As the crowds increased, Jesus said, ‘This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here. – Luke 11:29-32
The sign of Jonah refers to the connection between the three days Jonah was was in the belly of the great fish and the three days Jesus would be in the tomb before He rose from the dead.
The previous devotion focused on the first two verses of Psalm 103 and the need to remind ourselves of all the reasons we have to praise the Lord. This devotion will work through those reasons as David lists them in the Psalm.
“who forgives all your sins”
Through Christ all of our sins are atoned for perfectly and completely. Not just many of them or partly, but all of them completely.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.” – Psalm 84:5-7
This Psalm is attributed to the Sons of Korah. It describes the physical and spiritual journey of traveling to Jerusalem to be in the house of the Lord and worship Him. The physical journey to Jerusalem mirrors the spiritual journey of being a pilgrim and sojourner here on earth on the way to God’s heavenly dwelling place.
“In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:26-27
The phrase “do not give the devil a foothold” is fairly common in Christian circles and for good reason. It is a powerful image that contains important truth for our lives.
“He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.” – Isaiah 53:7
We rightly connect this prophecy to Jesus standing on trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:14), but it seems that we don’t always connect it to Jesus going through the actual crucifixion and being mocked as He is tortured and killed without defending Himself.
Continuing with the short series of devotionals on John 11.
“When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” – John 11:4
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – John 11:25-26
Do not confuse that which is comfortable with what is right. Difficulty is not a measuring rod in and of itself. One of the many beauties of the gospel is that God can take that which is not comfortable and give us comfort while working out His purposes and plan.