Dear Windermere Friends,
I stopped short in my Bible reading devotion. I was re-reading the book of Jonah. I stopped at Jonah 3:1-
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.”
I don’t know about you but I sure do need a second chance. Probably daily. This verse shows up after Jonah ran from God and spent a few days with a great fish sleeping on a “blubber mattress.”
If you look at Matthew 12:40, you can see that the story of Jonah is a foreshadowing of Jesus. Jesus spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (or the tomb). It is because Jesus died for our sins on the cross, that we all have a second chance at living for Christ. It is this very act that is the good news for all of us. Never consider a second chance from the Lord as ordinary. It is not. It comes a great cost.
This week as I pray for donors and for Windermere, I am grateful for the Lord who comes to all of us and says I know what you have done, but I need you now. You, me, Windermere, we all get a second chance. This is good news!Based on this story of Jonah’s second chance, I think we can count on at least three major assurances.
1. To the BAD – there is forgiveness
Some Christ followers feel they can never be useful after a public fail. But, our Lord says come, surrender your shame and I will remove your guilt! And, he really doesn’t stop there because the Bible says he redeems the damaged goods. There can be restoration.
2. To the BROKEN – there is a better story to tell
Our creator takes the wounds of life and uses them to create a better story. The Message paraphrase Bible says this, “Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that culture overlooks and exploits and abuses and choses these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-30. We get to be a part of a better story…see what God is doing.
3. To the BATTERED – there is strength for the journey
I have this mental picture of Jonah right after the fish spat him out. His skin is discolored and he looks almost like he will collapse. But you know what? God said again, I need you! The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. I heard Condoleezza Rice once say, “Today’s headlines and history’s judgment are rarely the same.”
What will you do when God comes a second time and says I need you?
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It is always a pretty day at the lake!