“The word of he Lord came to Jonah son of Amittal: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the lord.” (Jonah1:1-3)
God called Jonah to a missionary venture—-to preach to Nineveh, the capital of
Assyria and Israel’s prime enemy. God called Jonah to go to a different people with a strange culture and foreign language. God was grieved over the wickedness of Nineveh. He gave Jonah a message of judgment announcing His plans to destroy Nineveh. Jonah rebelled. He fled in precisely the opposite direction.
God allowed him to retreat from the missionary call. When we seek to run others ready to help us escape. Jonah’s purpose was to flee from the mission to which God called him. In so doing he sought to hide from God’s presence, and as we all know, that’s impossible to do. Jonah found the cost of fleeing in rebellion to God’s call and command always carries a price tag with it as Jonah quickly discovered.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, all of us that You have called has found themselves in the same position as Jonah, though not all rebelled, many have. We must understand that when You calls us to ministry, You also prepare those we are to reach out to. Jonah found this out later on, but at the time, he ran in fear. In Your calls, Abba, you not only prepare us, but also those we be working among on Your behalf. Give us courage, strength, wisdom, and also the words to touch the hearts and minds of, that they will respond to the work we have been given to do. Your call is always an honor, for the work is so very important for those we work and minister with. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God!”
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As he Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John20:21)
Jesus’ words are one of five occasions in the Gospels and Acts on which He presents the Great Commission to the Disciples, calling them to continue His mission until His return. The repetition of the Great Commission reveals that the world mission of the church was neither an afterthought nor a one-time comment. Missions was central to Jesus’ instruction of the disciples and for His commission to His church. This great verse defines the source, the model, and the authority for missions. What Jesus did in His life becomes our model or pattern for mission work. When He said become our authority for missions. His being sent from the Father and our being sent reveal the source of missions. The model for our mission is that of Jesus. He was sent from the Father; declared the Father’s message; and engaged in preaching, teaching, healing, receiving outcasts, unmasking sin, serving, and finally dying for others. The Father sent the Son because God loves the lost world. His purpose was to reconcile the lost world to Himself through Jesus Christ. He sent Jesus as the God-Man, to walk the dusty roads of everyday experience, speak the human language, understand the people, love them, serve them, and declare the Father’s message for them. In the way God sent the Son, the risen Lord sent His disciples to a lost and needy world. The mandate is clear. We are to be like Him, by loving all, teaching all the message of salvation through Christ, and offering to help those who have heard the message to walk the walk, just as we do.
“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the time Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts1:6–8)
Jesus called the disciples to their first priority—-being witnesses to Him and from their homeland to the very ends of he earth. Of course, being human, they wanted to know the time and date of the end of their preparation time! Christ’s final meeting with his apostles on the Mount of Olives provided a bridge between Jesus’ earthy ministry and what He would do through His Spirit’s indwelling of His disciples. He had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until God gave them power. As the forty days of resurrection appearances came to a close, Jesus reinforced the Great Commission and promised the power to carry it out. In short, Jesus was telling them to maintain their focus on their mission and everything else would happen as it is supposed to be, at the right time, date, and way.
Second Thought of the Day:
‘The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)
The missionary note running through the entire Bible appears also in this last chapter of Revelation. The short verse is a gold mine of information on the nature of missions. This message comes from the risen Christ, who is coming again soon. The center of the message is from the eternal One. The Holy Spirit’s role in missions is crucial and extensive; is crucial and extensive. Here His role is to draw people to Christ. He joins in issuing the invitation. This work is in keeping with the role of the Counselor Jesus described in John 14. On countless occasions when the missionary or the evangelist preaches Christ and shares the Word, the Holy Spirit comes and prepares the heart so that the Word bears fruit, and unsaved persons are converted. The church, Christi’s bride, is also to join in the invitation.
To be faithful to its calling, the church must go into the world to share Christ’s invitation with people. The Spirit and the church are to invite people to Christ. When we hear and accept the message of Christ, we become pat of the church, so we also invite others to Christ. Our personal witness of What Christ has done in us is a powerful means of evangelism and missions. People who hear the missionary invitation must meet three conditions to received God’s gracious offer of salvation. They must recognize their need, symbolized by thirst; be willing to repent of sins; and turn to Christ. The old story is still good news. The invitation is open to all, beloved.