Who doesn’t know Jonah? While at first glance we think of it as the tale of a whale, it’s really a story of God’s heart toward the nations. God uses this timeless story to challenge us to His most important commitment – reaching the nations with the news of His love and forgiveness. Even if they are our archenemies, He wants us to go there and tell them of the wonderful grace of Jesus…greater than all our sin.
Jesus Himself summed up the story of Jonah as He left this earth. It’s recorded in the last two verses of Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” He had a plan for Jonah, and that same plan is for us.
From Women of Faith Devotional Bible. Copyright © 2003 (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.
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In 1897, Johnson Oatman Jr. wrote the words to a simple yet profound hymn. It was written for young people to help them learn what is really worth counting and also to remember who can be counted on. In particular, Johnson wanted people to learn that they should count their blessings when times were hard. His song begins with these words:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
My daughter Hope sits down to play a hymn on the piano. She keeps the rhythm of the song, she keeps harmony, by doing nothing less than counting – that is what she does. She counts. The music teacher of a friend once said this to his students about how to keep the right beat of a song: “When you are a musician and you stop counting, it’s like running around in the forest,...