Crossing the Road…

Neil attended our Discovery group recently.

In my post, Disruptive Grace, I mentioned I met Neil at a pedestrian crossing which I was about to cross to attend our Discovery group held in a local cafe.

Later that week I was able to meet Neil again. Here’s our text messages,

Hello Neil, Nice to meet you on the pedestrian crossing near the entrance to the Botanical Gardens this morning…I would like to get to know you more, maybe Thursday afternoon, to see if I can help in any way? Let me know and we can arrange a convenient time and venue. Bruce 😊

Thursday afternoon is fine. Would you like to come for a cuppa at my house or would you like to meet somewhere else. Thanks for your lovely message. See you on Thursday. Please confirm the place to meet. Cheers Neil 

A cuppa at your house would be lovely. How about 2 pm?

While visiting Neil and his family and I was able to explain in more detail what I was doing on the day we met. So I invited Neil to attend our Discovery group as my guest.

He came the week we finished our series, Rediscovering God’s Compassion for a Lost World, with Jonah chapter four our final reading.

Beforehand I sent a text suggesting that in preparation Neil download a Bible app onto his smartphone in,

Good Afternoon Neil, I trust you and the family are all well. In readiness for tomorrow you might like to download a Bible app onto your phone. The one from Life Church is very good. Tomorrow we will be reading chapter 4 of the book of Jonah. I look forward to seeing you. You will be my guest. πŸ˜„

His response,

Thanks, I will see you tomorrow, I don’t believe in God nowadays as all violence under the name of God and religions. I also sorry to say, I was born in Hindu family, I can’t download bible. See you tomorrow. Cheers. Neil

My response,

Neil, Thank you for your openness. Remember you will be my guest and as such most welcome. 😊

His response,

Thanks for your appreciation. Glad to meet all your friends there tomorrow.

As I said, Neil attended, readily introduced himself to the group, and contributed to the discussion after the Scripture passage was read out by one of the members of the group…

Discovering God’s Compassion for a Lost World…

Our Discovery group recently concluded it’s deliberations on the the Old Testament book of Jonah.

It’s an amazing story resulting in a whole city, the city of Nineveh, seeking God’s forgiveness.

In a recent post, Disruptive Grace, I wrote, “The disruptive grace of God has not been and is not confined to biblical times. The Spirit of God continues to bring disruptive grace today. People’s lives are dramatically changed, individual people, communities and nations around the world are radically and fundamentally changed.”

And while Jonah is another biblical example of God’s disruptive grace a read of Steve Addison’s, Movements that Changed the World, will quickly give you a historical view of the movements of the grace of God up to the present day.

During these movements individuals, communities and nations are influenced by the Spirit of God and remarkable change results.

God said to Jonah, “And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their leftβ€”and also many animals?”

Jonah 4:11 NIV

While the magnitude of the change was remarkable God’s personal, persistent and patient dealings with Jonah are remarkable. Jonah knew that God was gracious and compassionate, and would be, “slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” Jonah 4:2‭ NIV

In the beginning God looked upon His creation and said, “It is good.” However, through the disobedience of humankind sin entered the world and a change of seismic proportions occurred.

God, the Creator, gracious and compassionate, is not thwarted. He has a plan and is actively redeeming His world. He will bring it to completion in His appointed time.

The pinnacle of His redeeming work was the act of redemption was completed when Christ was crucified, and now to this day the saving grace of God is available to anyone who would believe.

Like Nineveh, like Jonah,

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9 NIV