Repentance is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. Without repenting of our sins we cannot really take on the life of faith as sin is the antithesis to conversion. Sin is precisely that aspect of our former lives that we are seeking to change when we talk about being converted to God. Jonah preaches repentance to the people of Nineveh and they respond to his call. What about us? Are we repenting daily of our sins? Are we turning away from sin and growing in holiness daily?
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 ?Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.? 3 So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD?s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day?s walk announcing, ?Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,? 5 when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. 7 Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: ?Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 8 Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. 9 Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.? 10 When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.
P S A L M
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
R: A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
1  Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2  Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 10  A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11  Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. (R) 16  For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it. 17  My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. (R)
G O S P E L
When God judges the greatness and holiness of a person, it has nothing to do with their position or stature in the eyes of the world. Instead it has everything to do with the degree to which they respond to the call of repentance at the heart of the proclamation of the Gospel. The truly righteous man or woman is one who has heard the call to repent and is in the process of doing exactly that rooting out the sources of sin in his or her life and replacing them with the virtues of holiness.
29 While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, ?This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. 30 Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. 32 At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.
think: Repentance is at the heart of the Christian Gospel.
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Joshua 20-24