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God Desires to show Forgiveness

The story concerns God’s call to Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh of its coming destruction. However, Jonah tries to avoid his mission by running away but ends up going after being swallowed and spat out by a huge fish. Jonah 1–2

I always thought that the moral of this story was for us to know that you can’t run away from what God has called you to do. Which is true of course, but I learned something completely new which really challenged me. 

After Jonah went to preach to the Ninevites, they fasted, prayed and repented from their evil ways and God forgave them. 

Jonah 3:10 When God saw what the Ninevites did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Jonah 4: 1–4 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

God is asking Jonah if his anger towards the Ninevites is justified, there is no response from Jonah to this in bible, but Jonah hated the Ninevites because they were very cruel and violent.

God still forgave the Ninevites but Jonah was still hoping God will destroy them. Jonah would rather die than see the Ninevites live.

The questions that challenged me are:

1) Are you ok with God loving and forgiving your enemies?

2) Is there a bit of Jonah inside you that’s holding on to grudges that God has already declared forgiven?

Today I choose to remember that God loves all people and desires to show mercy and forgiveness to those who repent.

Prayer: I thank God for his unending mercy and pray that we learn to love and forgive our enemies the same way God forgives us. Amen

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God of restoration

By Belina Sithole

” In that day, I will restore David’s fallen shelter, I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins, and will rebuild it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name”, declares the Lord, who will do these things. Amos 9:11

Amos chapter 9, starts off with Prophet Amos’ vision of how God will destroy Israel because they had broken their covenant with God.

In our society today, we might not be worshipping or offering sacrifices to wooden idols. However, when we put our value on material things, be it our cars, house, jobs etc. One could argue that we are probably living a similar lifestyle that the Israelites did.

If we barely prioritise or include God in our day to day activities but have time to be fully active on our social media from morning to night, I think we are enslaving ourselves.

The good news is, in the verse we just read, we see that there is hope of restoration for the Israelites. God is promising to repair and restore, the same is true for us. He will restore his relationship with us. In order to have a relationship with God, as with any relationship, we need to spend time with him, put God first.

So today I choose to remember that God is a God of restoration!

Prayer: God I thank you because you continue to pursue me, I will prioritise my relationship with you and put you first in all I do. Amen!

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God of grace, love and Mercy

By Belina Sithole

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness: He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:13

In the verse we just read, Joel 2:13, it says ‘rend your heart and not your garments.’  and verse 12 says ‘return to me with all your heart’.

My understanding from these verses is that for us to repent, we must do so whole heartedly and not try to do it for show or under false pretence. Sometimes when you offend someone, or do something wrong, it’s easy to apologise and not really mean it and if you’re good at it the other person might believe that you’re truly sorry. But we know that we cannot fool God.

God knows our hearts; he knows when we are really trying to live a life that is pleasing to him and when we are genuine about it.

The verse then goes on to say, ‘for he is a gracious and merciful God’. So, if we are genuine about changing our lifestyle, even when we fail, God willingly forgives us. Why, because we do not earn God’s forgiveness, no matter how good of a person you might be or how much work you put in, God forgives us because he is a gracious and merciful God who is slow to anger and of great kindness.

So today I choose to remember that I’m saved by God’s grace, his love and mercy are much greater than my sins.

Prayer: God I thank you for your grace and mercy, I pray that I continue to seek you with all my heart and remain faithful to you. Amen!

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God loves me unconditionally

By Belina Sithole

“Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” Hosea 14:1-2

The book of the Prophet Hosea talks about the relationship of God with the Israelites, how the Israelites rebelled against God.

They had turned away from God, worshiping wooden idols, living a life governed by their own desires and rejecting God’s word. They no longer had a relationship with God, living as if they didn’t know God.

God was so angry with the Israelites to the point of withdrawing himself away from them, and he wanted to punish them for their actions, but he didn’t. Why, because of his unconditional love! However, the Israelites still suffered the consequences of their actions.

So instead of punishing the Israelites for their unfaithfulness, God decided to pursue them, and the Israelites had to repent from their sins in order to restore the relationship they had with God.

The same is true for you and I, we are not perfect and we make mistakes but God still loves us and he delights in showing us mercy.

So today I choose to remember that God loves me unconditionally, he willingly forgives me even though I repeatedly continue to sin. 

Prayer: God I thank you because you continue to show me mercy when I don’t deserve it. You showed me unconditional love by giving up your only son to die for my sins. By his blood my sins were washed away making me new in Christ and restoring my relationship with you. Amen!

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choose to remember

Awakening Love

By Walinasé-Miriam

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.
‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭

Yesterday we talked about time and seasons in relation to saving money, now we will talk about the nature of time in relation to love. In this verse the writer mentions about not awakening love before the right time. We see from the word of God that as Christians the right time for us to awaken love is when you are in a loving God ordained marriage. And we shouldn’t seek out the love before it’s time. So let’s say you are currently unmarried? Use this time to work on yourself. Build up your gifts and talents, acquire new skills. travel to a new country, buy a house, build up your network and expand your horizons. As mentioned yesterday there are always time and seasons, ask God to give you the ability to understand the times so you can use your days wisely.

Let’s pray: Father God, I am now praying for my future life partner. I know that you know what’s best for me and give me the ability to understand he times. Lord I pray that help me make the most of my single hood. Help me to be wise in my actions as I prepare for the appropriate time for love to be awaken. God show me the ways in which I must grow so I can fulfil my God ordained destiny. In the name of Jesus I pray Amen.