Redeeming Grace

In my last article, I focused on the first section of Jonah Chapter 2 Verse 8. Today, I want to focus on the rest of the chapter that helps bring your focus back on redeeming the grace the Lord offers all of us. “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2: 8-9

What brought Jonah to speak these words? What made Jonah face the fact that he was throwing away the grace that God was offering to him? Well, for Jonah, he was in the belly of a giant fish. I am literally scared to death of large fish, dark water, and the fear of what is lurking below. Jonah lived in the belly of that fish for 3 days! I am in awe that he made it that long; that within itself is a true example of God’s grace.

Jonah’s realization of grace came from the depths of the belly of a stinky fish. What will be your stinky fish belly? My stinky fish belly has come this year while we together studied 1 Corinthians 13. I realized just how much I was discounting the love, grace, and mercy God has shown me. I had chosen to cling to hurt, not the love that could be in my life. I was desperately holding on to bitterness in order to feel something when I should have been focusing on the love.

Jonah realized he was holding onto worthless idols and totally disregarding the grace that could be his and the grace he was to offer the people of Nineveh. He knew he had to offer his life as a sacrifice to God and do it with thanksgiving in his heart. We are called to not be of ourselves but to be of Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

With thanks, Jonah promised to fulfill his work for the Lord. When we take Christ in our hearts and accept him as our savior, we promise to be lights in this world and spread the gospel to all we encounter. Our soul purpose as Christians is to help those around us know the love of Christ, and when we live in such a way that forfeits the grace we have received, it makes it impossible to spread the word of the Lord. People around us can tell if we are living a life that reflects the love of God.

Jonah, just like us, knows that salvation comes from the Lord. There is absolutely nothing we can do on our own to achieve salvation. It is strictly the grace, love, and mercy given to us by God that leads to salvation. If we continue to hold onto the worthless idols in our lives, we will continue to forfeit the grace and ultimately the salvation Gad has so freely given to us.

As 2022 is quickly coming to an end, I urge you to stop clinging to the things of this world, the worthless idols in your life, and accept the grace so freely given by the Lord. He wants his children to live in happiness and peace and once you redeem that grace in your life, the peace and happiness will come.

This week’s recipe is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving meal. I personally think it is one of the best autumn recipes around. It is absolutely delicious and sure to be a crowd pleaser!

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7