Be Like Jonah, God’s Got Something for You to Do, 23AUG – #916

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Perfect time to watch Jonah online from the Sight and Sound theater, a free showing, amazing production. It is Sunday, I have finished a MARATHON of mom-life this week, between packing and moving my daughter to college and wisdom teeth surgery for my son, fully working too. It was raining this afternoon and so God gave me this as a good opportunity to just be. The story lines of Jonah resonated with me. Four short chapters, forever the bible has a lifetime of lessons. 

Jonah loved the Lord but did not want to do what God commanded. He did not want to go to Ninevah, a terrible place, so AFRAID to go, plus he really did not like the people either. Jonah ran away but God found a way to pull him back. Hurled into the sea off a boat, God scooped Jonah up inside a whale, then spit him to where he was supposed to be. Whale or no whale, God can be very persuasive. Have you ever been saved to be placed where God wanted you to be? Our best plan, like reluctant Jonah, is obedience to God. He’s got a mission for you, starting with accepting His LOVE. 

My kindle battery then ran out, mid-song. Apparently God also reminding me that I am NOT supposed to sit and watch movies all day, I recharged my kindle and my activities. The song the show stopped on was: “Everyone has a Ninevah, God gives you strength to go.” Yes. God’s plan is for us to act. This does not mean we are going to be a full-blown prophet like Jonah, nor that it will be easy to decipher God, or even make sense of the plans, but it is to His profit that we seek to serve Him for the people whom He puts in front of us. Enemies and friends alike. It always takes forgiveness for the full fruition of LOVE to flourish… Jonah learned that too.

God has made you very special AND very ordinary, BOTH, so that He shines thru your regular acts of kindness, hopeful smiles, and simple words… it might not be a whole country you need to help but a small country lane of folk. Not a donkey to ride, but anything driving you to a purpose. Perhaps a group of people whom you don’t know. Perhaps those whom only would hear the truth from your testimony, because they trust you. They may know it was God who reached them in a whale of a scoop and He had saved you too. Whomever, wherever, you just be ready to be you. Prepare for Journeys. Read the signs. Be willing to walk into His opportunities. 

It stopped raining but I didn’t run outside to see a rainbow, His glory is everywhere. I know to share that Jesus came as our guide, the promise, the Greater sign. As Jesus mentioned Himself, His message is greater than Jonah’s, Jesus IS the Prophecy fulfilled.

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Jesus answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. Matthew 12:38-42.

Jesus was the sign that some just didn’t read, some still don’t… blinded, stubborn, lost, unable to let their faith be their guide… OR like some on Ninevah, and today, they simply have not heard…. Jonah,  Moses and many prophets knew of the tough sell, we surely do too. Jonah was happy to obey God by delivering His message (Ninevah to be destroyed in 40 days) but then he got upset that they actually got rescued!

Jonah 3: And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The best song in the play is “For now I’m free” – yes like for Ninevah,  it is our FAITH that sets us free.

Jonah was directed to speak prophecy, but it was FAITH that made the difference in the lives of the Nineveh folk. This was a surprise to Jonah (as portrayed in the play). Jonah was upset enough to die to see people so freed who had been so wicked.  But it wasn’t Jonah’s mercy to withhold, was it? God declares the plan. God gives mercy and only God. Mercy is not a given, it is a GIFT.

Jonah saw this LOVE firsthand. God, Almighty Powerful God finds a way to give mercy, just like when even sin’s ransom took giving His only Son for exchange to regain ALL His children. Only Jesus makes us worthy of this level of LOVE.

For us, we must remember and speak of this Mercy, our Jesus as the gift of forgiveness, the difference for saving all lives. We simply are saying the truth: I need Jesus and you need Him too. We find it not so simple to forgive enemies, rotting souls, ignorant ones, but we must. Like Jonah, we can be SURPRISED at the level of God’s Mercy, Love, Forgiveness. That IS the Truth. 

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

God, our God of Love delivered the people and us: “Why wouldn’t I save, redeem, love?”

This is the Good News.

This Good News is ours to share. How can we not dare.

Amen

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