Faith, hope, love, is the answer...
And the greatest of these is LOVE...
The question isn't what's the answer
To life's most serious questions, the
Question is, do we want God's answer?

Misguided words and sin can be forgiven,
But do I want restoration, or only my view
Or perspective to be understood? I should
Want what God wants. But sometimes I
Don't, I want retribution and judgment.

Like Jonah, who didn't want Nineveh to
Hear from God or him to have forgiveness
For them...I'm afraid I'm more like Jonah
Than I care to admit. Forgive me LORD for
My intolerance and lack of forgiveness, not

That I should have tolerance for others sin,
But I should rejoice when God wants grace
Shown to sinners who repent. Faith, hope,
Love, these three, but the greatest of these
Is LOVE. God's shown it to me, has he not?

Lord create in me a clean heart, full of LOVE!

by Cheryl Ellen Baxter ©          


The story of Jonah is probably familiar to most of you. I find it fascinating that God called upon his prophet Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh, and tell them of the coming destruction that God was going to bring on them. All in an effort by God to see the wicked repent, God was giving them a chance to hear what doom was coming their way if they didn't turn from the their evil ways

Jonah wasn't having any of it, and headed off in the opposite direction than where God told him to go. You know the story...Jonah boards a ship and a horrific storm comes up, and the crew starts throwing everything overboard, to keep the ship from going down. The people on board get the idea that someone onboard is responsible for the calamity that's come upon them. Jonah then admits to them that he's the one responsible for it, and he tells them to throw him overboard, and they did. Well it worked, and the ship and those onboard were saved. It didn't work out so well for Jonah. Jonah was swallowed up by a big fish and remained inside the fish's belly for three days until he prayed to the LORD and relented that he would go to Ninevah.

Jonah did go to the city of Nineveh and declared the destruction that God was going to bring upon them, then the king of Nineveh declared that all would put on sackcloth, morn and repent, so their city wouldn't be destroyed. So in God's mercy, he didn't destroy Ninevah and this really made Jonah very angry. He wanted judgment and destruction upon Ninevah. Even after the ordeal of being inside the big fish, Jonah was determined to let God know that he wasn't happy about God's grace and mercy shown to Ninevah, when they repented.

Read the whole book of Jonah, I've highlighted some of the verses in chapters 3 and 4, to show the anger Jonah had over Ninevah repenting. Several times in the book, God asked Jonah if it was right for him to be angry, & his response was a stunning YES! In fact he told God that he might as well die. So he would rather die than to see God show mercy to a city of over 120,000 people plus all the livestock. Verse 11 of chapter 4. -- Cheryl
Jonah 3:10 -- Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
Jonah 4:1-4; & 11 -- But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.
2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, "Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, One who relents from doing harm.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!"
4 Then the Lord said, "Is it right for you to be angry?"
11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left - and much livestock?
1 CORINTHIANS 13:13 -- And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
~ LOVE ~ without condition or requirement. This is the kind of love that Christ has for you and me. Read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. LOVE...never fails! -- Cheryl