Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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I love the way chapter three starts out, “And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time.” I am so happy we serve the God of second chances!  The Bible is full of second chances.  Look at the nation of Israel; over and over we see our Heavenly Parent attempting to train up His wayward children.  But not all stories have a happy ending, so allow me to pick some that do.  King David for instance, Solomon, and Samson are but a few examples of “second chances” that evolved into the ultimate happy ending—eternal life. 


You may be tempted to wonder if that was only in Bible times and not the God of modern times.  Does He still offer second chances?  I can tell you, without a doubt that He does.  I am a perfect example of coming to God and then being enticed by the glitter and gold of this world.  But, praise God, He took the initiative to speak to me a second time, and by God’s grace, the second time has stuck!


But God’s grace is not only for those of us who once walked by His side and then slipped away, it is for all people—everywhere!  And on the day that Jonah walked into the palace of the King, it was “second chance” for the Ninevites. What an evangelist he must have been—the entire city of over one hundred thousand people responded to his message of repentance and salvation. 


It reminds me of what the famous preacher John Wesley once said, “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.”


As Jonah preached by the power of the Holy Spirit, he shook the gates of hell and the people were moved upward to the God of heaven.  What can God do with one person who is fully committed to serving Him? The answer is: whatever He wants to do—after all, He’s God!  But there is something to consider.


Your destiny, as was Jonah’s, is up to you.  God has your life fully planned out but He will do nothing unless you allow Him 100% control.  It’s your choice.  God not only died on Calvary to save you, He died so you can have the choice of service—the choice that Adam and Eve threw away in the Garden.


If you allow Him access to your life today to be guided and led by Him, you will be amazed at the lives you will touch and change for eternity!


Jim Ayer
Vice President for Advancement
Adventist World Radio
General Conference