Truly we are living in remarkable times! Tomorrow is probably one of the most significant days of our lifetime, as Americans go to the polls and decide the future of the United States. Of course, voting is important, but let's be sure we know what we're voting for!...continue reading this devotion.
As God worked on creation for six days and rested on the seventh day, so our seven day week is established on that pattern. If, as the scripture declares, with the Lord one day is as 1,000 years and 1,000 years as a day, then the seven-day cycle also finds expression in a great historical "week". As we approach the 1,000-year reign of the Messiah, this "millennium" as it is called, (described in some detail in Revelation chapter 20), is clearly understood as a time of global rest, peace, and righteousness throughout the Earth....continue reading this devotion.
So Jonah goes and begins to preach in this pagan city. His message is very simple. "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown"(v. 4). That's it. That was his whole message. It's eight words in English; only 4 words in Hebrew....continue reading this devotion.
Jonah now acknowledges that God put him where he is, and he accepts His discipline. "Sheol" is the "grave", the "pit" or the "abode of the dead". Did Jonah die, or was he only nearly dead from three days of fish stomach acid, and little or no air? The text doesn't say; only that if he didn't actually leave his body, he came as close as a man can get to it; three days worth. In this nebulous and miserable place Jonah cried out, probably from the deepest depths of his agonized soul...he cried out to the Lord....continue reading this devotion.
For the next week or so we'll be looking closely at the life of Jonah the prophet. Jonah was told to "preach against the city of Nineveh", that was in the ancient kingdom of Assyria. Nineveh was a major city on the banks of the Tigris River about 500 miles north and east of where Jonah was; located on a contemporary map in modern Iraq, about 300 miles north of Baghdad. Archaeologists have found the ruins of ancient Nineveh right outside the Iraqi city of Mosul. Yes, the same Mosul that was taken last week by jihadists!...continue reading this devotion.
Most people reading this passage tend to focus in on the fruit that is produced. Okay...But a closer look will reveal that the Lord is really focusing on the tree. The fruit merely demonstrates the quality of the tree. We have all encountered this: there are trees whose fruit is healthy and delicious, and there are trees whose fruit is scarcely edible, or even useless....continue reading this devotion.
Several hundred years before Jesus was born, a plague broke out in Athens, Greece. In an effort to stop the plague and appease the 'gods', the Athenians sought counsel from a wise man named Epimenides from the island of Crete....continue reading this devotion.