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A God Who Relents From Sending Calamity

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Jonah 4:1-2

Jonah’s Anger at the LORD’s Compassion

1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

This is from Joel Osteen: (http://www.joelosteen.com/HopeForToday/ThoughtsOn/Life/YouHaveNotWalkedInTheirShoes/Pages/YouHaveNotWalkedInTheirShoes.aspx)

“When you´re tempted to be critical and find fault in others, remember the enemy is called the accuser of the brethren. Recognize where the source is coming from. He´s the one that wants you to be critical. I don´t know about you, but I´m not going over to that side. I´m going to stay on God´s side. I´m going to believe the best in others. There may be a thousand things that I can see that´s wrong with them, but I´m going to look and look until I find at least one thing that´s right. I´ve been forgiven much, so I´m going to love much. And if I err, I´m not going to err on the side of judgment. I´m going to err on the side of mercy. After all, where would we all be without the mercy of God? If I hadn´t had good parents and been raised in a good church, who knows where I would be today? I´m not going to be condemning. I´m not going to be a faultfinder.”

There are quite a few people who pronounce judgment on both Billy Graham and Joel Osteen, because they refused to say that “Christ is the only way towards God” on American TV (You could search a few on youtube on this). In fact, the criticizers said that they are false prophets and have led people astray. Yet, if you look and hear at how they preach, you know that they preach the gospel, it brings the gospel out, and they have caused so much people to be born again. Can we really “twist” God’s words to bring comfort to people? What is the very heart of Christ of mercy and compassion?

I recently talked with a sister. She had never felt so much freedom in her life before after divorce. She questioned and did not understand why God said that “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." in <Mark 10:9>. Though I tried to say that there were perfect will in God’s words, I stopped continuing to press further. I realized that it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2:12-16 (21st Century King James Version)

12Therefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.13For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.14Do all things without murmuring and disputing,15that ye may be blameless and unoffending, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world,16holding forth the Word of Life (CUV 将 生 命 的 道 表 明 出 来 Bringing forth the Word of Life that you held fast to), that I may rejoice in the Day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.

Billy Graham and Joel Osteen really gave me a perspective what it meant by the righteousness and love of God. (More so, it is on American TV! Can our words bring people closer to God or otherwise? What would we do in our case?) Yet again, their words have actually already caused quite a lot of people to misunderstand God to run after prosperity or the love that rhymes like charity works, so that they choose their own God according to their own comfort. What do our words actually bring? What would you do? Can it tell people to have a higher love, higher righteousness?

May we really know how to “HOLD fast and bring FORTH the Word of LIFE” to all those God planned for us to love.

This youtube video is the best I could find for someone who sang. I wonder why she hid behind the scenes. 🙂

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