Today’s devotion is based on Jonah 3:10, “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.”
The ancient city of Nineveh was known for its violence. As the capital of the Assyrian empire, Nineveh dominated the region. Assyrian armies laid waste to almost everything in their path, subjugating and enslaving many people and cruelly torturing those who dared to resist. As a result, they earned God’s anger, and he sent his prophet Jonah with the message: “In forty days, Nineveh will be destroyed.”
The people listened to Jonas’ message and repented of their wicked ways. They understood from the forty-day warning that the holy God of Israel was willing to relent and show them mercy. And that is what happened.
Grace is God’s unmerited love for those who deserve his anger instead. Grace is found only in Jesus Christ, who took our many offenses against God upon himself and accepted the punishment we all deserve. Repenting of our sins and renouncing our selfishness, we find that we have complete and free forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I know that I have failed to obey inwardly and outwardly your commandments and thus deserve your punishment. But I call out to you for mercy, and I cling to your gracious promises of forgiveness in and through Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen.