God’s Mercy Abounds When a Sinner Repents

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“Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he said that he would do unto them; and he did it not” (KJV, Jon. 3:9-10).

“Who can tell if God will turn and repent”

Father, please teach me more about You. I know some things, but I realize there is much more of You to be had. I am also aware that sin gets in the way of our relationship, so I pray that You will forgive me and remove the barrier.

Please, would You bless me with a greater manifestation of Your Spirit? Your Spirit is called by many names, but one such name is the Spirit of Illumination. While I can read Your Word at any time, it is only by the Spirit that my eyes are opened to behold wondrous things out of Your Word.

Please guide me through Your Word as I read it. Please help me to know what book to read or what to study. Teach me if I should focus on a topic or memorize Scripture. Give me wisdom as I approach Your Word and bless my times of devotion.

“and turn away from his fierce anger”

Father, I know You are angry about sin and that I must repent and turn from it. However, I thank You that You deal with my sin differently since You are my Father. Thank You for the work and person of Jesus.

Although I had a record of debt that stood against me, You canceled it by nailing it to the cross. I have been forgiven in Christ and have many reasons to rejoice.

I am at peace with You and have been reconciled to You through the death of Jesus. You have declared me not guilty and have cast my sin into the sea of forgetfulness. Nevertheless, I realize that if I persist in sin, I will not incur Your wrath but Your discipline. Thank You for dealing with my sin as my Father and forgiving me.

“that we perish not”

Your Word tells me that I am in good hands.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30).

I will never perish when I am in Your hands and the hands of Jesus. You will keep me until the end, and my Good Shepherd will guide me home. Thank You, Father.

“And God saw”

Father, You are a God Who sees and knows all things. Nothing is hidden from Your sight. As a result, Your Word declares, “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jer. 23:24).

Outward acts of righteousness will surely not do. I cannot hide from You in secret places, for You fill heaven and earth. Help me never to forget that Your eyes are on all my ways.

Elsewhere You have said, “And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them” (Am. 9:3).

Convict me concerning Your presence. You are with me wherever I go, and you search the depths of my heart.

Father, I need Your help. You know I fall short and am not Who You have called me to be. I see Christ as the goal and am reminded of the Words of Paul. I have not yet obtained it, but I press on to take hold of Christ. Help me forget what is behind and focus on what lies ahead.

Have mercy on me, Father, and help me to honor You within my heart.

“their works”

You have also told me that You are concerned about my works. My works do not save me, but sometimes I make them too important. I can turn to works as the basis of our relationship and make my performance more important than it should be.

Please help me to find the proper balance between doing good works but then resting in grace. Teach me to think rightly about good works and their place in my life. You tell me that I am saved by grace through faith. You ensure that salvation is not my own doing but is a gift from You. I will have no room to boast because I did not earn it.

However, Paul informs me that I am Your workmanship and have been created in Christ Jesus for good works. He even tells me that You have prepared work for me in advance. Thus, You have a plan for my life, and I pray You will show me what it is.

“that they turned from their evil way”

Please help me to turn from my sin this day. Show me my need for repentance. Sometimes I can look upon sin and allow it in my life. I can deem some sins little and others big.

If a sin is not as consequential, I may think it does not matter as much. But all of these thoughts and approaches to sin are a lie of the enemy.

Paul told the Corinthians, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened…” (1 Cor. 5:6-7).

A little leaven will leaven a whole loaf. In the same way, a little sin will affect the whole. Please help me to remember that when I allow sin in my life, I will not be able to contain it. I must repent and turn from sin wherever it is.

“and God repented of the evil”

Seeing the repentance of the people of Nineveh and Your response is amazing. You were gracious and merciful toward them and sent Your prophet. You told them they had forty days before disaster would come.

You gave them time to turn from their wickedness and convicted them by Your Spirit. You did not want to overthrow them, but you would have had they not turned from their sin. You are a just God, and Your judgments are good. However, You also desire people to change, not be judged and found guilty. You are patient and delighted in turning from wrath.

“that he said that he would do unto them”

Father, You warned the people what would happen if they did not repent. In the same way, You warn me as well. You are patient with me, much like You were patient with the people of Nineveh.

Nevertheless, help me never to take Your patience as a lack of concern over my sin. You have warned me that I will reap what I sow. If I mess around with sin today and do not see immediate consequences, it is not because Your Word is untrue. In due time I will reap a harvest of unrighteousness.

Teach me to take Your Word and warnings seriously.

“and he did it not”

Your mercy shines through the pages of Your Word. When Adam and Eve sinned against You, You showed them mercy. When Cain killed Abel, You showed him mercy. When Peter denied Jesus, he was shown mercy, and when Paul was on the road to Damascus, You showed him mercy as well.

The testimony of man is that all have sinned against You. There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and never sins against You(Eccl. 7:20). However, You sent Your Son to be the propitiation of the world. Your mercies are truly new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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