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Sunday we started a new series on Jonah. Jonah is a great story that is often dismissed as a fish tale. However, the story of Jonah is not a legend but a warning to us, follow God or risk being eaten by a whale. Most people tend to be hard on Jonah, after all he did run from Gods call on his life. The cost of his disobedience almost took Jonah’s life and the lives of the men on the boat with him. After being tossed over board he became a meal to a whale. It is easy to point our fingers at Jonah and laugh. However, the call placed on his life was no joke. The people of Nineveh were mean, really mean. The prophet Nahum called the city, full of blood, never without victims. The stories that came out of Nineveh will spoil whatever meal is next. The people were barbaric in nature and had little to no value for life. The fact that Jonah fled Gods call becomes more valid when we place ourselves in the story. Imagine God calling you to your cities worst neighborhood, area, or gang filled corner. We immediately consider how valuable our life is in contrast to those who would take it for sport. Jonah hated the Assyrians and he had a good reason. Jonah’s flight to Joppa is completely justified except for one aspect, God’s Will. Gods will for Jonah’s life was not for him to live a comfortable life in the safety of his home town with his neighborhood Starbucks and his local produce. God’s plan was much greater. Once Jonah surrendered to God, he saw immediate results. Jonah could have and should have been honored to have been by God to change a city, King and all. However, his pride kept him from reaping the benefits of obedience. Even after God changed the hearts of the people of Nineveh  Jonah was still mad. He was mad that God extended his mercy to those terrible people. Jonah never had a problem with accepting Gods mercy himself but was upset when others benefited from it.

 

In our lives, we must be aware that God’s plan is greater than ours. We must come to the realization that we were not placed here on earth to live a nice, comfortable life of convenience but to reach out to the people around us. We have been called to follow God in all that He has for us. We have to believe in our hearts that the people around us deserve to know the saving power of Jesus Christ. Others, just like ourselves, deserve Gods grace and mercy. God does not pick and choose who He will save but extends salvation to us all.

 

In what areas of your life have you lived as if God does not exist? In what areas have you walked away from Gods call when you should have advanced? Are there people in your life counting on you to share Jesus with them?

I am excited to explore the life of JONAH. Jonah messed up pretty big by running from God but once he surrendered his life to Christ, God used him to make a huge impact on the city of Nineveh. Many times we run from what God has called us to do but we must understand that obedience to God trumps everything else in our life. We must come to a place where we love others more than ourselves and be willing to share our faith or risk being eaten by a whale.

Join us the first three Sundays in March for a practical approach to sharing our faith.

 

#Jonah

3/3 Obedience trumps everything

3/10 Love others more than yourself

3/17 Share your faith, or be eaten by a whale