Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/23/2023 — Jonah 3:1-10

Today please be in prayer for

Iuka UMC
Sawyer UMC
Wichita West District
Valley Center: First UMC
Wichita West District
Wellington: First UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita Aldersgate UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Jonah 3:1-10

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 the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Humans and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

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.

Today's Reflective Questions

As you read the scripture above, consider the following questions:
  • Where in this passage do you see examples of repentance?
  • What does this passage tell us about God’s desire to have us repent of our sins?
  • How might you practice the process of confession and asking for forgiveness today?

Today's Devotional

This Lenten season, Bishop David Wilson, along with some conference staff and members of the laity, are inviting the people of the Great Plains Conference and beyond to “Pay Attention to God’s Voice” during this season of Lent. The theme for this week is Repentance.
Repentance is a word we often use in the church, but what does it mean? In many ways, it stands for restoration of relationship — with others, with God, even with ourselves.

And it’s a process.

We first have to recognize that we have sinned, so we must confess — to ourselves, to others we have wronged and especially to God — our sins. Then even as we face the consequences for what we’ve done, whether it’s anger from someone we’ve harmed or guilt felt from our own conscience, we should seek forgiveness.

Jesus had nothing from which he had to repent, but he showed mercy to his executioners by asking God to forgive them even as the Son of God hung on the cross. Luckily, none of us face such torture, but we are called to repent.
— Todd Seifert, Conference Communications director
Watch a video to learn more. This week’s video features Bishop David Wilson inviting you to explore and take part in a holy Lent.


Invitation to Go Deeper

What is one thing from which you should repent? Write it down and say a prayer today seeking forgiveness from God. In the prayer, name the offense, who was harmed, and ask God to restore your relationship with that person.

Prayer for Reflection

Merciful God, we know that you call us to repent. Please give us the courage today to confess our sins to you and to truly and fully repent as we start our day. Amen.


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