Archive for May 1st, 2017

Jonah is one of the smaller books in the bible but it issues a major challenge to us as a missionary community. The call to love our enemies.

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27)

“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh! Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” (NLT 1:2). This was not at all what Jonah wanted to hear!  Jonah’s reaction? Run!!!!-  Instead of heading east by land towards Assyria – Israel’s sworn enemies on whom he wanted the Lord to wreak vengeance – he fled west hopping on a Phoenician trading ship bound for Tarshish (southern Spain) hoping to escape God’s call.

If God were to call us to “Go preach to ISIS in the Middle East”, how would we react?

Jonah was a prophet who spoke God’s word, he had enough faith to know that he could hear God clearly.  However, Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he knew God.  He knew God’s merciful heart towards the wicked, He knew God’s desire was that they should repent and be saved from judgment.  Jonah knew God would have mercy upon his enemies and bring them to repentance, however Jonah did not want them to repent, he wanted them to be destroyed. After all they were the wicked rulers who had brought misery upon the Israelites – the Chosen people.

In contrast to the One who was greater than him, Jonah was selfish, resentful and unmerciful towards his enemies, whereas Jesus was filled with love, compassion and mercy for a sinful world at enmity with God. Jesus wants us to treat our enemies with the same love, compassion and mercy he lavished on us.

One man offers his life to save others.

Jonah knew that God had sent the storm that threatened the lives of the pagan sailors and he knew that he was the object of God’s displeasure.  In a bid to save the unbelievers, he threw himself upon God’s mercy, saying “Throw me into the sea and it will become calm again” and it did. (Jonah 1:12).

Will it take a storm in our lives before we learn to love our enemies, family and friends and share God’s love with them?

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Prayer, Dear Lord, You died that I might live. You offered yourself to die in my place. The Righteous One for me the unrighteous one.  Help me serve you by bringing your love to a world of unbelievers, knowing that you will never leave me or forsake me.

May 2017
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