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Nov 30
2015

Jonah - Being more than just "Good Enough"

Posted by admin2  filed under Jonah, Bible, Church   0 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png

The people in the western world church have a problem where their passion for, and alignment for God’s heart do not line up.

They settle for “good enough”

This brings us to the book of Jonah.

Jonah 3:5

Even though Jonah was stubborn and reluctant God still reached the people!

Scholars say that God was setting up Nineveh for repentance. He just didn’t tell Jonah!  They had Armies attacking and weakening the nation; they had a weak king…God was setting Jonah up for success.

Here’s another thing:

If your definition of success does not line up with God’s definition of success you will never be happy!

Jonah enters Nineveh preaching about a God who is angry and vengeful. He did not say anything about God’s grace or mercy or his love! As a matter of fact Jonah does not even mention God at all!!

God was setting Jonah up to save the people and to show His grace and mercy!!   Grace means Go!!

Take note:

The obstacle in reaching Nineveh was not Nineveh’s sin, the fish, the storm, the mariners, or the distance to Nineveh…It was God’s very own “called out one” His ekklesia. Jonah was called out by God to reach an unreached people group with his mercy and grace!

The obstacle in reaching the unreached today is still the called out ones, the ekklesia, the church!!  We are the ones who cry out to God and ask him to pour out his grace and mercy but we never want to share it with others. God calls us to do something we say no and if we do decide that we should do it we do it half-hearted!

God wants to show His love and mercy and grace to the world.  He wants to change the hearts of the people and some of the churches today are saying no...We are all good…this is good enough for us…Lord you are requiring way too much from me!!

Are we going to be a Jonah church?

Let’s move on..

Jonah 3:6-10

This is the God we serve!! A God who is after the heart of the people!! A God who wants nothing more than for people to repent of the sin and follow Him…His load is easy. There is nothing you have to do beyond asking Him to be Lord over your life and then pursue that relationship with all your heart, mind, body and soul!!

This would be a great place to wrap up the book of Jonah. He could save some face value.

But Jonah’s story continues!

Jonah 4:1

Greatly displeased or displeased Jonah greatly = Evil

Jonah was calling what God had done….Evil!

Jonah 4:2

Jonah tries to justify his actions then tells God he “knew”. Jonah knew God was merciful and full of Grace but he didn’t know God’s mercy and grace, even though it was displayed in his life many times.

We have a lot of Christians running around with head knowledge of God but no heart knowledge of God.

Jonah 4:3-4

God is saying, “Do you have any right to be angry? Don’t you remember who I am?”

Jonah 4:5

There was revival happening in the city and Jonah wanted no part of it! I was waiting for the destruction of the city.

Jonah 4:6-8

Here we see God showing Jonah Grace again…does Jonah get it? No…He is still being reluctant.

The Book of Jonah started with God wanting to show Nineveh His grace and mercy. He wanted to reach Nineveh through Jonah but Jonah being the reluctant church, stiff-armed God’s plan.

God’s response…Not a problem. You don’t want to come into my presence and experience my power to fulfill your purpose? Then I will work on you instead! We have a choice, we can either work with God or He is going to work on us! It is called discipline!

Discipline is not payback. That is how Jonah views God. That’s how a lot of people view God…If they mess up God is going to pay them back for what they did!

Discipline is not pay back it is designed to bring you back!

Jonah is complaining because his definition of success is not the same as God’s and God is trying to bring Jonah back into His grace and mercy.

Jonah 4:9-11

God’s heartbeat was for the 120,000 people in Nineveh. God is in the business of people, and the church is in the business of being comfortable.

I can only tell you that if we, as the church, do not start making people our business God is going to make us His business!

We see here where God is trying to get through Jonah’s thick skull again…. It is my grace and mercy that I want people to experience.

Grace Means Go!!

Jonah Chapter 5 is currently being written. The church is in essence writing chapter 5. We are the ones who get to write the happy ending.

We are the people who get to show God’s grace and mercy to our friends and co-workers!

We are the ones who are being called to Nineveh now!

We the church, have a decision to make…Are we going to run from God or run to God? Are we going to allow God to work through us or on us?

Question: Do you care about what God cares about? Does you life show it? Do you live it with the time, treasures and talents He gave to you?

Love is not an emotion it is an action! Are you loving God with all of your heart, mind and soul?

Grace means Go!!

Let’s be a conduit of grace and mercy not a cul-de-sac!

 

Until next time!! Shalom!


 
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