I have just been doing some prep for Jonah 4, and I have been deeply challenged by it. So often when I see the dull characters in the bible I often associate myself with them, and with Jonah here I can certainly see myself. Jonah is angry with God for sparing Nineveh and has gone off in a mood. He is angry that God has had mercy on them, a wicked city.
Part of us like to judge people like Jonah. Man, what are you doing?! God has used you in an amazing way. Man up, and grow a pair. What an idiot! [read on…]
The problem with that is the inevitability of the mirror. We may judge Jonah but actually we are a lot like him, and actually worse. Jonah is at least honest, and the fact that he wrote the book suggests that he repented and could write such honest things of himself. He makes much of God and little of himself. But how often do we have God’s heart for the lost? How often to we do what God asks us to do? I know that I am just like Jonah.
I must be motivtaed by grace. I need to see God for who he is, I need to see how he has dealt with me and through that be motivated to be obedient to him. Verse 11 sums up God, “And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle.” What mercy that God shows here, what love.
So how are you reaching the lost? Have you got God’s heart for the lost. Or do you see the conviction of reaching the lost as something you want to get off your back? A kind of one time solution. Tell someone the gospel, then the job is done. We must surely have God’s heart for the lost and pursue for that burden to get bigger and bigger, rather than to get rid of it?
We all live in communities. Whether it’s the work place, uni, sports teams, societies, friends, family, our towns, cities and villages. We all come into contact with the lost. So how can we have a heart for them, and how can we reach them and look to keep reaching them?
If you have been saved you have God living in you, Romans 8. Now there is a battle between the Spirit of God and our own spirit of the flesh. We must cry out to God, we must let him win our hearts and replace it with his own.