REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by a former AMI church staff, was first posted on July 4, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Taking Responsibility for My Action”
Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
I’ll be honest. I was a troublemaker growing up. There were many times my dad would come home from work, having heard of the mischief I caused. Upon hearing the front door open, I would run into the bathroom because it was the only door with a lock. I would spend minutes devising the proper excuse, trying to discover some hidden logic that would explain things in such a way that I wouldn’t get in trouble. This is the tendency we have, especially when God confronts us.
Yet, in Jonah, we find something different. He knew he was the reason for the storm, and he didn’t look for any excuse or alternative. Even though the sailors were willing to fight against the storm, as we see in verse 13, Jonah didn’t sidestep his responsibility, but offered his own life.
We need to understand this text in two ways. The first is that we need to take responsibility for our actions, especially when it comes to repenting for our sins. The second is by looking at how this text points to Christ. Even though Jesus was in full obedience to God, unlike Jonah, He was thrown into the “sea.” We deserved the storm and drowning in the sea, but Jesus went in on our behalf.
When we understand both views of this text, we are able to fully understand the severity of our disobedience towards God’s will and the overwhelming grace of God that saves us. We are able to take full responsibility of our sins, declaring before God and man that we are sinners, and yet not be crushed by the weight of its penalty and shame.
It is this gospel message that God calls us to declare to the world so that, like the sailors, men and women would fear and worship the Lord. Stand firm in the truth that we are sinners saved by grace; and may that message transform the hearts of all those who hear it from our lips and see it demonstrated in our lives.
Prayer: Father, I fully confess my sins and disobediences. Jesus, I thank you for your grace shown on the cross. Holy Spirit, empower me to convey this message to the world. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 13
Lunch Break Study
Re-read the passage for this morning’s devotion.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16: 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?”
Questions to Consider
- What does the seemingly spiritual transformation of the sailors reveal?
- How did Jonah display the message of the gospel?
- What does Jonah’s story, as it reflects the gospel, teach us about being a “fragrant aroma”?
- It shows that God can still use us even when we don’t intend it.
- Jonah sacrificed himself so that the sailors would live.
- The message of Jonah, which foreshadows the message of Christ, is that Jesus was thrown into the sea so that the storm would subside. We deserve the storm because of our sin, but Jesus took it for us so that we would have life and peace.
Is there someone you know who hasn’t heard the gospel as it’s been lived out in your life? Tonight, let’s pray and ask God to reveal to us someone we need to share our testimony with. Let’s ask that God would use us to bring spiritual transformation to those around us and that the gospel would become evident through our testimony.