The Heart of God

Pastor Campa
Jonah 1:1-3  Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Today's devotion comes from one of the best known books in the Word of God, with some of the most common stories for children, and with one of the most famous songs for children. It is the book of Jonah. But did you know that the book of Jonah is not the story of a fish that ate a man?

The book of Jonah deals with a burden that God had in His heart for a group of 120,000 inhabitants who lived in Nineveh. People who did not know how to discern between good and evil. It deals with His great mercy in making these people turn from their evil way and humble themselves before God.

The story of Jonah also shares the sad reality of the biggest lie that a child of God makes to himself—believing that we can disobey God and run or hide from God.
Very few of us would think that the book of Jonah is an evangelical book, but it is. Did you know that the book of Jonah is one of the Old Testament books that exposes the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?

All the great doctrines of the Christian faith have been presented in certain books of the Old Testament.

For example:
The book of Exodus exposes the redemption or liberation of the people of Israel. And it is the picture of the liberation of the sinner who comes to Christ.
In the book of Ruth we have the romance of redemption: the loving side of redemption, of God's love and compassion for a Gentile.
In the book of Esther, we have the romance of providence.
The book of Job teaches us about repentance.

In the book of Jonah we find more about God:

• That He is good and compassionate.
• That He is a God of all peoples, Jews and non-Jews.
• That salvation is not by works, but by faith that leads to repentance.

Here are a few thoughts on this story:

1. God's call is to all of us who know Him.

What call? –The call to go preach the gospel.

Jonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

God wanted Jonah to publish in a loud voice the news that Nineveh would be destroyed if they did not repent. As Christians who understand who God is, and what He has given us, we are to preach also and cry out the news of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

2. God's grace cannot be thwarted or stopped.

When Jonah heard that God was sending him to Nineveh, Jonah refused to go, not because he didn't care about lost people, but because Nineveh was a very sinful city before God.

Remember, God was going to destroy Nineveh!

Jonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

3. God does not cast us off because of our lack of faithfulness or obedience.

He may not use you right now, but He won't throw you away.

Here is an illustration:
On a playing field, there are many players who sit on the bench; in fact, there are more on the bench than on the playing field.

A player is called by the coach to come in to play only when it is believed that he can make a contribution to the game. If you and I are disloyal and do not want to obey God, God could leave us sitting on the bench; but we will still continue to wear the uniform. He will not leave us aside, and He will not reject us. Anytime we want to return to the playing field of life and do His will, He will allow us to do so.

Conclusion: God is calling every one of us to do our part in sharing the Gospel to all creatures. Let’s do our part.

Pastor Campa

Pastor Campa serves the Lord full-time as our Spanish Pastor. He and his wife have three children.

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