Daily Devotion For Friday March 03, 2017

March 3

March 3
Readings Jonah 4:1-11, Romans 1:8-17

A teacher asked a group of church leaders, "How many of you have a sign that says 'welcome' "? Most of the members of the group raised a hand, thereby declaring they had such a sign. Is it true, that all are welcome. Jonah has heard the word of God calling to him to go to Nineveh and to cry out to the city, with the time honored prophetic cry, repent, sin no more! Jonah responds by fleeing to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord, and the Ninevites. Eventually the people of Nineveh hear God's call from Jonah, respond with lives changed and renewed. Jonah, is not happy, and speaks to God, "that is why I fled to 'Tarshish at the beginning for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." Jonah was not welcoming the people of Nineveh, but God declares his concern for that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons. A challenge to Jonah, 'welcome' Nineveh.

Do you suspect a similar idea may be in the reading Romans 1:8. Right you are, in a familiar way of opening a letter, Paul writes about his 'welcoming feeling for Rome. "I am longing to see you, in order that we may be mutually encouraged by each others faith. He concludes the greeting saying he intended to come to them in order that he might welcome more among the Gentiles. A great word of welcome for his colleagues, and for the Gentiles.
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