DATE: Sunday July 9th, 2017.
TEXT: Jonah Chapter 3
MEMORIZE: “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. ” (Lamentations 3:22)

Our God is a merciful, compassionate, and loving Father. No one can love the way He does. He gave us His most cherished possession i.e. His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we will not receive the punishment that we so rightly deserved. He does not delight in a sinner’s death but desires that we repent. Indeed He is merciful. Even when we deserve punishment, if we truly repent, He will rescind His decision and turn away His wrath.
In our reading today, we are told of the story of the city Nineveh which engaged in great wickedness that God was determined to overthrow the whole city. But in His mercy, He first sent Jonah to warn them of the impending doom. Jonah however did not want to go because he knew that God will forgive them once they repented and he believed there was no need to embark on such journey. 
Instead of going to the Nineveh, Jonah went in the opposite direction. His action caused God to cast Him into the sea and be swallowed by a whale and he stayed in its belly for three days. Jonah repented and cried out for mercy and was forgiven. When he eventually; arrived in Nineveh and delivered God’s message of the imminent disaster, the inhabitants had a change of heart and repented as Jonah had envisaged. ]
God in His infinite mercies changed His mind and forgave them and did not destroy the city. This is a pointer that His mercy is greater than His judgment (James 2:13b). We must also note that God is a just God. He will always warn us before He executes judgement because He does not delight in the death of a sinner.
Apart from not punishing us according to our iniquities, God also shows mercy and compassion when He sees His people under the bondage/yoke of the devil and his agents. 
He is grieved when He sees the righteous suffer under undue oppression and is moved to intervene on their behalf, just like He did when the Israelites were under the yoke of slavery in Egypt. Are you under any oppression? Cry out to the Lord for mercy. He will have compassion and deliver you today if only you make up your mind to turn away from evil and serve Him with all your heart.
Worship/praise God and then take the following prayer points:
1. O Lord, have mercy upon me. I repent of my wicked past. Be merciful unto me and avert any impending Judgment, in Jesus’ name.
2. O God my Father, have compassion on me and deliver me from the oppression of my enemies, in Jesus’ name.
3. Lord, you promised to show mercy unto whom you will show mercy. May our G. O, Mummy in the Lord and their entire family be beneficiaries of your mercies, in Jesus’ name.
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