There’s nothing like a sense of urgency to get folks moving. An emergency causes immediate action.

Placing faith in Christ is not the result of emergency, but immediate opportunity! What do these next moments provide – right now – for you in your journey as a believer?

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The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

...And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Jonah 3:1-5,10

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Has anyone ever given you a second chance to do the right thing after making a mistake?

In the case of Jonah, we know that God gave him a second chance to do what he knew was right. When Jonah was asked to go to Nineveh and tell those who lived there that God loved them, he refused. As much as he realized it was exactly what God wanted him to do, he just couldn't bring himself to go and show love to "those people."

Thank goodness for second chances, not only for Jonah, but also for the people of Nineveh. For the people there responded to Jonah's message about God and believed in God. Jonah realized that in God's family there are never any of "those people," for we are all loved the same.

In the same way, God gives us second chances too. No matter who we are or what we've done, God keeps extending loving arms to us, hoping that we'll do the right thing.

Elizabeth Evans Hagan

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God, thank you for giving me second chances time and time again when I've failed to show love to those who you have asked me to love. Amen.

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As we work together with him we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you." See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

Elizabeth Evans Hagan

Elizabeth Evans Hagan is pastor of Washington Plaza Baptist Church in Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC. She regularly blogs about the art of pastoring and the adventure of faith at Preacher on the Plaza . Elizabeth is married to Kevin, and together they enjoy watching as many movies as possible and planning their next vacation, preferably to somewhere with a beach.

Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Ken Medema

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