Rediscovering the Huge Heart of God – Grace for Fugitives
Key Bible Verses: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23
Dig Deeper: Jonah 1-4
God’s grace is more expansive than our sin. The whole story of Jonah is God going after depraved, fallen fugitives. [See Dig Deeper.]
We basically understand why God pursues Jonah, since he was a prophet and a part of God’s people Israel, and he cared about God—at some level anyway. Jonah’s prayer [in chapter 2] revealed that he was basically a friend of God, not an enemy.
Yet God also goes after Nineveh. Jonah was pathetic in many ways, but Nineveh was violently wicked—perverse and sadistic. It makes me wonder why God didn’t just do away with the whole nasty place. That would have spared God so much effort.
But the good news is that God’s ability to clean things up is infinitely greater than our ability to mess things up. God’s grace is so massive, so expansive, so wide-ranging, that it tracks down both kinds of runners from God—those who try to rescue themselves by breaking the rules, and those who try by keeping them.
There’s no place where you might be now, or where you might have been in the past, or where you might go in the future, that will ever be beyond the reach of God’s grace—nowhere.
—Tullian Tchividjian in Surprised by Grace
My Response: How do I feel about God extending his grace to people who are “violently wicked—perverse and sadistic”?
Thought to Apply: Grace means the free, unmerited, unexpected love of God, and all the benefits, delights, and comforts which flow from it. It means that while we were sinners and enemies we have been treated as sons and heirs.—R. P. C. Hanson (Irish church leader)
Adapted from Surprised by Grace (Crossway, 2010).
Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, help me to reflect on your love this week so that I might not only rediscover your love for me but also your great love for each and every person on the planet.