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Jesus In Jonah ….. The Willing Savior …… January 7, 2018

     Jonah and Jesus; the only thing they have in common is that their names begin with the same letter. Jonah ran away when God told him to go to Nineveh. Jesus came into the world willingly in obedience to God, his Father. Jonah complained when God forgave; Jesus willingly gave of Himself so that we could be forgiven, and he even ask for forgiveness for those who were crucifying him. Jonah was buried in the depths because of his disobedience; Jesus was buried in the grave because of obedience. Jonah came forth from the depths proclaiming the coming judgement of sin. Jesus came forth proclaiming victory by satisfying God’s judgment for sin. One thing is consistent in the two stories – God’s forgiveness. When the people of Nineveh repented, God forgave. When we repent of sin today, God forgives. As it says in Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  I am so thankful for a Savior who was willing to come and die, as it were yesterday, for my sin, so that I might be saved today from my sin and be forever forgiven of my sin. A willing Savior who….

Willingly Came Into The World:
      This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15 ESV
      From the time in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned, God made a plan to redeem them and us from sin. He would send His only Son into the world to through Satan’s deception. What Satan had destroyed, God chose to restore. Jesus came for this purpose: to save sinners.

Willing Die In My Place:
     But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ Died for us. Romans 5:8 ESV
     There is no great theological debate for this truth. You either believe it, or you don’t. It might be hard to understand why God would choose to send His Son to die for us, but He did. It can only be explained by love. A love that surpasses all our understanding and logic. It just doesn’t make sense, but I am glad it doesn’t count on my understanding, but rather on faith. Faith is believing that God does not lie; and that when John 3:16 was spoken to us by Jesus, we can believe it.

Willingly Forgave Me Of Sin:
     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV
     Have you ever had someone do you wrong? Sure you have, and you can choose to either forgive them, or not. It is a choice made with purpose. It  doesn’t mean that you haven’t been wronged; it simply means you choose not to hold that wrong against the other person. That was God’s choice with us. He didn’t have to do it, for He was God. He could have done whatever He wanted, but He chose forgiveness, and I am so glad He did. God has always shown us by example how He wants us to live, and the ultimate example was His only Son on the cross. God washed away our sins with the blood of His only Son.

     Clean before God you can now stand because of His choice to love us enough to become flesh and live with us in this world, die for us in this world, and forgive us in this world. In doing so a person can have a home in heaven which God has prepared for all who believe, confess, and receive. Praise God for His great mercy and grace, that He would run to us instead of away from us. That He would choose through His Son to be a willing Savior.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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