believers, it can be that they have sin in their lives that they have not repented of. They are silent about what they have done.
God cannot be around sin and will not honor one who is living in sin. He allows His Holy Spirit to touch the life of someone to draw them closer to Himself. In order to get closer, all sin must be removed. During the time of David, sin was covered up by the sacrificing of animals. Today, sin is removed by the blood of Jesus.
Jesus had become the perfect sacrifice to remove all sin, because He not only died, but also rose from the dead to take away all sin. Believers who have chosen to not repent of a sin, have chosen to move away from God’s presence. Not being in God’s presence removes His peace and rest.
Those in the world who purposely live in sin, are always having to watch their back. They are always having to cover themselves of wrongs being done. There is no peace in their lives.
As a believer, you can have that peace that passes all understanding. That peace is the peace that comes when you are forgiven and are in right standing with God. It is peace between you and God. When you are at peace with Him, you will be able to be at rest and will have all the needed strength you need.
God will be able to give you what you need, because you are in right standing with Him.
Do not allow yourself to be silent before God. Admit what you have done wrong and repent of it. Accept the forgiveness Jesus offers and receive His peace and rest.
I pray today that you will be open with God about your sin; that you will not be silent before God; that you will know the rest that God can give you; and that you will allow Jesus to remove all sin from your life.
When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 2 Chronicles 34:18
Josiah had become king of Judah at a very young age, but had followed God his whole life. He led the nation into serving God again by removing all the false idols and temples. He had the priests repair the temple of God. In the process of the repairs, the book of the Law was found. It was read to Josiah. When he heard the words of God, he tore his robes because he knew how the people had turned away from God and the judgement that God was going to bring upon them.
When the world hears God’s word, most will just ignore it or ridicule it. They look at it as some old time religious superstition and do not believe it. This can be expected since they do not know or follow God in any way.
At the same time, there are many Christians who hear the word of God and ignore it. Every Sunday they go to church and hear a sermon preached. Some will just think that the sermon was for the other person, while others will agree to it, but go home and forget about it and not change. The words heard are not applied to one’s life.
When Josiah tore his robes at hearing the word of God, that was a sign of humility and extreme remorse for a wrong being done. He realized the problems that the people had caused and the sin they had done against God.
Each time you hear God’s word there will be a reaction. You will either accept it, or ignore it. The accepting of God’s word is not just accepting it for someone else’s sake, but for your own life.
As you hear God’s word, whether in a sermon, as you read it, or from someone else, you must apply it to your life. When God’s word points out sin in your life, you must repent of that sin and turn back to God. When God’s word points out ways to live for Him, then you must change your ways in how you live for Him.
Do not allow yourself to remain indifferent to His word. Allow it to change you to be more like Jesus everyday.
What is your reaction to God’s word for you today?
I pray today that you will listen to God’s word; that you will accept God’s word for your life; that you will live according to God’s word; and that you will let God’s word change your life.