Friday, April 04, 2014

Jonah Challenge day 4 of 4 4-4-14

This is the final day of the Jonah challenge, I admit it wasn't what I expected it to be but has enlightened me a little more into how God works.
Next week I'm thinking I'm going to start the lesson "making your faith public" it is another short daily devotional and is only 7 days long.. I think its something that we all as Christians should do but most of us are not doing it... so feel free to come back and follow along as we take that journey too ~B

Jonah as angry at the Lord's mercy but forgot that it was the same mercy that prevented the fish from having him for dinner!

Jonah was basically saying to God, "Look, I knew you were going to have mercy anyway, that’s why I didn’t want to go! You’re too compassionate." Jonah saw his mission as pointless & futile, but God didn’t!

I see and understand Jonah’s perspective, especially from the position of getting annoyed when people abuse the ‘grace’ of God. But it’s not for us to get annoyed. Moreover, our annoyance should not infringe on our obedience to God’s instruction.

Yes people abuse God’s grace…but I will still tell everyone about it! Because someone will be saved!

Jonah was so dramatic…was it really that deep? Verse 3-4 made me chuckle. How can Jonah request to die!!! I imagine God saying to Jonah in today’s slang ‘is it really that deep?’

God’s grace transcends our human understanding.

I love the way the message bible puts verse 4-11. God is saying to Jonah and to us; don’t get angry at what you didn’t work for! Jonah didn’t look at after plant, didn’t see it through its early days, and consequently allowed it to die. God used the plant to describe the city of Nineveh. He is saying that he wants to see that plant grow, live and not die.

This chapter is a real wake up call to ‘Christians’ who consider other people unworthy of God’s grace. Please look back and remember the ‘amazing grace’ that saved YOU. Rejoice when people turn to God, because it means you have gained another sibling in the Lord.

Be careful not to look down from a position of pride. Be careful not to be ‘selfish’ with your ‘saved’ status. WE desire for ALL to be saved!

God didn’t even have to explain himself to Jonah, but he did! He wants us all to understand his grace. God is sovereign in any decision He makes, He can ‘relent’ if it pleases Him to do.

Verses:

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  - Matthew 5:7 (NIV)

1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” - Jonah 4:1-11 (NIV)