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September 23 – A revelation of the heart

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45

Scripture reading: Jonah 3:10-4:4

Why is Jonah so angry? Jonah has just been used by the Lord to ignite one of the greatest spiritual awakenings in history. Humanly speaking, he’s been an extremely successful evangelist: an entire city has heeded the Word of the Lord and repented. But he is angry. It is like a salesman who makes the biggest billion-dollar deal, going home to his wife very upset and complaining, “Too bad, they bought it.”

Jonah’s reaction reveals his heart. He does not want God’s grace extended to his own enemies. Remember, the Ninevites have caused a lot of hurt and damage to the Israelites. Perhaps even some of Jonah’s own relatives were killed or captured by them. Jonah’s reaction – while understandable – reveals that he must learn more about God’s super-abundant, extraordinary grace. As we will learn in the following days, our patient God is gracious towards His prophet and will teach him a lesson on compassion.

For us too, our reactions reflect what is going on in our hearts. When we see someone else’s success, are we happy for them? When we are single or in a difficult marriage and see another couple thrive together, do we get jealous? When someone ‘unlike us’ comes to faith, do we rejoice with them? Let your reactions to other people’s successes and failures be a signal to you about the state of your own heart.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to reveal the areas of your heart and life where you need to grow in grace and holiness.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.


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