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You have staying power!

proverb 24:16 fall rises again worthy devotions

Counselors, encouragers, and people who offer care to others often encounter those whose past failures threaten to define them and hinder their development, healing, and sanctification. Our enemy capitalizes on our failures and regrets, pressing home the current influence of what we could have, would have, or should have done, if only we were wiser, more courageous, honest, or godly.

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What is God's will?

A woman once asked John Wesley what he would do if he knew that he would die at midnight the next day. "Why, Madam," he replied, "just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning, after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Martin's house...talk and pray with the family as usual, retire myself to my room at 10 o'clock, commend myself to my Heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory."

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Be a bold voice for Him!

In the 4th century lived a Christian named Telemachus, in a remote village, tending his garden, and spending much time in prayer. One day, he believed he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome, so he obeyed, setting out on foot. Some weeks later, weary from his journey, he arrived in Rome about the time of a great festival.

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One day at a time!

A father asked his son to carry a letter from their camp to the village. He pointed out a trail over which the lad had never gone before. “All right Dad, but I don’t see how that path will ever reach the town,” said the boy. “Well son, I'll tell you how. Do you see that big tree down the path?” asked the father. “Oh, yes, I see that far.” “Well, when you get there by the tree, you’ll see the trail a little farther ahead -- and farther down you'll see another big tree -- and when you reach that one you'll be closer and so on until you get within sight of the houses of the village.”

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Salvation is of the Lord!

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.

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Have the Heart of God!

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!

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