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Monday, August 15, 2016

Encountering God Through His Relentless Pursuit Jonah 1-4





God speaks to Jonah to go to Niniveh and preach God's message to them. Niniveh was the capital of Assyria and was North of what is now Baghdad. He calls Jonah to take the message of judgment to them so they might repent. We know that God is just but He is also a compassionate And wants to save people. Jonah does not obey God's calling. He became a rebel prophet and God has to pursue him.

How did he become this rebel who refused to follow God's calling to preach and what was God's response?

We'll learn this in the book of Jonah. This book is also about us. About how God sovereignly pursues us in our walk with him, especially when we are disobedient. Our reaction may not be  as drastic  as Jonah but we share a lot in our sinfulness.

As we learn from him, keep tabs on how is pursuing you. What is he commanding you to do that you are not doing? It may be an act of omission as opposed to commission. God is calling you to align yourself with his will for your life but you are not listening.  You are passive. Or you are actively rejecting his pursuit of you!

Here are the lessons from Jonah:

1. God is sovereign over our lives. We are called to obey Him and live for Him. Are you ready to obey Him completely and without any reservation wherever he is leading you now?

2. God is sovereign in the salvation of others. He alone saves but uses us to proclaim His message.

3. God uses imperfect like Jonah (and me) to proclaim His message of Hope to people who have yet to believe the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

4. God is compassionate, loving and slow to anger and desires to save people and  we should reflect his character and his values.

5. God cares about us even when we are not obedient to Him. He will sovereignly teach us (discipline us) what we need to learn in whatever way necessary.

6. "Look — something greater than Jonah is here!" Matthew 12:40.

- Jesus was the opposite of Jonah.
- Jonah was disobedient but Jesus was obedient till death.
- Jonah was a reluctant messenger but Jesus was a willing messenger.
- Jonah was not compassionate but Jesus was compassionate.

- Jonah was didn’t sacrifice anything to save anyone but Jesus sacrificed everything to save us.

- Jonah spent three days and three nights in a fish and Jesus spent three days and three nights in the grave.

But Jonah’s reason was due to his sinfulness. Christ laid in the grave for your sins and mine. To redeem us from our sins and give us eternal life.
- He is greater than Jonah!

Here are some postings related to the book of Jonah:
http://despondgeo.blogspot.com/2010/06/thoughts-on-book-of-jonah-ch-1.html
http://despondgeo.blogspot.com/2010/06/thoughts-on-book-of-jonah-chapter-2.html
http://despondgeo.blogspot.com/2010/06/reflections-on-book-of-jonah-chapter-3.html
http://despondgeo.blogspot.com/2010/07/thoughts-on-jonah-chapter-4.html


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